Kendrick Lamar covers Complex

I’ve been wondering where Kendrick Lamar has been in the first half of 2014, but not without a worry either because he’s been letting his TDE co-stars shine with buzzworthy debut albums from Schoolboy Q & Ab-Soul. And after he headlined and closed Pitchfork yesterday, it’s not like he’s not busy. But the one thing we all hope he’s busy on is his 2nd album, which he briefly mentions in the cover story in the next Complex Mag.

K. Dot says he’ll “be ready for a fourth quarter release” and this gripping note:

I got a greater purpose. God put something in my heart to get across and that’s what I’m going to focus on, using my voice as an instrument and doing what needs to be done.

One more note to close the Macklemore and Grammys headline grabber from earlier in the year: “He (Macklemore) probably didn’t need to Instagram the text. But what’s done is done.”

Love that cover too with the Nas “It Was Written” second album parallel and the typewriter and crumbled up papers; how indicative is that of Kendrick’s current process for the 2nd album?? Read the full interactive cover story here.

Pitchfork Music Festival Day Three 7.20.14

With the festival closing its doors for Summer 2014, the last day was exactly what it was hyped to be. With top hip hop acts like Isaiah Rashad, Earl Sweatshirt, Schoolboy Q, and Kendrick Lamar sandwiched into one, anyone and everyone came through to bid this festival farewell for another year. Special thanks to Pitchfork for having us this year!

Day 1 Recap f/ SZA | Day 2 Recap f/ Pusha T & Danny Brown

Isaiah Rashad:

Recently signed with Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), Isaiah Rashad leads the Blue Stage with his rapid-fire raps and jazzy beats. SZA makes an appearance (hinted on Friday during her set) and shares the first song with her TDE brother. Shout out to SZA for saying what’s up though! Though Isaiah Rashad definitely went hard in his performance, he stumbled with the smoothness of his verses. At some points he was spitting verses so fast that his words clashed with the mellowness of his songs and the random air horn noises (for real did y’all hear that?)

Backstage w/ Isaiah Rashad
Backstage w/ Isaiah Rashad

Earl Sweatshirt:

Speaking directly to the crowd, Earl starts a sing-a-long during the first half of his set. Breaking it down to its simplest form, dude plays music teacher and lets us know, “this song is so easy, all you dumbasses can get it”. As we sung along with Earl about “fucking freckled bitches” in typical hype concert mode someone had to be extra and disrupt the flow. Literally. Seen from the middle of the stage, water was sprayed directly onto Earl as he continues the second half of his set. Typical Earl though, calls this dude out and keeps it moving. Between songs, Earl muses in and out onto sideline dialog about not growing up with a father and the people he has met along the way. Either way, his musings and quality of music kept everyone listening. Also shout out to Isaiah Rashad for the photo (excuse my excited cat face)!

Schoolboy Q:

Yo did Schoolboy Q bring his whole damn family on stage? What seemed like family reunion on the stage, his crew and Schoolboy Q hypes up the crowd by making his set an all-out bounce blow out. Even for those who can’t bounce (and y’all know who you are) got it moving as he commanded the crowd to well…get up and dance. Playing verses from some of his more popular features like Work, the bounce was so real throughout his entire set. So real that my feet went from my usual shade of yellow Asian Mami to Doo doo ass brown. My bad for whoever had to see my disgraced feet but whatever though…at least I got down to Collard Greens.

Kendrick Lamar:

Delayed for about 20 minutes, the stage was packed to the brim for Mr. Lamar himself. This was expected though as Kendrick was the talk of the show since day one. Using some of the same dope visuals from the Yeezus tour, Kendrick Lamar played crowd favorites from his 2012 album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City”. Playing his songs in full, Kendrick just shuts it down from the live band to his strong lyricism. From mAAd City to my personal favorite track Compton, Kendrick raps over the heavy sounds of his band and even dives back to his roots, shooting a tune from “Section.80″. Kendrick has definitely come far from the smaller stage of Pitchfork a few years back to now headlining and shutting down the festival. Props to you Kendrick, so excited for this album.

kendrick-lamar-pitchfork
Kendrick Lamar shuts down Pitchfork 2014

Kendrick Lamar karaokes rap songs

It’s been a slow year thus far for new K. Dot, but this week, XXL unearthed an entertaining, rare video for Kendrick doing karaoke… of rap songs. Watch him change his voice to a nasally 1999 Slim Shady for “My Name Is” and puff his chest for 50’s “In Da Club”.

Ab-Soul ‘These Days’ [Album Stream]

TDE fans are stoked with today’s release of the long-awaited debut album from Ab-SoulThese Days boasts features from his TDE teammates Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and SZA, along with Lupe Fiasco & Nikki Jean, Rick Ross, Jhene Aiko, Action Bronson, Danny Brown, upcoming Chicago band The O’My’s, and more. If you have been up on every preview and want the full album stream, proceed below. I haven’t dived into it just yet but did skip right ahead to the Kendrick Lamar Interlude that contrasts a chill, jazzy production that wonderfully goes solo at the end with K. Dot as intense as ever. The album can be copped now.

Mike Will x Future x Lil Wayne x Kendrick Lamar “Buy The World”

“Buy The World” is Mike Will’s new single featuring Future, Wayne, and Kendrick and looking at that lineup, I figured this would be a pretty hard pump up track. Instead, it’s more of a chill, laid-back record with Future lacing the hook, Wayne switching up the flow (is he biting the first half?), and Kendrick slickly lacing some fast raps. I thought K. Dot was the clear highlight on this one, where I unfortunately wasn’t vibing with the hook or production. Listen below and gather your thoughts on it (off Mike Will’s Def Eardruma/Interscope debut album, Est. In 1989 Pt. 3.)

UPDATE: Chicago’s own Tapez co-produced this with Mike Will himself. CDQ/No Tags below.