Kendrick Lamar | Backseat Freestyle Vid
Lamar goes Black and White in Paris
Fans of Kendrick Lamar have something new to squeal about. The latest famous kid from Compton released his all-B&W video for track three from the hipster-herding good kid, m.A.A.d city yesterday, “Backseat Freestyle”. (Watch it here)
“Backseat” is one of the catchier cuts off of good kid, blending booming bass and a two-step beat with industrial clangs and a healthy split of chill and fast-lipped rhymes. It’s not really a track for the “whole family” (though Lamar’s “dad”[?] does make an appearance around 1:30 in the video, to reprise his Oscar-worthy “Where my mother-fuckin’ dominoes at” tirade); lyrics range from the polygamal “Damn I got Bitches / Wifey, Girlfriend and Mistress” to the phallic optimism of “Pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower / So I can fuck the world for 72 hours”. This last point Lamar drives home by lip-synching from a flag-draped podium on the Champ de Mars. Over-blown as it may seem, it turns out to be one of the more impactful moments of hip-hop hubris I’ve seen.
Also for the delight of fan boys, the infamous Sherane joins Lamar in the monochromatic fun (at 2:33) and does something between the open clamshell doors of a low-rider that I can only explain with a quote from the comment section: “SHERANE’S BOOTY = WORTH THE TROUBLE”.
There’s no doubt Kendrick Lamar has a high bar to try and leap in 2013, or whenever he decides to release his next album. good kid, m.A.A.d city earned the coveted #1 spot on Pitchfork’s Top 50 Albums of the Year, and has been passed around as a mind expanding hit in the stereos of flannel-wearers countrywide. But I’m not one for hero worship. Whether it’s a long wait until Lamar’s next kissed release, or a dry desert waiting for a hit that never comes, you may need some tracks to tide you over after listening good kid into the ground. Here are a few artists that might do the trick.
I first heard Cadence Weapon about 6 years ago when I got hooked on the twitchy tracks “Sharks” and “Black Hand”. Refining his cerebral style since debut album Breaking Kayfabe, Cadence (Rollie Pemberton) delivers smart rhymes with nice production and just the right amount of flow. Hope in Dirt City is a great listen.
Though Southern rather than West-Coat, Big K.R.I.T. easily satisfies the “cruising” mood that informs several of Lamar’s tracks. Return of 4Eva in particular is also an authentic street-level view of life on par with Lamar’s observations and stories on good kid. Also, the opening skit will help hold you until the next great phone call from Kendrick’s mom.
People may discredit Donald Glover because he’s a TV actor or for writing nerd-giggler lines like “Busy getting brain like Krang”, but what Lamar is doing for the “West Coast Gangster” style, Glover is doing for Hip Hop as a whole. Though he only has one album under his belt, Camp is as heartfelt as any of Lamar’s tracks and stands up to repeat listens even better. If you can get past Glover’s every-man voice, here there be treasure.
Tyler, The Creator
Darker and infinitely more schizoid than Lamar, Tyler, The Creator sounds worlds apart but really isn’t. He’s playing more to the lighter fringes of what midnight-black acts like Death Grips and Captain Murphy are nailing, but like Lamar his tracks carry that certain thread of the struggling sounds of youth working itself out.
That’s just off the top of my head as inspired by a Twitter question (follow me @soundsofdwa for more), so I’ve probably missed some good and relevant artists. But that’s why we have a comment section. Light it up, reader.