Monday, January 30, 2012

Kendrick Lamar Section 80 Review

Section.80 was my favorite 2011 mixtape. Unlike other Compton rappers, Kendrick Lamar has a quick hitting flow with unique beats. His style is also unlike many of his Compton predecessors. Rather than follow rappers like Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, Kendrick raps from the soul and speaks about current events. He does not bother to hide his disillusionment with his generation either. He openly voices how he feels, which makes me respect him all the more.

In one of Kendrick's songs, ADHD, is an irony about the power people get from smoking weed. Interestingly enough, Kendrick Lamar has elected not to smoke in order to be a role model to his generation. In today's rap industry, almost every rapper smokes AND raps about regularly.

Kendrick takes a different approach in order to distinguish himself in the rap industry. This certainly earns him my respect and it should earn yours.

Below is a song off of section.80.

ADHD - Kendrick Lamar


  1. First I would just like to thank Alec for introducing me to this track; being a first time listener of Kendrick Lamar, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after hearing “ADHD”, I was eager to listen to some of his other work.
    Subsequently listening to “High Power” and “Ignorance is bliss” I recognized that Lamar has a captivating voice over the softer, more steady style of beats on which he raps. He understands his audience, which shows through his lyrics that repudiate substance abuse; the most apparent example of this may be in the opening of his hook: “8 doobies to the face- fuck that”.

    Ironically, this track has anything but an “ADHD” rap-style (as we had previously mentioned in class). There is a clear holistic message and a simple focus to this song, not to mention that the message of not doing drugs is one that is unique compared to most other rap artists. The poignancy and truth about substance abuse of our generation is omnipresent, and the moxy that it takes for a rapper speak out against it is pretty… I was going to say “dope”, but I’ll go with remarkable instead.

    Bottom line? Lamar seems like a boss. Can’t wait to get into more of his music.

  2. I’ve never heard of Kendrick Lamar before this blog post, so this was very interesting to look into. I definitely respect the fact that he raps about positive things which is something we need in hip hop today. But I also listened to a lot of his other songs and I realized that he raps about a lot of the same things other rappers rap about. He is really not that different, he just uses different beats. And not all of his music is so positive and up lifting, for example “Blow My High”. But despite that he is a good rapper and I’ve already grew to like some of his songs like “Compton State of Mind” which is a remake of Jay Z’s “New York State of Mind” and his song “Rigamortis”. He reminds me of Saigon, Talib Kweli, and a lot of other rappers who are up and coming.

  3. I definitely agree with Alec and Abigail on Kendrick's unique style and surprising attitude towards drugs, especially weed, coming from Compton. As Alec stated, he is not like the other well-known artists from California who promote smoking weed (Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop, Cypress Hill, The Game). Despite their differing viewpoints, Kendrick has done songs all of them, except Ice Cube and Cypress Hill, and is well respected in the rap game.

    I think that Kendrick hasn't received as much popularity as others because he doesn't make radio-hits. In Wiz and Snoop's latest collaboration, Mac and Devin go to High School, they successfully connect to the younger generation, not hiding their use of and advocacy of weed, a prime example of not acting their age. Wiz was born in the same year as Kendrick and exemplifies the 80's baby turning to weed he talks about in ADHD. Their song "Young, Wild, and Free" consistently plays on the radio and is undeniably catchy (even my friend's mom was singing it). The song talks about drinking, smoking weed, and not caring because "we're young, wild, and free", quite the opposite to Kendrick's message.

    Kendrick has worked and is currently working with J. Cole, who has quit smoking weed, and they are promoting their Hiiipower Movement. Kendrick explained that "the three i’s represent heart, honor and respect. That’s how we carry ourselves in the streets, and just in the world, period." Kendrick definitely speaks passionately and with meaning, hopeing to influence those who listen to him in the right way. Many people believe Kendrick and J Cole are the future of rap, and I am excited to see what both these upcoming artists produce in 2012.

  4. After reading this post, I decided to listen to some of Kendrick Lamar's songs and familiarize myself with his music. I came across his song "Let Me Be Me" and found it particularly interesting because it relates to braggadocio and to our class discussion of "Song of Myself" and "I'm Me". In "Let Me Be Me", Kendrick demonstrates braggadocio when he says "I just wanna be me. No disrespect, but motherfuck you. My education stopped at a high school degree, but I can outsmart any high IQ". This reminded me of the song "I'm Me" that we talked about in class, specifically when Lil' Wayne says "Bitch I'm me. Baby I'm me, so who you? Fuck you. You're not me. And I know that ain't fair, but I don't care. I'ma mother fucking Cash Money Millionaire".

    Even though I found many similarities between “Let Me Be Me”, “Song of Myself”, and “I’m Me”, Kendrick Lamar’s lyric stood out to me. While all three employed braggadocio, Kendrick’s “Let Me Be Me” was the only one to also question the vanity and boasting. At the end of the song, Kendrick says “I used to want to be the messiah of Rap, infatuated with becoming a relevant star” and “Vanity, they say that it can damage me so do I really want it?” In class we talked about the religious references used in both “Song of Myself” and “I’m Me” to add to the braggadocio. Kendrick uses a similar reference here, saying that he “used to want to be the messiah of Rap”. However, unlike Lil’ Wayne and Walt Whitman, Kendrick goes on to show that this is just part of his past and that he now realizes that vanity can be harmful. He takes a different approach than most hip-hop artists, rapping about not doing drugs and not being vain. Overall, I like Kendrick Lamar’s music because I think that it contains a lot of really good, different messages.

  5. he smokes, he raps about not smoking because he doesn't want to promote it like other rappers do


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