To be sure, Kendrick Lamar is not your average everyday rap savior. The Compton star rose predictably fast following the release of his instant classic, good kid, m.A.A.D. city, one of SPIN’s Best Albums of 2012 and our reigning Best Hip-Hop Album to boot. Today, he’s the Hottest MC in the Game, so it should come as no surprise that the guy is in demand. Still, that doesn’t mean he’s gotta take every gig.
MTV recently visited our respect-deserving pal Chris Brown in the studio to discuss his in-progress sixth album, X. In addition to revealing that Diplo produced the forthcoming single “Fine China,” and that the R&B goon also plans on expressing himself through his paintings (?), Brown shared that the LP’s titular track will feature Kendrick Lamar. To be frank, that bums us out. Where’s the law, or order, in that?
This news comes hot on the heels of the release of two new Kendrick collabs. Above, you’ll find the video for “We Up,” a new 50 Cent single featuring Lamar. The former raps about the drama that comes with “corporate acquisitions, accumulations of wealth,” while Lamar brags about buying choppers and Bibles. They show off their fancy things and use women as props. It’s major cliché, but K Dot sounds great.
Below, you can stream Gee Watts’ “Watts R.I.O.T.,” also featuring Kendrick. The Kansas City upstart takes a much more sober approach to his rhymes and subject matter, unspooling hood tales and (ironically, considering our previous paragraph) dissing “clowns jiggy-rapping.” Lamar drops an excellent line that you can almost imagine him researching for accuracy: “You ain’t rulin’ shit / I’m Rick Rubin in ’85 with the beard thick.”
The guy’s diamond mind shines no matter the setting, but he best be careful: Brown-nosing’s only guarantee is getting shit on your face.