Kendrick Lamar Says He’s The Best Rapper Alive & Leaks His Album Release Date (Audio)
Kendrick Lamar began the last 24 hours with a curious social media post. While the Roman numerals “IV” were a hint towards a fourth album in the eyes of many, Lamar followed almost a full day later with a song: “The Heart Part 4.” Whether it belongs to the fourth album or otherwise, the soulful dynamic music is a powder keg. Kendrick Lamar is not subtle about how he perceives his status, or when he’s dropping that LP.
“The Heart Part 4” has several different beats, with Kendrick flexing both his flows and his ego. He bluntly states “I’m thee best rapper alive.” In the years since “Control,” the paradigm has not shifted in the eyes of “King Kunta.” In addition to throwing some criticism at the country’s newly-elected leadership, Kendrick name-checks past collaborator Jay Z. Just as Hov’ did more than a decade ago with “Show Me What You Got” and Kingdom Come, Kendrick warns other rappers, “You have until April 7 to get your shit together.” And like that, on a day when many predicted a possible sneak album attack, K-Dot gives fair warning, and spots all the competition a couple weeks to sharpen up their pen game before his bars possibly sever Heads.
For those following ‘The Heart” series, this has been a charged march to the top that spans nearly seven years. The volumes began back in K-Dot’s pre-Section.80 days. Back in 2010, he made a video their song (over a gently altered rendition of Mos Def’s “Umi Says”) for a low-budget visual at the low-key life of Lamar. He ran through the track coming right from the heart:
In that song, Kendrick prophetically warned of a 2012 takeover (he also spits that he’s “the good” in the verses. Wow… Ab-Soul appears in the visual, while K-Dot raps about wondering if he could hold a crowd to a late J. Cole.
On O.verly D.edicated, Kendrick followed up with “The Heart Part 2.” Using a Roots instrumental and a gripping opinion, the Black Hippy MC rapped in an impassioned broken voice about trying to make it through all the pressures, and pushing forward. Later, Lamar would say the verse remains one of his personal favorites from the catalog.
In late 2012, right as good kid, m.A.A.d city arrived, so did “The Heart Part 3 (Will You Let It Die?)” This track, which interpolated the Geto Boys, was K-Dot comparing his place in music to Tupac Shakur’s and his life to Aaliyah’s. In the verse, he also chronicles the hardships he and his TDE cohorts faced over the previous five years (as Ab and Jay Rock raps on the track too). The screeches to a halt when he asks, “Will you let Hip-Hop die on October 22?” Two days ahead of his major label release date, Kendrick asked a question, and got platinum, highly acclaimed answers.
MCs, consider yourself warned. April is promising to shower with great music.