'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 to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

From This Author

Just In