The Kendrick Chronicles: Untitled
“Untitled 05 | 09.21.2014”
Easily the most digestible and nostalgic song on this project. The easy blues feel and amazing soft vocals from Anna Wise eases your mind and spirit before Kendrick and a few guests steal the show. It sticks with you deep in your soul, it’s a feel good record. Kendrick Lamar debuted parts of the first verse during the 2016 Grammies, the same night he went on to win five awards. It adds to the overall cohesiveness of this project, and serves as the perfect song to start the second half of the album. Like every song before, and after this one, the beat enters your spirit and activates your mind.
More than anything what stood out to me the most was how Kendrick, without even trying, further separated himself from the pack. The way he unleashed on this song should put the rest of the game on notice. Not only does he rap circles around T.D.E. label mates, Punch and Jay Rock, he absolutely annihilates them. The track is shredded to pieces after the first verse.
“I got 100 on my dash, got 200 in my trunk, name in the grab bags, put my bible in the trunk.”
Kendrick Lamar explodes onto this record with bars filled with anger and aggression. You can FEEL his passion bleeding out of his voice, it grabs a hold of you and refuses to let go. You get the sense that this is Kendrick’s breaking point with all the social inequalities towards the minorities. His voice puts you in a weird space, you want to turn up because you can feel Kendrick’s energy, but at the same time, he’s preaching the word to you. I’ve never rewound a track back so many times just so I can study the artist voice and tone. Forget the bars and his message for a second, the way he put his all into that first verse signalized the beginning of the end for anyone thinking of hopping on the track with him.
“See I’m livin’ with anxiety, duckin’ the sobriety, fuckin’ up the system I ain’t fuckin with society, Justice ain’t free, therefore justice aint’ me, So I justify his name on obituary, why you wanna see a good man with a broken heart?”
Kendrick uses the rest of his solo first verse for deeper self reflection, his words paint the perfect picture of a genius at work. Other than maybe J. Cole, Kendrick is the best story teller in Hip-Hop, play this record at full blast if anybody else tries to you otherwise.
“Now I’m thinkin’ to myself, hollow tips is all I got, Now I’m drinkin’ by myself, at the intersection parked, Watch you when you walk inside your house, You threw your briefcase all on the couch, I plan on creeping through your fuckin’ door and blowin’ out, Every piece of your brain until your son jump in your arms.”
This leads us perfectly to the part where Kendrick out shines his counter parts. He is so far ahead of, Punch and Jay Rock, in every way possible. It kind of reminds me of Tupac’s “Hit Em Up,” where Tupac comes in blasting from the first verse and taking down his enemies at the same time. I have always felt that the Outlawz had no business on that record, they couldn’t match his flow, his message or his energy.
I envision a prime Kobe Bryant taking on a junior varsity basketball player, a massacre in other words. No disrespect to the Outlawz at all, but that was Pac’s song, same thing here. There’s stars and there are superstars.
Even though this is no diss record, I couldn’t help but get that comparison out of my head. The whole time, spin after spin, that’s the only thing I could think of. Yeah, the Tupac and Kendrick has always been there, I feel he’s Pac 2.0, but it’s records like these that make that comparison almost undeniable. We are truly witnessing a master of his craft.