Kendrick Lamar. What else?

“I came up in the ’80s and early ’90s, when “haters” didn’t exist, just opinions…you had a right to disagree and you kept it moving…Back then, it was just called having an opinion.” – J-Zone (from his book, Root for the Villain)

If you ever want to throw some Hip Hop head’s a curveball and have them question the validity of your Hip Hopness just tell them that you think Kendrick Lamar is overrated. Man, even as a joke, it’s worth the reaction from die-hards. Look, there is Hip Hop beyond K-Dot, people. I love apples – Honeycrisp are BOMB. But they’re not the only variety and I don’t care if you enjoy them as much as me or not.

What follows are some tracks that came out around the same time that Kendrick dropped good kid, m.A.A.d city. The way the internet was buzzing about how amazing this album was going to be leading up to it’s release you woulda thought that Facebook finally added a dislike feature. I got caught up in the excitement of the future of Hip Hop myself. With an iTunes gift card I copped the project and…meh. I wasn’t that impressed. I wanted to be. I liked a few tracks but overall was unimpressed. The kid has flow and can rhyme but – maybe it was the production, I don’t know. My point is I was disappointed and I found myself alone in that regard. Everyone was loving it. And I know Hip Hop. Trust me. If ever there was what Aceyalone calls A Super Human Hip Hop Head…that’s me. But whatever, whatever with that. There was quite a bit of good music that came out around the same time that Mr. Lamar dropped his “game changer.” Below are a few of those that I still listen to with the same excitement that I wished I shared with people who ask, “have you even heard good kid?”

See what you think. Maybe you missed some of these in your overwhelming enthusiasm for Kendrick’s release:

1. This Bambu track is off his project …One Rifle Per Family that I still keep at arm’s reach. If you still aren’t bumping this dude’s projects, you have weekend homework.

2. When Substantial dropped this one, I made sure to include it on my end of the year list and tried to get everyone I know to add it to theirs.

3. Oddisee!

4. Brother Ali.

5. Homeboy Sandman

6. This Skyzoo joint is a bangerrrrrr. Great for workouts.

7. Joey Bada$$ needs the kind of exposure Kendrick gets.

8. The Coup still making you think after all these years.

9. Big Boi is making music for everyone – Hip Hop heads, electronic folks…everyone.

10. I’m not a big fan of Danny Brown but this one right here…

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