13 Beats of the Week (2/6)

Kevin Costello

The Grammys have had an unfortunate history of slighting superior hip-hop artists. The 2014 Grammys are perhaps the most extreme example of this injustice, with Kendrick Lamar walking away empty-handed after being nominated for seven Grammys. With that in mind, I present to you 13 reasons why King Kendrick deserves a Grammy.

1. “B*tch, Don’t Kill My Vibe (Remix) (feat. Jay-Z)”

This collaboration features a hungry, focused K.Dot verbally demolishing Jay, despite the fact that the veteran dropped one of his better verses in recent years in a futile attempt to keep up.

2. “Look Out For Detox”

Dr. Dre sure knows how to promote. This track, structured more like a freestyle, features an aggravated Kendrick mercilessly shredding through what was once a Childish Gambino beat.

3. “Average Joe”

“I’m no gangsta, no killer, I’m just your average Joe.” In this “O.verly D.edicated” highlight, a young Kendrick contrasts himself with the often violent and hectic nature of his native Compton, CA.

 4. “Control (feat. Kendrick Lamar and & Jay Electronica)” by Big Sean

Despite having easily the best verse on this cut, Kendrick also set Hip Hop ablaze with his wildly braggadocios and provocative lyrics, proclaiming himself the King of New York and calling out most prominent New School rappers by name.

5. “Lovegame (feat. Kendrick Lamar)” by Eminem

While rappers seldom get the better of Eminem on his own track, Kendrick is perhaps one of the only rappers that isn’t named Royce who can match Slim Shady bar for bar.

6. “Backseat Freestyle”

It’s just so West Coast. Kendrick absolutely spazzes over an old school-esque electro-pop beat on this GKMC track that portrays the mindset of a young, immature,

hungry emcee.

7. “A.D.H.D”

Perhaps the most introspective track on Section.80, Kendrick speaks to the absurdist mindset of an entire generation with this masterpiece.

8. “Swimming Pools (Drank)”

Who do you know creative enough to drop a single that ironically criticizes drinking culture and is simultaneously catchy enough to become a nationwide party anthem?

9.  “Now or Never (feat. Mary J. Blige)”

Who said new school cats can’t make soulful music? A collaboration for the ages, we hear two of music’s most talented coming together for a beautiful, inspirational duet.

10. “m.A.A.d City (feat. MC Eiht)”

Undoubtedly the most brutal track on GKMC, Kendrick uses a terrified, high-pitched voice to detail harrowing stories of murder and drug use over two chaotic beats. The track beautifully paints a picture of innocent Kendrick facing Compton at its craziest.

11. “Real (feat. Anna Wise)”

The penultimate track on GKMC, “Real” is an ode to identity and perseverance, where Kendrick juxtaposes external influences with internal desires, walking a balance between moral code and peer pressure.

12. “Ignorance is Bliss”

This is another early track that distinguishes Kendrick from the stereotypical Compton emcee. He smoothly establishes himself as a thoughtful, conscious pacifist.

13. “The Recipe (feat. Dr. Dre)”

It’s a smooth L.A. track with the Doctor. What more do you want?

Contact Kevin Costello at [email protected]