Beats: Kendrick Lamar-Michael Jordan -

Beats: Kendrick Lamar-Michael Jordan

Bare with me for a second. Quick pop quiz ting.

Name me a rapper from LA. Snoop Dogg? Cool, that is correct. Name me another influential figure from LA hip-hop history. Dr Dre? Boom, two from two. You’re on fire. OK, how about someone who hasn’t been around for nigh on 20 years. Game? Good choice! Well done, you killed it son. 100% from the field.

Er, anyone else spring to mind?



All right, enough with all the questions. Enough with the #rapnerd condescension. But seriously, I’m making a point dammit.

With no disrespect to the aforementioned LA legends (no, not you Jayceon), please believe that these 3 are far from the most exciting individuals coming out of the Sunshine State’s hip-hop scene. Yes, it’s true. You no longer have to pin your hopes on an aging juice head and perennial album release date pusher who makes more P from shotting fashion accessory headphones than he does albums. You no longer have to pin your hopes on Beck’s new BFF, Katie Perry guest feature and Prince William’s official stag-do ‘anthem’ maker. You no longer have to pin your hopes on, er, Game.

OK, I’m gassing here but my point is this: LA has the best crop of young hip-hop talent out of any city in the world right now. Bold statement right?

Let me back it up with a few of my favourite examples. Blu & Exile – Below the Heavens & Johnson&Jonson & Her Favorite Colo(u)r & TheGODleeBarnes(lp), Dom Kennedy – Future Street/Drug Sounds & From the Westside With Love, Pac Div – Church League Champions & Don’t Mention It and lastly Tyler, the Creator – Bastard (and all that other Odd Future isht).

Make your way through that lot and try and disagree with me. Also interesting to note that all of these projects have been released as free mixtapes, bar Blu’s efforts which were still indie.

Another gentleman who you can add to that list is Kendrick Lamar. The Compton resident dropped his Overly Dedicated LP on itunes at the tail end of September (go cop if you feel to). Further proving that good music doesn’t need to rely on a major corporate machine to flourish, Overly Dedicated solidifies itself as one of the stronger releases of 2010. The release marks Kendrick as one of those very special rappers who manages to excel in a number of departments. He’s got the technical ‘rapper’ skills on lock; unique voice, delivery, flow and wordplay. He’s also able to tackle a number of real life topics with an emotional depth and insight that makes you really feel what he’s talking about. Boy can pick a beat too. OD flows seamlessly through its 13 tracks and gets better with each spin.

So if Overly Dedicated dropped in September, why am I hyping it now? Well, Kenny L (I’ve just made that nickname up) dropped the official video for his understated banger Michael Jordan. I bet 90% of the Hoopsfix mandem can relate to the opening line ‘I used to want to be like Michael Jordan, figured I would hit the NBA and make me a fortune’. As well as a nod to the undisputed GOAT of sports, Kendrick weaves tails of undisputed frivolity while dropping instantly quotable phrases like ‘Hello World, Kendrick Here’ & ‘Don’t Wuwwy’. Schoolboy Q’s guest verse is big too.

Check it out:

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