Tosten Burks is back.

At this point, nothing is hyperbole. A year since its release, Section.80 remains one of the blog era’s greatest triumphs, still profound, still staggeringly ambitious, still technically breathtaking. “A.D.H.D.” still stands as the song of a generation, not hurt at all by its blatant intention to be just that. This is real greatness. No exaggeration. And so, “Swimming Pools (Drank),” is the best hip-hop single of 2012.

All depressed confessions of the bottle and sparse, snapping ambience, it’s the best Drake song ever. Which means that, completely unaware of the irony, 18-year-old girls will take shots to it, the true modern-day metric of commercial success. I testify: this track is currently my Facebook status. An SDSU cheerleader just liked it. This is significant because the song features Kendrick rapping in an alien voice as his own conscience. Also, because I’m friends with cheerleaders. I joyously imagine the Interscope heads gasping at the beginning of the second verse, only to realize that their head is bobbing hard as fuck and they can’t get the hook out of their head.

I’ve been listening to this and “Cartoons and Cereal” back-to-back on repeat all day, hushed in excitement for good kid, m.A.A.d. city. The latter made me realize that I don’t care if there’s never another Outkast album, and the former sneaks that ATLien sensibility into a hit. Both on blast make evident that Kendrick is the best songwriter in rap right now. He is making compelling banger after compelling banger.

That there are unanimously high expectations for Lamar’s official debut cannot be understated, considering how many of the Internet’s greatest talents have stumbled before reaching this point. Mississippi savior Big K.R.I.T. got tired. Tyler got inescapably indulgent. The Cool Kids couldn’t negotiate. Yelawolf fell to the demons of pop and pandering. Curren$y settled for being a cult figure. Danny Brown has (wisely, to his credit) altogether avoided the question.

We really are in a brave new world where non-Kanye, non-Bawse hip-hop only charts with diva hooks or bushy eyebrows. Still no one’s figured out how to jump off Datpiff and debut with both commercial and artistic success. On October 2nd, I’m betting that Kendrick has found The Recipe. At this point, nothing is hyperbole. Not even hope.


MP3: Kendrick Lamar ft. Gunplay-”Cartoons & Cereal”

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!