Kendrick Lamar Leads A Freestyle Cypher With Musicians In The UK & Rocks It (Video)

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With all the chatter around the political themes embedded in Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, and the album’s immense critical acclaim, it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that, at his core, Kendrick is an MC who loves the sport of rhyming. But, before he showcased the musical diversity found on TPAB and its untitled, unmastered sessions, before he told his coming of age story on good kid, m.A.A.d city, and before he created the verses that shook up the industry on Big Sean’s “Control” and in the TDE BET Hip-Hop Awards Cypher, Kendrick was an unknown who got on stage with then XXL Freshman Charles Hamilton and battled him with aggression.

Though he has gone on to be one of the more important voices in Hip-Hop for his generation, that same competitive fire and joy for the craft still lives in Lamar, and it was on full display when paid a surprise visit to a Hip-Hop Workshop for 40 young musicians in Manchester, UK. While there, the musicians put on a beat, grabbed a microphone, and an impromptu cypher commenced. Not one to be a bystander, Kendrick took the mic and kicked a crisp off the top freestyle. When a scrappy MC saw his opportunity to have his own “Kendrick” moment with Lamar playing the role of Charles Hamilton, perhaps remembering the past, Kendrick grabbed the microphone back and slipped into battle rap mode, playfully going at him, but going at him just the same…

In an industry where every move can seem calculated and every moment pre-produced, it’s a great look at an artist connecting with fans and having fun doing what he does.

Related: Do Remember: When Charles Hamilton Passed The Mic To An Unknown Kendrick Lamar (Video)