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Story by: Saskia Jabalon
2015 was definitely a great year in hip-hop. We were blessed with some truly unforgettable tracks like Big Sean’s catchy “I Don’t Fuck With You” single and Drake’s mega-hit, “Hotline Bling.” Not to mention Fetty Wap‘s countless hits, or Rae Sremmurd’s endless turn-up anthems; and the list goes on. But all that only poses one question: Who was 2015’s MVP? Without a doubt we’ve got to look at the likes of Future, Fetty and of course the “6 God” himself, Drizzy. But there can only be one.
Future Hendrix for sure had an enormous impact on 2015 pop-culture, from a “Dirty Sprite” themed wedding to the countless memes and gifs galore. Fetty dominated the charts with his back-to-back wins with singles such as “679”, “My Way”, and other tracks. And Drake literally had back-to-back victories with his grammy-nominated dis track. But ultimately it’s Kendrick Lamar who won the title of 2015’s MVP and here’s why.
- To Pimp A Butterfly became an Instant Classic. In March of 2015, Kendrick released his second studio album, To Pimp A Butterfly, which would not only collect a few Grammy nominations (11 to be exact), but would also contest My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as one of the highest rated hip-hop albums of all time. K.Dot used his platform, not to sensationalize the drugs and money that now surrounds him, but to tell a story dedicated to his hometown, and give listeners a better look at the darker side of show-business. The deep concepts and raw artistry that this album delivers is nothing short of what we expected from the Compton rapper.
- Kendrick is still one of the best lyricists in the game: Besides the heavy funk and jazz influences that helped shape this super dynamic and authentic project, the message behind the lyrics is what really stands out. Kendrick used every song on the album to appeal to the younger generation in struggling neighborhoods similar to his own home of West-side Compton. He spoke on the horrors of living the fast-paced, destructive lifestyle that comes with his newly-found success and the crookedness of the authorities which he sees around him. K.Dot rhymes, “They give us guns and drugs call us thugs, make a promise to fuck with you, no condom they fuck with you, Obama say ‘What it do?'”.
- Kendrick took the risk: Although it did manage to reach the number one album spot on the Billboard 200, TPAB was clearly not made solely for commercial purposes. In 2015, there was no guarantee that an album reminiscent of James Brown would sell. It’s clear that TPAB is different from albums like Dirty Sprite 2, which was made to be blasted at parties, strip clubs, and other functions.
Along with giving us a colorful story where Kendrick is pictured battling Lucy and screaming in hotel rooms, the project also includes words from Tupac Shakur, and one thing is made clear: Kendrick is ready to pick up where the rap-legend left off.
Think someone else deserved the top spot? Think we’re buggin’ for picking Kendrick? Or are you on board with us? Hit us up on Twitter and tell us all about it: @TheEtherReport.