You Read It Right
Kendrick Lamar, the now world renowned best rapper alive wasn’t always so. I watched him rise from his Kendrick Lamar EP to DAMN and everything in between and to be honest, he wasn’t always that great.
The Rise of TDE
I’d like to believe the general public doesn’t know anything about Kendrick before Control. They probably don’t know who Ab-Soul is and probably don’t know that Jay Rock was the first one to get TDE on the map. He was working with Wayne and got some early success and paved the way for the rest. Then came Schoolboy and Kendrick, a lot of people still don’t know who Ab-Soul is.
Jay Rock slaughters Kendrick on every song they’re on together. But that’s besides the point.
Kendrick had a very unconventional rapping style for the time. His rhyme schemes are kind of off, and his voice and flow didn’t make it any better. Lyrically he was always competent, but sonically he wasn’t doing it for me nor the majority of the world. It also doesn’t help that “Michael Jordan” was the VERY FIRST song I’ve ever heard from him.
This wasn’t the best first impression.
Along with Drake, Wale and J. Cole at the time dominating my headphones, Kendrick’s off rhythm voice and cryptic style of rap wasn’t what I was hearing. That wasn’t until he dropped his breakout tape.
This was the tape that got me onto the Kendrick wave. This is the tape that made me to a fan and this is his best tape. Kendrick pieced together his lyrical ability to tell narratives and stories, his rapping skills and improved his sound into a cohesive project.
What people don’t realize is that most rappers change their rhyme styles to make it easier to digest for the public. The difference between DAMN and Overly Dedicated is ENORMOUS. But that could just be me.
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