Kendrick Lamar’s New Single is One Of The Realest Records For The Streets (Audio)

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After hinting at it last week, Kendrick Lamar has released what is perceived as the first single of his sophomore major label album. Although it was forecast by some to feature Black Hippy band-mate Jay Rock, “i” is a solo set, produced by Rahki (“Black Boy Fly”).

Based around a not-so-obscure Isley Brothers sample, the song follows Kendrick’s Flaunt magazine interview (as recently reported by Billboard) that the superstar had moved away from listening to Hip-Hop, and purchased the Isleys’ whole catalog for his listening pleasure. “i” arguably veers into Pop music more than anything from K-Dot’s previous releases. However, with its interesting cover art (look closer), specific opening monologue material, and the actual lyrics, it’s seemingly quite brilliant. Kendrick Lamar is still rapping for (and to) Compton (literally and figuratively), but he’s talking about the universal need to love one’s self.

Moreover, the last verse is some truly unrestrained Kendrick. The words cannot be contained in a fast-rap flow, while the song closes on traffic sounds and some instrumental Jazz riffs—again seemingly nodding to the 2Pac-supported “Life Is A Traffic Jam” from Gridlock’d, just as K-Dot did on Ab-Soul’s These Days…

Has Kendrick Lamar surprised Heads again, as people likely expected some good kid, m.A.A.d city-sounding music? Will this give K-Dot the sales to match his status, and even win over the “Grammy family”?

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