This week’s edition of Fire or Hype? looks at Kendrick Lamar’s new single in which he claims he is the “greatest rapper alive”. Spoilers: he is.
This series on my blog has been no stranger to bad rap music: Future’s recent album failed to impress, and Drake’s More Life only gave me more Hype. I thought at least ONE of hip-hop’s mainstream monoliths can come up with something decent in 2017, but I had failed to remembered that there’s always one man I can count on to deliver that heat- Kendrick Lamar, who happens to be back with a new song.
The track, partly produced by the respected Alchemist, opens with a smooth soul beat over which K.dot threatens a fellow MC, the identity of which has been disputed amongst the hip-hop community. He promises to tell a truth about them if they tell a lie on him. With this opener, he instantly lets his target know they should watch out, or risk taking some serious heat from the Compton rapper.
The beat then changes up as Kendrick threatens to “crush ya whole lil’ sh*t” after confirming that “My fans can’t wait for me to son ya punk-a*s”. This type of aggression from the rapper has not been seen since he set hip-hop alive with his verse on Big Sean’s Control, a verse which called out essentially every relevant rapper in the game, in an attempt to raise the bar for the genre.
In terms of who Kendrick’s target is, speculation has been crazy online, with YouTubers dedicating whole videos to decipher the lyrics to this track and even going as far to recount every back and forth jab between him and Big Sean, as well as Drake, another possible target.
Regardless of who this fierce diss track is aimed at, Kendrick approaches the beat with so much braggadocious energy that it’s impossible for the MC in question to notice. With bars like these, Kendrick Lamar’s enemies will be losing sleep over this new song.
Fire or Hype?: This track confirms that nobody is really delivering mainstream rap with this sort of lyrical potency and genuine passion, and it is indeed Fire. After records such as good kid, m.A.A.d city and To Pimp a Butterfly, we know how capable he is of grabbing the attention of the music world and more importantly, deliver.
Listen to the track here.