Once again I am writing to you on a Friday and this one is going to be cut and dry. Last night Kendrick Lamar dropped a video for another track that may or may not be on the album, HUMBLE. The video depicts King Kendrick as such in various ways speaking to the Rap peasants better known as the competition. The Kendrick we have been hearing from in the last couple of weeks is cementing his place as the top emcee in Hip Hop. I like cockiness and bravado because it is going to make the other “top” emcees rework a few things if they don’t decide to scrap an entire project. J. Cole, Drake, Wale, Big Sean, and the rest of the rapping cohort better get in the kitchen and cook something because their fans are starved! They thought they were getting the best out of their favorite Rapper but when they see what K. Dot is giving his fans you can’t help but to be envious.
Fans don’t want to hear their favorite Rapper folding like origami in an interview. If you claim to be the best and you think you are the best than you have to be the best, no excuses! It’s not about sales, it’s all about originality and creativity. How does your style of Rap differ from everyone else’s? Are you rapping over the same beats as the lower tiered Rappers? Are you copying someone else’s style? None of that drives the culture. The emcee doesn’t conform the culture conforms to the emcee. Look at Migos, you cannot deny that they have style, creativity, and originality within their own lane. I didn’t think they’d be around this long and it took a project like Culture for me to embrace the Rap trio. Regardless of what you may think or say about Kanye West he drives the culture as well. Look the way the next generation dresses and you see nothing but Ye’s influence and that’s after he was dragged on social media for the clothes looking tattered and boring. If you can’t drive the culture than you need to ride shotgun or sit in the backseat.
Driving the culture is something that only the Hip Hop heavyweights have been able to do over the genre’s forty-something year long history. Jay Z, Rakim, Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Wu Tang Clan, DMX, and so many more moved the culture and drove the culture into multiple lanes sometimes simultaneously. Who do you know that can change the way other Rappers Rap and dress? When HOV said “30’s the new 20” how many guys do you know that changed up their demeanor? Kendrick Lamar Duckworth is driving the culture! He is driving the culture down the road of rhymes in a lane he’s carved out for himself. This isn’t the HOV lane this is Bompton boulevard homie. You can pay homage, respect, and salute a legend all day but to copy another emcee will take you straight to lame lane. Desiigner isn’t going to go too far because he sounds like Future. Shyne was able to back his style with bars; something the Brooklyn Rapper doesn’t have. Look, if you want to make a difference or be remembered and revered by Hip Hop Culture and the historians you need to simply shut up and drive.