I heard the barber shops be in great debates all the time about whose the best MC’s – Kendrick, Jigga, or Nas?
There’s a certain stigma in the air these days. Ever since the release of Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp A Butterfly the music world has been in a frenzy as hip hop’s young King hurdled the sophomore slump and dropped one of the most critically acclaimed projects since his last LP Good Kid m.A.A.d. City.
The praise has been overwhelming as TPAB has become one of the most well reviewed albums of all time rendering Kendrick a perfect 2/2 in terms of major label debuts. He’s sold platinum albums, been crowned as a great of his generation, and has collaborated with a slew of greats from past and present. Still there are things that Kendrick has yet to do and one of them is more obvious than you think…
If there are any artist who know the feeling Kendrick is feeling these days it’s none other than Nasty Nas. Plenty of artists have dropped classic LP’s, but Illmatic remains special for the fact that a 21 year old Nas came into hip hop and immediately snatched the juice. It was the first album to be awarded the coveted 5 mics from esteemed hip hop publication The Source and most importantly, it put every other rapper on notice and forced them to step their game up. What made Nas special was his authenticity. There was no flashy lights, gimmicky attire, or ill backstory. It was simply his raw talent and life experience that brought him to the forefront.
The same can be said about Kendrick Lamar. In a time where the rap game was enamored with southern style trap production or cold ambient backdrops, Kendrick skipped the nuances and brought concepts, storytelling, and the entire west coast back. While some may have been doing it already, none of them had the impact that Kdot did.
Their are other similarities in Kendrick and Nas’ characters as well; the project window kid who found himself dabbling in the streets, and the call to action for the black community to step up and reform. Both rappers are remarkable story tellers, bringing you directly into the scenes whether you’ve lived the lifestyles they speak about or not.
So what would this one sound like?
Well after To Pimp A Butterfly, it seems as if Kendrick is willing to take a leadership within the Black community and it’s no secret where Nas stands on these issues. The two are militant in their words and critical of American politics. With that subject matter this could be one of the most socially responsible records of all time, and at the very least a very dope collaboration.
But there’s one piece missing….
Okay, we’re going overboard, but that’s what this is about.
So they’re both hip hop royalty, both lyrical assassins and socially aware, and both have a high level of respect for each other. The reasons are plenty, but until it happens…
Why haven’t they collaborated yet?