Kendrick Lamar picks his best lyrical moment.
It's no secret that 2017's hip-hop scene has been dominated by one Kendrick Lamar. His most recent studio offering, DAMN., has already been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA and continues to rack up impressive sales plus streaming numbers more than six months after its opening release weekend. While hardcore Kendrick fans may differ on the overall quality of this album versus his previous work, one aspect of DAMN. that has received near universal praise from average listeners and critics alike is the lyrical growth. Harder-edged and more political than his previous records, Kendrick staked his claim as the best writer working in the game today. But what are the best rhymes he's ever written? The answer, according to the rapper, may surprise you.
While speaking with Vice as part of an i-D interview, Lamar was asked if he's written the perfect rhyme yet, at this point in his career. While the venerated emcee didn't offer up a "yes" or "no" response to that query, he did offer up an interesting piece of information instead: "FEAR," as far as he's concerned, contain the best lyrics he's ever written. "It's completely honest," he said. "The first verse is everything that I feared from the time that I was seven years old. The second verse I was 17, in the third it's everything I feared when I was 27. These verses are completely honest." The honesty wasn't necessarily there right away for him either. Lamar added that he came to this level of lyricism because of tight-knit studio support that made him, above all else, remain humble. "Everything you write is not dope," he remarked. "Even if you're a great writer, a bunch of the stuff you write is wack. But most people don't have somebody around to be like, 'That's wack.' I've been in that studio writing terrible verses, writing terrible hooks, with homeboys and friends and people that you trust telling you, 'That's garbage.' I grew thick skin and got back in there and did it all over again. And then you eventually grow an ability to know when something is too far. I learnt how to challenge myself to take it to the next level."
What do you think? Is "FEAR" Kendrick Lamar's greatest lyrical achievement thus far in his career? Sound off below.