King Kendrick Lamar? – The Rizzle Report

Beef, Big Sean, hip-hop, Jay Electronica, Kendrick Lamar

The internet went kerrrrazy today when Big Sean dropped his newest song, Control ft Kendrick Lamar and the elusive Jay Electronica. Unless, you have been living under a rock, you will know that the following is true:

  1. Big Sean is regretting putting those two on the track with him
  2. Jay is annoyed that his otherwise solid verse is now an afterthought
  3. Kendrick has reignited an interest in lyrical content in commercial hip-hop (finally!)
For too many years mainstream hip-hop has become a watered-down version of itself. In fact, it’s almost veering towards parody (see: Trinidad James and 2 Chainzzzz) where fads, clothes and trap beats far outweigh the lyrical content that saw it ascend to the top of the charts from the mid 90’s until the mid 2000’s.
Aside from the regular big names such as Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, (who are as much ingrained in popular culture as they are in the hip hop culture they were born into), Kendrick Lamar is arguably the biggest star of the new breed of MC’s. He has been dropping stellar guest verses, as well as two critically acclaimed full length projects for a couple of years now but a popular debate that I’ve been having with my friends is whether he is just the best of a bad bunch or if he’s the real deal?

In his verse, he calls out the names of the “new n*ggas” who are currently deemed to be the hottest in the game and goads them to step their games up. Furthermore, he proclaims himself the King of New York, despite hailing from Compton. These friendly lyrical jabs are what hip-hop has been missing. The art of beef died a long time ago with 50 Cent’s popularity and has been replaced with a mediocre landscape where everyone is best friends and all appear on each other’s albums freely. While there’s nothing wrong with a beef-free rap game (vegetarian rap?), hip hop was about the survival of the fittest, from the best breaker, to the hottest DJ, to the most innovative graffiti artist. When there’s no competition, the standard stagnates and people don’t raise the bar.
Is Kendrick the king of New York? I think the question is who is actually representing fully for New York these days? A$AP Rocky isn’t the most lyrical dude, Joey Bada$$ has great potential but I worry about his ability to turn from underground hero to full on King like Nas or Biggie. Jay Electronica needs to put out his mythical album and stop relying on the plaudits of Exhibit C. The crown is there for the taking, so Kendrick is taking it.

As far as the other guys on the list, I think J Cole can match Kendrick lyrically but whether he will react is another issue. Drake is actually surprising me this year with the straight bangers that he keeps releasing (half of the tracks aren’t even making the album) and despite it being fashionable to hate him (shout out to Amanda Bynes), he is a solid lyricist with crossover appeal.
One thing is for sure – people are talking about lyrics in hip-hop again. Whether it will last and people will go back to poppin’ bandz and twerking remains to be seen, but either way, it will be an interesting watch.
UPDATE

KEVIN HART AKA CHOCOLATE DROPPA JUST RAISED THE DAMN BAR!!! IT JUST GOT REAL!!!

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My Beef With Twitter

Beef, Facebook, Twitter

So, in my last post, I sort of ‘not-so-subtly’ alluded to my beef with twitter.

Yes, if you look to the right you can see my personal twitter feed and some of my oh-so-witty comments coming through. Except, Twitter and I have a somewhat strained relationship and its taken me a while to realise it.

At the moment, there are two major social networking sites on the interwebs. Facebook and Twitter (RIP myspace – we barely knew ye). I love Facebook and even though it’s now been milked to almost an inch of it’s virtual life, it still remains one of those mainstays. You click on that ‘home’ button and you feel safe. You’ve got your different friendship groups from all walks of life. From primary school to college to work. I may not speak to them in real life but on Facebook we’re friends.

Then I get to twitter. Well, there’s not as many of my friends there… But there are celebrities so that’s gotta be cool, right? They must be putting the world to rights with some witty, entertaining but yet thought-provoking anecdotes. Well, nah not really. What with Tyrese unintentionally hilarious words of wisdom Chris Brown‘s grammatical errors, the celebs have been a let down (Usher, I see you son). The problem with these celebs is that many of their accounts are label owned so if you follow Jay-Z, for instance, then the most exciting tweet you get from him is ‘album out in stores now’ or ‘go buy my book’ or just ‘follow me’.

Shout-out to awesomelyluvvie.com

I guess out of all the ‘uber’ celebs, one of most entertaining, in my humble tweeting opinion so far has been probably….well…yeah…ok…I’m gonna say it. Mr Curtis Jackson 50 Cent. Yeah, I know. I hated writing that as much as you hated reading that. His tweets aren’t for that faint hearted but his stupidity does make for an interesting read.

Aside from the celebrity banter and what-not, the world of  Twitter seems almost…lonely. I guess with Twitter, you need to invest a lot of time into it and build up your own following because more often than not, you’re gonna have to promote the hell out of yourself *cough* follow me *cough* to get the most out of it. And this is probably where I’m failing.

See, in my head the stuff that I tweet is, in the words of Missy Elliot, da hot $h!t. There it is. I said it. I tweet works of art; things that I wouldn’t usually say in person. Comedy gold if you will. Sadly I feel like I’m largely unheard. The odd retweet here, the odd response there, just doesn’t quite cut the mustard with me. I want the million followers and I want to be following about 10 people. My ego needs to be caressed damnit and this Twitter thing isn’t satisfying the needs of a budding superstar in the making (of what, is neither here nor there).

I guess with anything new, it requires perseverance. Rome wasn’t built in a day, as they say. But I think for now, while Twitter has it’s quirks and is my secret little fling on the sizzide, Facebook will remain my wifey. For now anyway (follow me!).