Kendrick Lamar and Black Thought
I don’t know if there are any other two artists who are as talented, yet artistic integrity remain intact as these two. They’re two of the most celebrated rappers of their respective eras because their values hold true through their music.
Kendrick and Black Thought are aces when it comes to getting the most out of an instrumental.
We all remember “Control.” Yeah, Kendrick bodied it and made a moment out of his 32-bar set, but what really made that song stand out was Kendrick’s delivery. Any top tier rapper is going to kill a beat, but Kendrick gave that song a heartbeat (no pun intended). Something about the way he punched in took that verse to the next level to set it apart from anything else that happened around it. The name drops were just icing on the cake.
Where do you start with Black Thought? When I heard Black’s verse on Pharoahe Monch’s “Rapid Eye Movement” I had to stop the record – “What the fu*k am I listening to right now? Run that back.” Thought is like the basketball player who shot 100 shots a day to perfect his jumper. You can’t sleep on this guy for one second. His attention to detail seems very meticulous, but you can tell that it comes easily to him.
Both of them may be top 10 rappers right now skill wise, but what makes it all make sense is that they are substance heavy rappers.
When Kendrick Lamar bursted onto the scene fans rejoiced the fact that someone was going to talk about what was really going on in the forgotten areas of America in 2014. Songs like “Kiesha’s Song” touched hearts. “Swimming Pools” was Kendrick’s radio reach, but nobody can accuse him of compromising his art in the process.
Black Thought’s career with The Roots has been built on substance. The collective has managed to stay afloat in the fickle world of hip hop with live instrumentation, content dealing with issues bigger than hip hop, and Black Thought’s penchant for putting it together with carefully crafted verses. ¨What They Do¨ was Black criticizing rappers’ lack of originality, ¨Dear God 2.0¨ was Black Thought touching on societal issues. All the while killing it lyrically.
Kendrick and Black Thought have yet to cross paths in any form, aside from Kendrick’s performance with The Roots on “Fallon” and obviously Black Thought wasn’t there. There have never been any talks of the two working on new music or any infamous studio pictures of the two either.
How Do You Think It Would Sound?
If Kendrick and Black Thought were to finally get on a song together it would have to be something of substance. ¨Kiesha’s Song¨ meets ¨Dear God 2.0.¨ The beat? Dark to reflect the mood of the song. The dream sequence would be Black Thought leading in, Kendrick on the second verse, and then a back and forth session until somebody taps out (pause). A rap off, but really rapping about something – with substance.
Hopefully we get it one day, but until then…
Why haven’t they collaborated yet?