Lupe Raps That Kendrick, K.R.I.T. & More Embody Hip-Hop. But He’s Still The Heart (Audio)
On Thursday (March 30), Kendrick Lamar released “HUMBLE.” The video single arrived just over one week before Dot’s upcoming album, confirmed one week prior. In the song, the Compton, California MC spit “I’m so f***in’ sick and tired of the Photoshop / Show me somethin’ natural, like afro on Richard Pryor / Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks.” Although he appeared to be talking about women, one could easily argue that the TDE MC was also making reference to truthfulness and non-fiction in Rap lyrics. At a time when artists fantasize and self-aggrandize, this is a different kind of MC.
For the last dozen-plus years, Lupe Fiasco has tried to stand for that too. In an era when exotic sportscars drove lyrics, Lu’ made his solo introduction via a skateboard. When other MCs were braggin’ about what they may or may not have owned, Fiasco moved the crowds simply “Daydreamin’.” In the decade that followed, he campaigned against his label in the streets of New York City, regularly gave away music for free, and evaded the spotlight when it was easily available to the 1st & 15th founder.
Taking Kendrick’s bar, Lu’ releases “Kneelin’ On Needles.” The a la carte song appears to be hot off the presses, as Fiasco spits, “I might drop SKULLS as an art show / K-Dot wants stretch marks / I wanna own everything that’s west of the best parts / K.R.I.T., everything from the legs down / Mickey Factz, everything where the neck starts / Necklace, head, heart, go, get set, mark, oh.” In proposing releasing his next in a series of projects, “Carrera Lu” makes Hip-Hop a body. He seemingly links Lamar to West, Big K.R.I.T. to the South, and Mickey Factz to the Northeast. But apparently he is the heart (also an allusion to his Midwest geography). Elsewhere in the song, the Chicago, Illinois representative tells peers to “Be more like Chance.”