Is Kendrick Lamar Overrated ?
Kendrick Lamar is overrated. There, I said it. First off let me say, I am a fan. He is an incredible lyricist and political activist, but somewhere along the way he began to care more about other things besides the music. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that. In fact, we often wish our musicians and celebrities would take more interest in things that impact the public. For the sake of this article, we are keeping it about the music.
Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Even before the release of his album “good Kidd, mAAd city”, people heard the potential he had with various projects already being released. Similar to Nasir Jones and his debut on, “Live at the BBQ”, people were anticipating what Kendrick Lamar was capable of and clamoring for a new poet. However, he has yet to prove to me that he is the, “next Nasir Jones”, or, “the next greatest rapper of a generation”. I 100% agree that “good Kidd, m.A.A.d. City” was a certified classic. Hands down, I was blown away when this album was released in October 2012. It was deep, diverse, and was virtually flawless. Upon first listen, I knew that this album would be viewed as a “classic” in the hip-hop community. A 10/10 in my opinion.
“Brace yourself, I’ll take you on a trip down memory lane
This is not a rap on how I’m slinging crack or move cocaine
This is cul-de-sac and plenty Cognac and major pain
Not the drill sergeant, but the stress that weighing on your brain”
By 2013, GQ had named him “Rapper of the Year”, and various other publications were crowing him the next King of Hip-Hop. Luckily for Kendrick, Drake had gotten to be so BIG that he had completely crossed over into the public conscience, and it was no longer “cool” to like him. Therefore, people looked outside of artists like Drake.
To Pimp a Butterfly
Then came the blasphemy of Macklemore winning “Best Rap Album” at the Grammys. Wow. That was insane. Why anybody would think Macklemore had a better album than Kendrick with GKMC is beyond me. Don’t worry however Kendrick fans, the Grammys made up for their mistake in 2014 by nominating him for a 10+ Grammys for “To Pimp a Butterfly”. Songs such as “Blacker the Berry” and “Alright” were incredible, standout tracks on the album.
My problem is that “To Pimp a Butterfly” was an artistic reach. An album that I can barely listen to. I admire the risk taking in making an album completely different than GKMC, but what the f*ck was I listening to?? I love the fact that Kendrick was bringing a political message with the new album, yet as far as “Hip-Hop” records go, I could not get into it. A 6/10 in my opinion. Now, 6/10 isn’t a terrible ranking for your typical hip-hop artist; however, with expectations like Kendrick has, it was a disappointment indeed. I found the album erratic, and missing the feel of what a hip-hop album is. I’m not ruling out the possibility that 10 years from now I will look back on it with a different opinion. As of now, I can’t get behind it. Then Kendrick hops on pop music’s golden child Taylor Swifts remix of “Bad Blood”. Not a good look for any hip-hop artist.
“Six in the mornin’, fire in the street
Burn, baby burn, that’s all I wanna see
And sometimes I get off watchin’ you die in vain
It’s such a shame they may call me crazy
They may say I suffer from schizophrenia or somethin’
But homie you made me
Black don’t crack my nigga”
In March 2016, Kendrick released his compilation album, “untitled unmastered”. On this album, every track was untitled, except for the date they were recorded. This album was solid in my opinion. It had great storytelling, and jazz feeling that I feel Kendrick adapted very nicely. I give this album 8/10, and definitely helped redeem Kendrick in terms of a pure, “hip-hop artist and lyricist”.
“What did the Asian say?
A peace of mind
That’s what the Asian said, I need a divine
Intervention was his religion and I was surprised
Him believing in Buddha, me believing in God
Asked him what are you doing, he said “taking my time”
Meditation is a must, it don’t hurt if you try”
Don’t get me wrong people, I get it. This era of hip-hop is not like the “Golden Era of Hip-Hop.” There were literally dozens of artists that were making incredible music. In the last 10 years there has been a very shallow pool to choose from. We look at Kendrick Lamar and see the music he has already released, and figure that he will continue to do so for years to come. This article is strictly about Kendrick Lamar, and the potential that he has to be one of the greatest of all time. I wanted to take a moment to shout out artists such as Drake, J. Cole and a select few others that have helped keep the focus on lyricism and making good music. Not trying to TRAP or find the next dance craze.
Is Kendrick Lamar Overrated?
Rob Radio hosts his radio show, “Psych Word Radio Show” on 88.7fm in Connecticut.
He can be contacted on twitter @Rob_Radio