Majority of mainstream got on the Kendrick Lamar bandwagon after his powerful soundtrack for Marvel’s Black Panther blew us away. The futuristic beats of Pray For Me with The Weeknd’s soulful vocals are followed by a stunning music video with the beautiful SZA for All The Stars – who wouldn’t fall in love?
Soon after, Lamar was nominated for a bunch of awards, nabbing 13 Grammys, especially for the best Rap Performance, Best Music Video and the Best Rap Album. How is the underdog black rapper making waves in places no one was ever able to before?
Five years ago, the Compton slums produced a force of nature, backed by Dr. Dre and Interscope Records, and gave us Kendrick Lamar. Now considered as the West Coats’s golden child, Lamar brought a sense of consciousness back to hip-hop. His lyrics are packed with hard-to-swallow stories and realities we’ve otherwise ignored. Thought provoking, hauntingly real and words that go right to the soul, his lyrics are challenging the top hip hop artists in just a short time. Billboard even described them as Shakespearean!
Using powerful storytelling and emotion, Lamar unabashedly delivers a wide spectrum of feels – from love, war and stories of success and failure to things that are real and relatable. On top of that, he uses his creative genius to develop his own sound, eschewing the trends that are defining hip-hop right now. Choosing to sing hooks or the bridge, he punctuates his voice with real emotion – the last we heard when Drake first began.
In 2018, Lamar was awarded the Pulitzer award changing the way the world perceived hip-hop. His song DAMN was a story of modern African-American life which greatly impressed the Pulitzer Board. Boldly using the art of storytelling, he made waves going where no one dares to go – back to the harsh realities of life.
Is he the king of rap?
Is he a game changer?
I’d say yes to it all. It’s been a while since music went right through my soul and evoked feelings I didn’t know I had. And it’s been a while since I heard rap as real as Tupac’s or Biggie Small’s – rap that had reason and rhyme, rap that meant something and rap that was there to change things.
Bold, creative, original and full of surprises, Kendrick Lamar is one of a kind.