MobbDeen: Kendrick Lamar’s Motivational Plan

King Kendrick's comeback single meets the last "Control" response.
By    September 23, 2014

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Deen is two of a kind but one won’t survive

Is this it? This is what we’ve been waiting so feverishly for? Awwww man. I suppose I already tipped my hand on this one but for the slow amongst us I’ll go ahead and spell it all the way out: this ain’t it. In fact, let’s just skip the pleasantries and call a spade a spade: this shit sucks.

Kendrick and Rahki (the producer) and Ali (the unnecessarily popular mixer, but whatever) clearly put a ton of effort and thought into this song but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a boring piece of shit. Kendrick has always been a bit of a self-serious and righteous MC and the fact that this is a stinker isn’t necessarily a surprise, but I was hoping that he’d come with something better, given the scores of examples available to Kendrick and co. vis-à-vis how to navigate your sophomore album. Simply put, everyone knows that if you’re considered an elite level MC, you don’t go full Talib on a single. Especially not a first single. C’mon dawg. WTF? You just woke up on a Tuesday morning and decided that you wanted to dry up every vagina within Soundcloud’s radius? For fuck’s sake!

We should have known that shit was gonna go sideways when we saw the cover art with a pair of gang members pretending to be Gareth Bale or teenage while girls on Facebook (your choice folks – democracy is awesome sometimes). I just knew it was going to be some sanctimonious bullshit. And our nigga didn’t hold back at all. He just piled it on. Corny cliché after corny cliché. It’s almost as if Kendrick decided that not enough people have heard all the KRS-One albums after I Got Next. Well, young Kendrick, there’s a reason why we didn’t listen to that preachy bullshit: it all sucked. Trust me, I’m old enough to know these things.

Let’s go through all the fails in detail, so y’all don’t think I’m just being mean for the sake of riddling or whatever. There’s a fucking monologue from some loud preacheresque dickhead praising Kendrick. That’s always a no-no. “>The one Nas and DJ Premier collaboration we all kinda ignore, ‘Come Get Me’ had that bullshit in front of it too. If we all pretend that shit doesn’t exist, then what the fuck makes anyone else think they can get away with it? Humble yaself nigga.

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Then there’s the super obvious Isley Brothers’ sample. I fucking hate an obvious and barely altered sample. Then again, that shit might be a good thing for all the young muthafuckas that think Kendrick is the best thing since sliced Drake. So maybe I’ll forgive this offense. More Isley Brothers is always a good thing. Oh and if I HAVE to mention which song it is, it’s ‘Who’s th… nah, lil nigga, go ask your mother or uncle or some shit. You clearly don’t have a dad if I need to tell you which song that is.

And on to the worst offense of all – which I hinted at a lil’ earlier: this shit is part of what I consider to be the worst sub-genre of rap – positive motivational rap. In other words, Kendrick just made an outtake from Eminem’s last two albums. Honestly, I don’t know who listens to or likes this brand of rap and I don’t want to know these people. If you still buy Eminem albums, you probably didn’t mind when iTunes forced a new U2 album on you. If you still buy Eminem albums, then you’re probably a recovering addict of some sort and there’s nothing wrong with that, but you don’t deserve to listen to rap. Go listen to Taylor Swift and shake off your insecurities, bitch.

As far as Kendrick hooks go, this is actually half decent but I really don’t need to hear any rappers convincing me that they love themselves in the most obvious fashion imaginable. I can masturbate just fine, thanks. Pause. That said, I imagine that all the teens that don’t get to sit at the cool table might hear this shit and get a boost from or something. I also like the drum breakdown/beat ride-out at the end of the song, since that shit kinda renegaded Kendrick on his own shit. Kinda like Drake did on his last album, but let’s not dredge up any old shit.

Speaking of the Beige Gawd, I can totally imagine him sitting in his music/hookah room, listening to this weak shit and laughing his Canadian ass off. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s not as if he did much better with the first single from his sophomore album either. Actually, he did but ‘Headlines’ was trash too – but to his credit, we at least got to joke about him “catching bodies like that” and wearing Nike football gloves in the video while surrounded by a bunch of Canadian darkies. However, what Drake understood was that you’re supposed to go all triumphant heel on the first single from your second album. That’s how rappers keep the buzz going. If you don’t believe me, head to Wikipedia and peep the first singles off your favorite rappers’ sophomore efforts. Kendrick got the triumphant part right via the beat, then fucked it up with his Tony Robbins impression on the bars. Listen lil nigga, only Jeezy gets to motivate us rap listeners and even that nigga hasn’t been able to pull that trick off in a good minute.

And for those of you that think I’m just on some coon shit by reacting negatively to positive rap, you can suck all 7 of my dicks. Fuck you and your corny ass. I hope you find someone kind enough to share their orifices with you someday. How can you hear this shit and be happy, loser? Radio needs this shit? Well, maybe you’re right, but I don’t listen to the radio and I haven’t in 10 years. You know why? Because I’m not a loser. Fuck outta here.

There’s something to be said for putting your best foot forward and we all know that Kendrick is capable of much more than this. So I’m far from worried about the rest of his project. Word is that he has so much to say and share with us and I think that’s great. I just hope he doesn’t forget to entertain us – that’s the most important thing. You can try to pass on all the messages in the world via rap, but no one is trying to hear that shit if it ain’t bangin’. You gotta hide the medicine in some food bruh. Ain’t a thang wrong with a lil’ fun. Then again, Eminem’s continued success suggests that there’s a market for this crap – but he’s a white nigga that built his fan base back when folks still went to stores to buy music, so maybe that’s not the best model to replicate. But given TDE’s seeming infallibility despite their series of stinkers this year (yes, Q and Soul both shit the bed – but the former at least made us dance a little), Kendrick will probably be OK.

Let’s end this glorified rant with a quote from a good friend of mine about loving one’s self: “you know when I love myself? When I’m NOT listening to motivational rap, which is pretty much all the time.” Get it together, Kendrick. Ain’t nobody got time for this shit.

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