Legends come about once in a lifetime. This new generation of rappers has been seen as negatively impacting the rap game with their degrading lyrics towards women and obsessive antics about money, but there has been a few notable rappers who rise above the materialistic nature of the current hip-hop game. One of those notable rappers is Kendrick Lamar.
Lamar has become very well-respected and admired in a very organic and authentic way. Lamar is looked at as more than a rapper, but as a writer and a poet as well. His grammy-nominated album good kid m.A.A.d city is often referred to as a modern day classic that brings back the hip-hop elements of story telling and uplifting lyrics.
With the immense success of good kid m.A.A.d city, all eyes are on Lamar to see if the genius displayed in his 2012 album will continue in his following works or disintegrate. The blogs and hip-hop heads have been talking about Lamar’s follow up album for weeks now and the rumors surrounding his next project. This morning, Sept. 23, Lamar gave in to the anticipation with the release of his new song titled “i.”
The song was put on his label, TDE’s, Soundcloud this morning at around 8 a.m. ET, and has since gotten up to 1.2 million plays. At just six hours after the song was put on the internet, “i” had one million plays.
The song is Lamar’s proclamation of self-love. He preaches that self-love is the root to a happy life and gives one the ability to get through anything and everything. “i” samples The Isley Brother’s song “That Lady” and can be described as sporadic and funky. The track was produced by Rahki.
The rumors have been saying that Lamar’s next album will be released sometime this year, but in an interview with Rolling Stone, Lamar was asked about a release date and simply said he was “not sure at all.” One fact that Lamar did promise in that same interview was that the album would be packed with “aggression and emotion.” Also, the album won’t sound anything like modern day hip-hop because Lamar hasn’t even been listening to hip-hop that has been put out recently:
I haven’t been listening to a lot of music that’s out right now. You can get influenced by it.”
Whether this seclusive state that Lamar has been in can be seen as a good or bad thing will be made clear when the untitled follow-up album is released. One last fact about the album that Lamar did let slip with Rolling Stone is that Lamar has yet to put another rapper on any of his tracks. Dr. Dre has been in the lab working on tracks for the album along with TDE producer Digi+Phonics.
The song “i” proves that Lamar has not left his uplifting lyrics in the dirt, but does show that he is exploring other styles and samples to compliment his voice and lyrics. Hopefully, for all Lamar fans, the release of “i” has opened up the flood gates to the release of some more new music from Lamar. Listen to “i” on TDE’s Soundcloud here.