The music recording industry needs to thank Compton, California rapper Kendrick Lamar for breathing life back into hip-hop. The rap game's gotten soft. Too many artists are sleepwalking, content to make mixtapes and albums featuring name brands like Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Drake, and Rick Ross. Motherfuckers are afraid to step on each others' toes these days. With a few guest bars on Big Sean's single "Control," Kendrick is taking it back to when MC battles ruled.
The response he's generated from other famous rappers reminds me of when Roxanne Shante was hitting back at UTFO in the 1980s and when yours truly shot back at dis tracks by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Death Row Records in the '90s. Kendrick manned up, challenging 11 current up-and-coming rappers, including Big Sean, the man giving him a guest spot, to come take his self-proclaimed thrones on the East and West Coasts.
"I got love for you all, but I'm tryna murder you niggas," Kendrick spits. "Tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas." Then he declares himself Tupac's progeny for good measure: "I'm Makaveli's offspring, I'm the King of New York, king of the coast, one hand I juggle them both."
Lamar's verses were heard around the hip-hop tweeterverse. Joe Budden tweeted, "A Cali nigga just said he's the King of NY & u niggas so fucking worried about your relationships, y'all make me sick. Where's all NY!???!" 50 Cent tweeted a doctored image featuring Lamar in a Wild West-style standoff with a number of the artists he calls out on the track. "This is HipHop lol kendricklamar said you niggas better head for the hills. LMAO," 50 Cent added. Even P. Diddy got in on the fun, posting a photo of himself and Jay-Z laughing with the following tweet: "Kendrick got y'all niggas takin y'all time now! This is good! What y'all gonna do now? Haaaaa lol lets go!"
This is how hip-hop is supposed to be. It's like football, a full contact sport. It's great to see Kendrick smacking other MCs in the mouth.
Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.