Kendrick Lamar Has Earned His Biggest Hit Ever By Not Being Humble

Many Hip-Hop Heads stayed up last Thursday night, into the morning of April 7 to see just what Kendrick Lamar had in store, based on his rhymes. The lyrics of March’s “The Heart Part 4” warned that 4/7 was an important event, especially for other MCs. It now appears that this Friday, April 14 will be the day Heads may remember, as Kendrick tweeted pre-order links on April 7.

However, even without that 2017 Kendrick Lamar album currently available to the masses, Compton, California’s “Cornrow Kenny” still finds a way to make news. His second solo song of ’17, “HUMBLE.” has reached #2 on the charts, per Billboard‘s report. The apparent video single to the upcoming album bested all but Ed Sheeran’s “Shape Of You.” Lamar’s TDE/Aftermath/Interscope Records single (produced by Mike WiLL Made It and Pluss) was streamed just under 50 million times in its first week out, as well as generated 110,000 downloads.

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Notably, the two-verse song released as a video, ahead of any audio. Despite its title, the track features K-Dot speaking up loudly and proudly, demanding all to sit back and play their parts. Like the first release of March, the song also appeared to challenge other MCs to step it up, and get on his level.

Prior, Kendrick’s top single was 2012’s “Swimming Pools (Drank)” from good kid, m.a.a.d. city. That T-Minus-produced promotional single reached #17.

The song reaches #2 following a tenure where Kendrick Lamar appeared to be the target of some peer criticism, in verse. On Game’s 2016 track “100,” Drake rapped, “I would have so many friends / If I held back the truth and I just gave out compliments / I would have all of your fans if I didn’t go pop and I stayed on some conscious shit.” On “No More Interviews,” Big Sean also spit these lines last year: “And I can’t lie like I like this shit like I usually do / And I’m just not impressed by you niggas rapping fast / Who sound like one big asthma attack but trash when I’m rapping it back / Who you put in your top five and claim they the savior of rap.” Although he did not name names, Kendrick Lamar is speaking to some peers on his first two 2017 solo cuts. While Kendrick’s style and devotion to “conscious” lyrics (even if Drake did not mean him) have undoubtedly missed the mark with some, the masses now appear as in step with it, as ever before. And, with “HUMBLE,” he has tapped one of the biggest “mainstream” producers of the moment, in Mike Will to show he can play on all levels

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In the last year, Drake achieved his first #1 single (“One Dance”). Other Kendrick peers with that distinction during his album tenure include Wiz Khalifa (“Black and Yellow” and “See You Again”), as well as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (“Thrift Shop” and “Can’t Hold Us”).

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Previously, Kendrick reached the #1 spot care of his feature on Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” His 2015 To Pimp A Butterfly album and corresponding 2016 untitled unmastered. each peaked at the top of the charts.