I don’t know if anyone can deny that Kendrick Lamar's lyrcisim is on another level. From spitting on racism, ghetto violence, and raps reponsibility to inspire. In this day and age, delievering messages like this makes him stand out from other rappers.
But with that with that being said, it has been a minute since we’ve heard from the Grammy winning artist.
Sure, Kendrick has made cameos on a number of tracks as a feature recently. For a while, it seemed a song ‘featuring Kendrick Lamar’ was something we should just be accustomed to. Don’t get me wrong though, he murdered the tracks he was featured on!
But with every feature released, we grew thirsty for more music.
So, you can understand why hip hop fans worldwide dropped everything when Kendrick posted an image on Instagram (which has now been deleted) with the Roman numeral “IV,” symbolising the number four, whilst simultaneously deleting all other Instagram posts.
What could this all mean? Surely this means a new album!
Naturally, that was everyone’s first assumption since we’ve already been blessed with Section. 80, Good Kid M.A.A.D City and To Pimp a Butterfly. With the last release from Kendrick being Untitled Unmastered which featured the ‘B songs’ from To Pimp a Butterfly, in 2016!
But the wait is over, with the release of ‘The Heart Part 4’. This is the the fourth instalment of the rapper’s ‘The Heart’ series.
All it took was 4:48 minutes for Kendrick to light the whole hip hop industry on fire. Immediately, at the song’s start, we recognise the sound of the song is different to the Grammy Award winning TPAB’s funk tone.
“Don’t tell a lie on me, I won’t tell the truth ‘bout you.”
These fighting words indeed set the tone for the whole track, as we are introduced to the hook. We can only wonder who the rapper is talking to or talking about, but by the end of the song it may be a little clearer.
Indeed, there are many targets Kendrick is shooting at in this song, either speculative or obvious.
“Donald Trump is a chump, know how we feel, punk
Tell ’em that God comin’
And Russia need a replay button, y’all up to somethin'”
Trump is of course an easy punch bag for rappers, with K-Dot referring to the allegations of Russia sabotaging the election.
But this is when it all gets interesting.
“My fans can’t wait for me to son ya punk ass and crush your whole lil shit
I’ll Big Pun ya punk ass, you a scared little bitch
Tiptoein’ around my name, nigga, ya lame
And when I get at you, homie, don’t you just tell me you was just playin'”
Fans immediately believed the rapper was referring to Big Sean here, retaliating from Sean’s ‘No More Interviews’ that seemed to refer to Kendrick, to which Sean rapped:
“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.”
“Look at the crowd, they (Nah, I don't like that)
Look at my smile, I'm smirking
Calm but urgent (That ain't the style, fuck)
So many verses, you live in denial (Fuck)
So many verses, I never run out, what?”
Kendrick uses a paper crumbling effect, similar to Nas’s ‘Book of Rhymes’, referencing artists under fire for using 'ghost writers'.
Naturally, when the topic of ghost writing comes up, only one artist comes to mind, Drake.
“Hoe, Jay Z Hall of Fame, sit your punk ass down (Sit yo' punk ass down)
So that means you ain't bigger than rapping (What else?)
So that means no more playing the back scenes (What else?)
My spot is solidified if you ask me (What else?)”
Many speculate this is referencing the Canadian artist, as recently both Drake and Jay Z have been throwing subtle jabs at each other, which Kendrick takes exception to. Kendrick even emulates Jay Z’s “What else” motif on DJ Khaled’s, ‘I got the keys’.
Kendrick finishes off with a climactic end that certainly let’s everyone know that Kendrick isn’t done just yet!
“Y'all got 'til April the 7th to get ya'll shit together”
April 7th will definitely be a highly-anticipated day in the world of hip hop, as many speculate this to be the fourth studio album from Kendrick Lamar!