kendrick lamar i

The wait is finally over: Kendrick Lamar is back with the first single from his forthcoming sophomore album. With Rakhi (“Black Boy Fly”) behind the boards sampling “Who’s That Lady” by The Isley Brothers, TDE’s leading man preaches peace and love — most importantly, love of self — on “i.” The world’s been wondering whether King Kendrick can follow-up good kid, m.A.A.d city with another classic album, and this is a promising first sign.

Listen below…

New Music: Kendrick Lamar – “i” (prod. by Rahki)

Andy B.: I’m probably not the only one who sat there thinking, “wow, this wasn’t what I expected at all” when I heard those opening chords. Then again, should we really expect Kendrick to come through with a club record? That’s never been his style (for those bringing up “Swimming Pools,” listen to the lyrics again, folks). Although I’m not madly in love with the song right now, it really brings me back to that time Kendrick recalled having a vision of 2Pac. That shit has always stuck with me. “Don’t let the music die,” ‘Pac told him. And after listening to “i,” I’m truly grateful he hasn’t.

Mikey Fresh: Bridging the gap between making songs that sound great and actually uplift hip-hop is probably the hardest thing to do for any rapper today. It’s way easier to just shoot up the club on your record while taking every drug in the book to make em’ dance. Then, comes King Kendrick with “i” — where he forces everyone to ‘love yourself’ — as Pharrell said the result is “Brilliance.” Breaking the mold once again, K. Dot shines as he raps in-pocket and introduces a new flow.

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