In Beyoncé-like fashion, Kendrick Lamar released the fourth installment of his “Heart” series this past Thursday.
Fans and hip-hop junkies alike were on the edges of their seats earlier in the day when Lamar wiped his Instagram clean and posted a cryptic image of the Roman numeral “IV” in white type on a black, leathery background.
While there was speculation over what the image meant, it was chalked up to be the announcement of K-Dot’s upcoming project, and everything simmered down for a couple of hours.
Later that night, Lamar sent the internet into a frenzy when he dropped “The Heart Part 4” on Apple Music.
On the 4:50-minute-long track, the “To Pimp a Butterfly” rapper addressed claims of ghostwriting and a handful of figures who’ve been in the news for their “bad” behavior.
However, while it’s admirable that Lamar addresses problems in the real world, we’re here today to talk about the rappers put on King Kendrick’s hit list — Canadian pop star Drake and rapper Big Sean.
The song starts off on a mellow note with Lamar discussing his earnings, travel and some other cutesy things that are irrelevant because of what happens next.
If you’re following along, we’ve reached the 1:20 mark, where the beat fades out and Lamar says,“My fans can't wait for me to son ya punk-a--.”
And then the beat drops.
Here Lamar begins addressing Big Sean and his very “meh” diss from October 2016 on a song called “No More Interviews.”
While Lamar doesn’t eviscerate Sean, he puts the Detroit rapper on notice once more. Almost like a “you don’t want these problems” warning shot.
Lamar spends the rest of the song sonning Drake in various ways. Initially, the song felt like Big Sean’s funeral, but when you look at the lyrics and style in which Lamar put the song together, Sean is the appetizer while Drake is the main course.
Lamar addresses Drake’s ghostwriting saga, top five/best rapper claims and Drake’s odd obsession with rap veteran Jay-Z.
While Lamar never mentions either rapper by name, he uses their sayings and/or part of their own initial disses against them.
It’s great when rappers do this, as it displays the creativity that was put into the track.It’s really easy to name drop and say mean things about someone, but taking someone else’s bars and using it against them — that’s one of the greatest things about the rap game.
And that’s what Lamar does. He brings an almost nostalgic, competitive element to rap that oftentimes is missing in contemporary hip-hop.
Those who enjoy this aspect of hip-hop can look forward to Lamar’s next release, which, according to the last line on “The Heart Part 4,” appears to be due soon.
“Y'all got 'til April the 7th to get y'all s--- together.”
Marissa Walker is a senior media arts and design major. Contact Marissa at firstname.lastname@example.org.