'I'm Dressed in All Black, This Is Not for the Fans of Elvis ...'

Kendrick Lamar's latest is proof that he deserves comparisons to some influential rappers who have preceded him.

I need a second to absorb this verse, but Kendrick Lamar on this Big Sean, Jay-Electronica joint is basically insane (if unquotable within the august walls of The Atlantic).

The thing about this cat is he has lyrics and flows. That sounds like the most cliché praise ever. But frankly, I can think of about five MCs who repeatedly adjusted themselves to the track and also brought poetics to bear. I am not talking about Kendrick as compared to his peers, but Kendrick compared to, like, every rapper I've ever heard. This is like Xzibit meets Busta meets Cube meets Nas. This dude is king right now. 

Jay did his thing too, but I'm ready to hear that full-length joint.

Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In