At the age of 27, Kendrick Lamar may be on the verge of becoming the most influential rapper in hip hop. Those are strong words, considering the fact that Kanye West, Lil’ Wayne, Drake and others are all still at the top of their game. Nevertheless, 2015 could be the year that Lamar takes the throne.
We’re all awaiting with rapt attention for the follow up to 2012’s acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city, a masterful work of storytelling that articulated the struggle of a young kid growing up in Compton. That semi-autographical breakthrough album became an instant classic and now stands as one of the greatest hip hop releases of the past decade. Given the musical talent that Lamar possesses, his follow-up promises to be just as much of a gem.
Lamar flipped the script on everyone, though, with his late 2014 single “i” – a track that bares nearly no resemblance to his past work. Instead, the track fights for joy and hope, standing defiantly in contrast to past (and current) pain. The song was an immediate hit and could likely serve as a sign of what’s to come.
Lamar’s third studio album is allegedly complete and awaiting release sometime in 2015. According to the man himself, the only person to have a copy of the album is his 10-year-old brother. Lucky kid. The rest of us will have to wait – but hopefully not for much longer.
Kiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.