KSWI’s Looking For Some Street Cred: KENDRICK LAMAR’S VERSE ANALYSIS

August 15, 2013

WHAT UP, PARTY PEOPLE!

We’re going to talk about the hippity hop music today! Rippity rap, Rappity rip, best check my beats, ’cause I come from the streets! Woooooooo!!! I’M WHITE!

That’s how all rapping should end when a white person does it – I’M WHITE!

I never was into Eminem. I like a few of his songs and I’ll admit that he is very talented, but most of his stuff just doesn’t do it for me. Nevertheless, if he ended everything with I’M WHITE or at the very least the end of “8 Mile” was Eminem breaking the fourth wall and just looking into the camera and saying “I’m white!” would’ve made me a fan forever ever and always. It would be just too hilarious to not fall in love with him if he did that.

Anyway… this post has little to nothing to do with Eminem. Although, Kendrick Lamar does mention him in his VERSE OF ALL VERSES.

BLESSED BE THY VERSE OF VERSES! A VERSE SO HOLY THAT IT MAY RESURRECT THE GENRE THAT IS THE HIPPITY HOP, THE RAPPITY RIP, THE GANSTA’ RHYMING! IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME COMING LORD OF LORDS AND THIS WEEK MAY BE THE BEGINNING OF A NEW BEGINNING WHERE RAP MUSIC IS RAP MUSIC AND NOT THE IN BETWEEN PARTS OF A KATY PERRY POP SONG! WHY YES! VERSE OF VERSES PLEASE BRING US BACK TO A DAY WHERE RHYME MURDERING WAS KING AND NOT SIMPLY BEATS FOR MILEY CYRUS TO TWERK TO!

So, what the fuck am I talking about?

Kendrick Lamar’s verse on Big Sean’s song “Control” has been fawned over and fawned over and FAWNED OVER for the past couple days on websites and Twitter galore. What did Kendrick do? Well, he specifically calls out a bunch of other rappers in the song to more or less outdo him. More specifically, he refers to himself as the “King of New York”, which has gotten all the New York rappers’ panties all in a bunch because Mr. Lamar is from California. So, not only is he declaring himself “King”, he’s also declaring himself the King of an area which he shouldn’t even be allowed to declare himself the king of because of the geographic region assignment of his life.

So, that brings us to this post… what do I think of Kendrick Lamar’s verse and Big Sean’s “Control”?

Let’s do the first second and the second first because I’m going to go line by line through Kendrick’s verse of verses and see if it is worth all this hype … in my opinion.

As for “Control”, it’s a nice diddy. Not Diddy, but diddy. Anyway, I like it. I’m not too too familiar with Big Sean and I wasn’t really a fan of Mr. Lamar, but I’m a big fan of Jay Electronica. The song is good, it’s got a nice beat, the three of them sound appropriately tough, and I think there are some nice rhymes/moments lyrically. Kendrick is definitely the big commercial star of the three going into this and he does make his King claims, but I think it sucks that people are not focused at all on the song in its entirety and not mentioning Jay Electronica’s verse. I think he’s easily one of the most talented dudes out there and has been for several years. I hope people aren’t just listening to Lamar’s lyric and being done with it because Jay is crazy talented and people should listen to his music if they like/want rap music.

With that being said, I am part of the problem and I’m going to talk about Kendrick’s verse and not Jay’s, but whatever. I’m a hypocrite, I guess.

I like the song and I’ve listened to it half a dozen times at least in the past couple days.

NOW! Let’s look at what has blown up the Twitterverse! Kendrick Lamar will you please…

Tell Flex to drop a bomb on this shit
So many bombs, ring the alarm like Vietnam in this shit
So many bombs, make Farrakhan think Saddam in this bitch
One at a time, I line ’em up and bomb on they mom while she watchin’ the kids
I’m in a destruction mode if the gold exists

Fair enough. I believe Mr. Lamar is about to drop some “bombs” on this “ish”, am I right? Did I use that terminology, that slang correctly? I’m white.

It’s an intro, no need to really look into this that much. I will say that Vietnam, Farrakhan, Saddam do all rhyme, are all kind of fun to say, and are also crazy old references. I’m guessing Lamar wasn’t even alive during Vietnam – if he was then he looks really young for his age. Farrakhan hasn’t made news in probably a decade and Saddam has been dead and buried since New Years Eve 2006. Either way, it’s a good intro into the “bombing” that will begin and how it will be indiscriminate of relationships/feelings.

I’m important like the pope, I’m a muslim on pork
I’m Makaveli’s offspring, I’m the king of New York
King of the Coast, one hand, I juggle them both
The juggernaut’s all in your jugular, you take me for jokes
Live in the basement, church pews and funeral faces
Cartier bracelets for my women friends I’m in Vegas

I think Lamar’s trying to a duality in his nature. A religious, sacrilegious thing then he’s Tupac’s alter-ego’s progeny who would be the heir apparent for West Coast rap and, at the same time, the KING of New York. Then he lays it out there with the next line. It’s pretty good. Interesting idea. It’s also just hilarious to hear someone try to sound gangster saying “I’m a muslim on pork!” WHAT?! YOU ON WHAT?! PORK?! AAAHHHH HELL NAW!!! THIS DUDE’S ON PORK!!!!

Plays around with J’s and “jugs” for a transition into I guess another comment about his duality. I don’t know. I guess I don’t need to really over-analyze each line. I guess he’s the invisible power in holy places and giving his hoes gifts in sunny Las Vegas? Hah… I rhymed. I’m WHITE!

Who the fuck y’all thought it’s supposed to be?
If Phil Jackson came back, still no coachin’ me
I’m uncoachable, I’m unsociable

I love this. Probably because I just like the reference of Phil Jackson and, again, I think it’s hilarious like that’s the real final straw of being so badass – you’re uncoachable even by Phil Jackson.

Fuck y’all clubs, fuck y’all pictures, your Instagram can gobble these nuts

My favorite line in the song BY FAR. Seriously, it’s great. Who would’ve ever thought that Instagram would become apart of the zeitgeist to such an extent that a rapper would say your Instagram account can “gobble these nuts” in a fit of anger? Amazing! It takes a special talent to make shitting on Instagram sound tough, so props to Lamar on that one.

Gobble dick up ’til you hiccup, my big homie Kurupt
This the same flow that put the rap game on a crutch
I’ve seen niggas transform like villain Decepticons
Mollies’ll prolly turn these niggas to fuckin’ Lindsay Lohan

It is an epidemic apparently. Molly.

I really like the Decepticon/Lohan rhyme. That made me laugh out loud.

I really wish he taken another second to review Lindsay’s recent role in “The Canyons” and how between her naturally pale skin and the lack of lightning/color correction plus their use of digital cameras make Lohan’s nude body look like a walking corpse.

Lindsay’s got them thangs out, worse than a Tar Heel’s white out.

Boobs so white, DD’s so bright, like a UV light, retinas go night-night

Fairer skin than the audience at Walter Mitty’s

Bitch, go put some make-up on them titties.

I’M WHITE!

A bunch of rich ass white girls lookin’ for parties
Playin with Barbies, wreck the Porsche before you give ’em the car key
Judgement to the monarchy, blessings to Paul McCartney
You called me a black Beatle, I’m either that or a Marley
(I don’t smoke crack motherfucker I sell it)

That’s pretty funny too. I don’t really get the Paul McCartney stuff necessarily… although I think the “black Beatle” thing is a reference to Kanye West who called himself that a couple albums ago. But he doesn’t mention Kanye by name.

I’m dressed in all black, this is not for the fan of Elvis
I’m aimin’ straight for your pelvis, you can’t stomach me
You plan on stumpin’ me? Bitch I’ve been jumped before you put a gun on me
Bitch I put one on yours, I’m Sean Connery
James Bonding with none of you niggas, climbing 100 mil in front of me
And I’m gonna get it even if you’re in the way
And if you’re in it, better run for Pete’s sake

Whatever. Can we get to the part where you call people out? Elvis, Sean Connery, Paul McCartney… is this a song about old white men or is this a song about you calling out rappers? Because I would seriously love to hear a rhyme or 8,000,000 from Sean Connery in response, but I’m doubting that will happen.

I heard the barbershops spittin’ great debates all the time
Bout who’s the best MC? Kendrick, Jigga and Nas
Eminem, Andre 3000, the rest of y’all
New niggas just new niggas, don’t get involved

Here we go! Right? Kind of.

Jigga? Sucks. He might be the most famous rapper of all-time at some point, but he’s terrible.

Nas – I love Nas. “God’s Son” is one of my favorite rap albums through and through.

I already talked about Eminem. As for Andre 3000, he’s a tough character to define. He’s written some of the most memorable songs. While not entirely a “rap” song- “Hey Ya” in my opinion is one of the biggest songs… ever. Or at least in my life. That may sound hyperbolic, but that song was embraced by young, old, and really that’s the two groups. You’re young or you’re old and both liked it a shit ton. That song was huge and still is a great song. And, obviously, Andre’s work with Outkast was also enormous and had some songs that really took over the world for period’s of time. So, he’s been apart of or how has solo songs that will last forever in my opinion, but as the best “MC” well… he’s just not that strict of a rapper. He’s an entertainer, a musician, an artist, and all that. He’s a jack of all trades and not really a guy trying to perfect one style.

And I ain’t rockin no more designer shit
White T’s and Nike Cortez, this is red Corvettes anonymous
I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ wit
But this is hip hop and them niggas should know what time it is

Ok… Now, Lamar is going to call people out. And I mean he’s going to specifically read a rolodex of people that should respond to him.

And that goes for Jermaine Cole, Big KRIT, Wale
Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake
Big Sean, Jay Electron’, Tyler, Mac Miller
I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you niggas
Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas
They dont wanna hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas

I like it. I like it a lot. And in some ways, Jay Electronica does respond like seconds later in his verse and Big Sean has a pre-emptive strike as he is the first to rap in this song. But either way, I like the sentiment. It’s the idea that Lamar is going to prove he’s better than these guys who are his compatriots and with that he’ll be the MVP of the rap league. Friendly competition of sorts. If competition is the mother of creativity than this should be good.

I’m a big fan of Jay as mentioned and I really like Pusha T as well. The rest? Well, I’m not going to get into that. I’m not too into a few of those guys, but I would gladly hear them fire back and hopefully step their game up in the process.

Honestly, the person who I think stepped their game up already is Kendrick Lamar. I wasn’t into much else he’s put out, so it’s nice to see him evolving or at least to me.

What is competition? I’m tryna raise the bar high
Who tryna jump and get it? You better off tryna skydive

Yeah, we get it. I just was talking about it.

Out the exit window of 5 G5’s with 5 grand
With your granddad as the pilot he drunk as fuck tryna land
With the hand full of arthritis and popping prosthetic leg
Bumpin Pac in the cockpit so the shit that pops in his head
Is an option of violence, someone heard the stewardess said
That your parachute is a latex condom hooked to a dread

This? I got no clue about.

Kind of an odd scenario that Lamar painted for us and could have never guessed that ending. That was like an M. Night ending. Seriously, that was a twist and a half that these rappers are jumping out of airplanes using condoms as parachutes tied into their hair and their drunk grandfather is piloting the airplane. Is that a reference to something? Kendrick kind of lost me on this bit. It’s inventive I guess, but troubling.

So there’s that.

Is it the VERSE OF VERSES? No. But it’s a nice call to arms for rappers to get back to rapping and doing what rappers did in the 90’s and rapped instead of acting like a bunch of diva pop stars. So, that’s cool. Hopefully, it will revive rap music because for the most part it’s a dying art form as the whole system has sold out.

Either way… I’m going on a long weekend, so I won’t be posting tomorrow.

I hope you all have a great weekend.

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