Beyonce’s “I woke up like this, flawless” will forever be my self-love mantra, but Kendrick Lamar’s new single “I” is a worthy addition to the list of awesome personal empowerment anthems. Lamar, who was robbbbbbbbed of the Best Rap Album award at the Grammys, finally dropped the song today — a precursor to the release of his hugely anticipated sophomore album, due later this year — and damn will it have you bopping your head and shaking your booty. Featuring a sample from the Isley Brothers’ “That Lady” — Buzzfeed notes that the ’60s band was also sampled on rap classic like Ice Cube’s “It Was A Good Day” and Biggie’s “Big Poppa” — “i” is fun and joyful, while still full of Kendrick’s conscious lyricism and distinctive flow: Keep reading »
The Grammy Award nominees were announced last night and the results were about what you’d expect — lots of nominations for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Lorde, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry Justin Timberlake and, yes, Robin Thicke. I’m most excited that Kendrick Lamar got a lot of love, but am DISMAYED that Janelle Monae was overlooked. Check out the full list of nominees after the jump! Keep reading »
Robin Thicke has found a formula that works for him: Naked girls, plus rappers, plus the Futura font, equals a magical video experience. The video for his new single, “Give It 2 U,” features 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar, and brings the scantily clad ladies, previously found employing sheep to cover their naked bosoms, to a football field. The Albany Passionettes and the Alabama State Stingettes — two stellar dance teams — shake their booties, while grown ass women in cotton candy outfits prance around, carrying oversized, paper mache bottles of Brut. There’s a shocking amount of product placement; Thicke swigs from a bottle of Remy Martin, the models are delicately planted around the new Beats by Dr. Dre music players, and there’s a Mini Cooper that gets prime real estate. Thicke positions himself as a campy Lothario, a harmless middle-aged Glenn Quagmire type that you really can’t take seriously — but the song is gooooood. And here’s what else I like about this video, aside from the song, the dancing and the general lighthearted cheekiness: everyone in the video is given credit. The dance teams are named and the solo dancers are named, giving them a level of subjectivity not often seen in music videos. And I’m certainly not mad at that.
Kendrick Lamar was a Hump Day Hottie contender before I’d even seen his face. See, I’ve been crushing on his voice for months and months, ever since his songs “Swimming Pools (Drank),” “Poetic Justice” (featuring Drake), and “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” started getting regular airplay on my beloved Hot 97 morning show. Kendrick — who has a baby face, but is a ripe old 25 — is an example of a larger trend of underground hip-hop acts finding mainstream success. His first album, Section.80, was released independently and exclusively through iTunes in 2011, and quickly skyrocketed to becoming one of the top digital releases of that year, thanks to the large internet following he had grown organically.
His major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city, was released through Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope and Top Dawg, and he’s been busy touring like crazy with Drake and 2Chainz. Basically, Kendrick Lamar is one of the hottttttest dudes in the hip-hop game right now. His style in definitely influenced by his hip-hop heroes, like Tupac, Biggie, Dr. Dre and Eminem and Rakin, though I find his vocal quality and flow to be unique and refreshing. Doesn’t hurt that he samples Janet Jackson on “Poetic Justice” and wrote the hook I most like to improvise on while I’m showering (“Get it wet drank/Pour it out drank/Lather up drank/Rinse it out drank”). I happen to think he’s really cute too. Listen to a few of Kendrick’s songs after the jump and click through above for more pics! Keep reading »