Kendrick Lamar is the best rapper on the West Coast


Grammy-award winning artist Kendrick Lamar has risen to the top of the rap game

Hussein Murray, Staff Writer

On both the East and West coasts, rap is one of the more popular genres of the current generation.

However, who is the best in the game today? Who deserves the most recognition for his/her work in rap?

Many might argue Drake or Perhaps J Cole. Maybe someone might hold up a forgotten Dreamchasers album and say Meek Mill. Who can forget Detroit’s own Eminem?

Well, there is no question that the most powerful rapper in music has to be the good kid from the mad city, Kendrick Lamar.

People have a tendency to look at the marketability of rappers, something that Drake absolutely dominates in. Lamar isn’t as appealing in this regard.

Lots of fans today focus on the modern culture in music and forget the classic style that Kendrick has a tendency to utilize. However, upon listening to his music, he might be one of the few rappers who consistently has meaning in his lyrics.

Kendrick’s first platinum album “good kid, m.A.A.d city” contains many songs that are forgotten, despite his true dominance in lyricism.

One of these songs,  “Swimming Pools,” is probably the most frequently listened to on the album. In this song, Lamar attacks alcoholism, despite the fact that the lyrics were misinterpreted by many who listened to the song. “Swimming Pools” peaked at number 17 in the top 100 in the thirteenth week since the debut of the single.

Other prominent songs include “Compton,” “Sing About Me,” “m.A.A.d city” and “B***h Don’t Kill My Vibe” which have meanings in their own light.

This album would be named one of the Top 100 albums of all time by “Rolling Stone.”

However, Lamar would top himself with what is widely considered by critics to be the best rap album of 2015 with “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

This album was a move away from popular hip hop by Lamar to an album with more power and meaning.

The most well known song of this album is “Alright,” which has had a large influence on the Black Lives Matter movement.

While “Alright” may be the theme of a powerful movement, the entire album itself covers issues regarding police brutality, racism, self-struggle and escaping from Compton.

Of the songs in this album,“i,” could be considered the most critically acclaimed, receiving Grammy nominations for best rap song and best rap performance. Lamar would go on to receive several Grammy nominations for it.

The song “i” is known for its ideas of empowerment, and its flow along with the production value may explain its popularity.

“To Pimp a Butterfly” also put Lamar on Time Magazine’s 100 list of most influential people of 2016.

People may argue for other rappers given that they believe that rival rappers have better producers and recording labels. While this may be true for people such as Drake, Kendrick may hold the title as the most lyrically talented. Take a look at some of his songs and many can find the meaning and power behind his lyrics.

Despite the fact that his style might not represent the most popular at the moment, he showcases his talent through the poetic use of his words. Rappers like J Cole have praised him for his talent, and West coast legends such as Snoop Dogg and Doctor Dre have given Kendrick the title of “the king of the West Coast.”

A tough comparison to make is between Lamar and current riser, J Cole. Both include lots of powerful storytelling in their lyrics and have immense talent.

However, what distinguishes the two might be Lamar’s use of politics in his lyrics. Lamar tackles important issues by personalizing his lyrics in songs such as “The Blacker the Berry.” Cole on the other hand talks more about life from a personal standpoint.

The artist also includes lots of deep background and meaning behind all parts of his album. The name of his album, “To Pimp a Butterfly” actually holds significance. He also includes a poem that he actually proves he is reciting to Tupac Shakur in the song “Mortal Man.” The entire album is about the struggles of life and fame as a whole.

Lamar’s lyricism and talent is unmatchable by lots of rappers in today’s day. His style, while more classical and more of a mixture of jazz, poetry and rap, reflects that talent very accurately and profoundly when being compared to his counterparts.