Kendrick Lamar and Glasses Malone Search for Harmony Over a Bone Thugs Inspired Track (Audio)

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Although there have been a slew of freestyles over classic Hip-Hop tracks from the 90s lately, Glasses Malone’s “Thuggin'” featuring Kendrick Lamar is something different. The two MCs come together on an interpolation of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s seminal “Foe Tha Love of $” and flip the script. Rather than a celebration of money, Kendrick and Malone make an ode to Tupac’s THUG LIFE philosophy, with all its complexities. As Pac detailed in an interview that was featured in the film Tupac: Resurrection, THUG LIFE was an acronym standing for “The Hate U Gave Little Infants F**ks Everybody.” “I didn’t create Thug Life, I diagnosed it,” he declared.

After a brief intro featuring Tupac, himself, on “Thuggin’,” Kendrick and Malone touch on several themes embodied in 2Pac’s music, including Black on Black crime, disproportionate incarceration of the disenfranchised, skewed media portrayal of minorities and more–all while acknowledging the negative behavior on the flip side of the thug life coin, such as smoking, drinking and just not giving a ____.

This is complex message music for complex times. Check it out.

Related: There Have Been a Lot of Kendrick Lamar Interviews. This One is Different (Video)