issue 73

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Page 42 of 53

The evolution of Kendrick Lamar as the people's champion is arguably hip-hop's most captivating story in years. Having not dropped a project since Good Kid M.A.A.D City, and releasing only one single since the album, Kendrick has played it low-key, leaving us all waiting on his next power move. The stage is set for Kendrick to release something revolutionary. Having taken the scene by storm with his debut album, which was instantly deemed a classic by critics, Kendrick has elevated himself to the position of rap's greatest spokesman. If recent behaviour since GKMC is anything to go by, K-Dot looks set to excel in the face of such responsibility in phenomenal style. Kendrick had been making waves as a realist long before his major album debut, releasing tracks such as 'Fuck Your Ethnicity' and 'HiiiPower', and with his release of GKMC Lamar gave a hard-hitting insight into the life of a Compton native in legendary style. It was immediately clear that Kendrick was to be much more than a party- banger rapper and he has solidified his image as the people's champ ever since. Firstly, Kendrick shook the game up in a manner unseen since 50 Cent released 'How To Rob' when he dropped his infamous verse on Big Sean's 'Control'. The buzz this verse created was similar to that of a Drake album release; social media went wild and everyone everywhere was talking about it, rightly so. Kendrick said what everyone else in the scene had been thinking, that they were the greatest. In it he claimed "I'm Makaveli's offspring, I'm the King of New York, King of the Coast" and few could argue with him. Kendrick is arguably the closest rapper we have seen to Pac since his death - the way Kendrick utilises his position to voice his concerns or promote the truth is something unseen on such a platform since Tupac Shakur. Kendrick's release of 'i' in the autumn of last year gave us yet greater proof that he is the voice many had been waiting for. The skit before the track states "We got a young brother that stands for something! We got a young brother that believes in the all of us! Brother Kendrick Lamar!" This is exactly how Kendrick is to be seen. The track promotes a powerful message of self-appreciation even in the face of police corruption and gang warfare. K-Dot essentially advocates the idea that people must love themselves in order to be able to give love to others around them; how can one expect to be loved if they do not love themselves. Through 'i' Kendrick does not offer an answer to escape from the brutal realities of the world today, but a method for coping with such. It was 'i' that recently earned Kendrick his first (and second) Grammy, an accolade he was cruelly denied last year when Macklemore was awarded Rap Album of the Year over GKMC. This was deemed by many to be an act of redemption from the awards board, but it does shed greater light on the Grammys' attitude towards hip-hop and black culture as a whole. The day after the awards Kendrick dropped his upcoming single 'The Blacker The Berry'. Featuring lyrics such as "You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture" and a reference towards the tragically slain Trayvon Martin, 'The Blacker The Berry' delves further into the issues addressed in 'i' in a far more sincere tone. This latest release advances K-Dot's focus on the issues of self-esteem and black transcendence, and largely confirms that such themes will dominate his sophomore album. Kendrick is shedding layers of subtlety with each release and has set himself up to be the radical voice of black culture that many have long been waiting for. While many rappers since Pac's death have addressed such issues and radically spoken on behalf of black culture, none have been in the position Kendrick now occupies. In the aftermath of such critical and commercial success with his debut album, Kendrick stands alone. The debate about best rapper around at the moment is largely singled down to Kendrick vs Drizzy, and whilst Drake continues to produce hit after hit, he lacks the depth in his work to be seen as a champion of the people - his lyrics rarely go deeper than how much money he has, what woman he has or where he last partied. Drake's musical talent cannot be denied but his significance is less certain. On the other hand, everyone is aware of Kendrick's skill as a wordsmith and a deliverer of lyrics, and this combined with the depth of his subject matter, means he stands alone. It is up to Kendrick Lamar to carry the voice of the people, and it looks like he is set to embrace and excel in such a role. All hail King Kendrick. 7 43 Issue 73 / 2015 HIPHOP / RNB Kendrick Lamar is changing the face of hip-hop. Having caused a stir with his debut album, and delivered powerful statements with his latest drops, Kendrick is stepping into the shoes of Tupac King KendricK: KendricK Lamar might just become the most important rapper since pac

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