Kendrick Lamar & The Sophomore Slump

Kendrick’s first album good kid m.A.A.d City has been called a modern classic. A quintessential piece of music for a new generation looking for legends. Whether the album will hold up as well as Illmatic or The Blueprint remains to be seen, but there are more important things looming… a follow up. Since the release of gkmc Kendrick has added several scene-stealing verses to his resume. More recently he has released a single. is far from what anyone expected for the west coast representative. A soulful Isley Brothers sample, an unorthodox message and that hair? Many enjoyed the song, but some were left worried and uncertain.

He performed the song on SNL with his hair half braided, black contacts and old-timey dance moves. He brought a great band and back up singers with him and the performance was amazing. After watching it a dozen times, and having my mind blown by the freestyle finale, I realized that I was excited to hear whatever Kendrick had to offer with his second album. It became clear that he was looking for something different, and he didn’t want just make another good rap album. Obviously he’d be rapping, but he wants different sounds and he wants to get new reactions out of us, his audience. Good or bad, Kendrick is experimenting.

You hear it even more during his performance on The Colbert Report. A jazzy, somber track where Kendrick talking to an Asian, Indian, black and white man before declaring “We don’t die. We Multiple!” He’s assisted by Terrance Martin, who provides the stellar saxophone solo, Bilal and Thundercat. This song is more left field than and its possibly better. As of right now, we have absolutely no clue what this album is going to sound like. I think the uncertainty is more exciting than anything else. Kendrick is a young man trying to grow as a person and his music is reflecting that.Unfortunately he doesn’t have the luxury of a Jay Electronica to travel the world and not deliver an album. Therefore, we are going to get the product of a man going through his transition, and the results may be underwhelming or surprisingly good. Maybe Kendrick Lamar’s second album will be like It Was Written and gain appreciation overtime, or the mainstream will love it and Hip Hip heads will disown the project. There are so many possibilities with what we’ve heard so far. The man is well aware of what his next albums means and that pressure has hindered the creativity of countless before him.