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Kendrick Lamar’s ‘6:16 in LA’ is ‘Do you want to see a dead body?’ in song form



Kendrick Lamar’s ‘6:16 in LA’ is ‘Do you want to see a dead body?’ in song form
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Editor’s be aware: The next article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the writer’s personal. Learn extra opinions on theGrio.

The phrase “he’s enjoying chess, not checkers” is one in all my least favourite in terms of rappers and their back-and-forths with each other. For one, I simply don’t suppose most individuals, not to mention rappers, are really that deep and suppose that far forward in terms of their opponent. Additionally, I do know far more individuals who can’t play chess than can, so really, most folk ARE enjoying checkers. To cite the nice thinker kings of the web, “It do be details, tho.” 

Nonetheless, I’m going to must amend that in terms of one Kendrick Lamar Duckworth (aka Kung Fu Kenny) and this present wahala he has happening with Aubrey “Drake” Graham. At this level in my life, I attempt to be as goal as I might be in terms of such issues, which wasn’t at all times the case. I nonetheless can’t take heed to MC Eiht in peace as a result of I’ve been a DJ Quik fan since I used to be 11 years outdated. God ain’t completed with me but. 

With regards to Kendrick and Drake, although, I really don’t even see them swimming in the identical swimming pools. I view Drake because the behemoth, pop star who gave up looking for “hip-hop” respect years in the past in favor of being the most important artist on the planet. I view Kendrick as extra of the considerate, hermit-like artist who works out his points and ideas artistically and creates the type of artwork we’ll be speaking about long gone his prime. To make the purpose, there are a number of books concerning the cultural significance of Kendrick Lamar; Drake “wrote” a “poetry” guide. It’s not the identical factor. I don’t wish to undersell Drake; he’ll go down as one of many largest rappers ever, however it will likely be extra for his accomplishments than the precise music, which I feel most would agree has turn out to be more and more vapid and uninteresting even when Drake’s recognition hasn’t waned. 

So this beef is fascinating. I’ve been fairly disinterested in it by way of no fault of Drake or Kendrick. All people else wading into it, together with AI rappers and Rick Ross, and the web’s lack of chill has made it much less fascinating. Oh, and who can neglect “The Apology” — I’m positive there will likely be psychology lessons on that in the future. “Like That” was enjoyable. “Push Ups” was cool. After which we waited. After which got here “Euphoria” a medical, considerate, incisive, complete PowerPoint presentation of a report that summed up, in an entertaining trend, all the points anyone with points with Drake has. I’m not an enormous fan of the entire “Drake isn’t Black sufficient to grasp American Blackness” as a result of he’s Canadian even when he did principally say that out of his personal mouth as soon as. I do suppose it makes for fascinating fodder; all of us blended youngsters are paying consideration — belief me. However all’s honest in love and that is struggle. “Euphoria” was a workshop in “the best way to make a degree” in a method that Drake’s “Push Ups” and even his ability set by no means could possibly be. The sheer quantity of references and Easter eggs in “Euphoria” alone make it one thing value finding out. 

Advisable Tales

If “Euphoria” was a workshop worthy of examine, then “6:16 in LA” is what occurs when that workshop chief makes use of a machete as an alternative of chalk. Kendrick REALLY doesn’t like Drake, and no matter private cause exists has given Kendrick inspiration to principally present us all what a useless physique appears like in musical kind. 

Like, it can’t be coincidental that the pattern Kendrick is rapping over is one the place Drake’s “uncle” Mabon “Teenie” Hodges (and his brothers Leroy and Charles) performed on the report. When Drake’s ties to the American Black expertise have been questioned, defenders identified swiftly that Drake has ties to the Memphis soul music scene by way of his father, musician Dennis Graham, and his adoptive uncles who labored with Al Inexperienced. Effectively, the pattern for “6:16 in LA” is Al Inexperienced’s “What a Fantastic Factor Love Is” from Al Inexperienced’s 1972 album, “I’m Nonetheless In Love With You,” whose musical personnel was none aside from Drake’s uncle Teenie Hodges and firm. That may’t be a coincidence, proper? 

After which for Kendrick to largely level out that no one in Drake’s camp really likes him and that he has sufficient insider data to know who really needs Drake to lose? Writing that out doesn’t sound that unhealthy, however listening to the report, with the vitriol with which Kendrick spits lets you know the way honest Kendrick is about making Drake look unhealthy. Kendrick’s entire modus operandi, at this level, is mentioning that no one likes Drake, that he’s a horrible individual and that, like Kendrick, no one ought to like him. 

Surprisingly, Kendrick instructed us he was about to do that in “Euphoria” the place he name-checked Drake’s “Again to Again” report — one whose affect was extra necessary than something stated on the report that basically made Meek Mill look gradual and unfit to battle Drake — after which went and did it. Drake took too lengthy to reply and effectively, right here we’re, a useless physique. 

I’m positive Drake will come again with a track quickly; he has to. Video clips of “10 Issues I Hate About You” aren’t going to chop it, not with the degrees of aggression and disdain Kendrick is firing off in his route. It’s all fairly entertaining, and I used to be wholly disinterested till “Euphoria” dropped. I can’t wait to see what comes subsequent, particularly because it cements residence an important facet of all of this beef that has but to totally be unpacked: 

Simply how disappointing it’s that J. Cole, essentially the most battle-ready of all of them, bowed out. 

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio. He writes very Black issues, drinks very brown liquors, and is fairly fly for a light-weight man. His largest accomplishment to this point coincides together with his Blackest accomplishment to this point in that he obtained a telephone name from Oprah Winfrey after she learn one in all his items (largest), however he didn’t reply the telephone as a result of the caller ID stated: “Unknown” (Blackest).

Be sure to try the Pricey Tradition podcast each Thursday on theGrio’s Black Podcast Community, the place I’ll be internet hosting among the Blackest conversations identified to humankind. You won’t go away the convo with an afro, however you’ll positively be on the lookout for your Afro Sheen! Hearken to Pricey Tradition on TheGrio’s app; obtain it right here.