Hailing from Compton, Kendrick Lamar first graced the radar as the weeded out chorus spitter on Black Hippy's “Zip That, Chop That”. His gruff laissez-faire flow is tinged with enough gangster authenticity that he can make a group named “Black Hippy” sound raw.
Like all the members of Black Hippy, Lamar is working on his solo record in addition to the group project. As cold-hearted as his voice might suggest, Lamar pushes his product as the writing of a grounded individual, particularly on his first single from OD, called “Average Joe”. The title to the Black Hippy song is merely wordplay, as Lamar spits on “Average Joe” that he “don't even push a line, I'm just trying to push these rhymes /and the mister staying neutral and discrete / my mama said, you judged by the company you keep.” Amongst good company, but with the strength in writing to stand on his own two, Kendrick Lamar deserves a buzz as big as his homie Jay Rock received a year ago. While you wait for OD, it's worth checking out a self-titled free EP he dropped as the ball dropped on '09.
It's not all in-the-cut, blunt with reality bars from Lamar though. He recently blacked out with blind rage over Kanye West's “Monster” beat with a three minute blitzkrieg, proving there's more than one monster in the rap game. Right about now, I would quote a bar or two of significance, but each time I listen through I've got like eight couplets in which Lamar looses his mind with either venomous bars or complex rhyme patterns, making it too tough to call.
Kendrick Lamar's OD is out September 15.