"Truthfully I just started rappin' to get away," Compton MC Kendrick Lamar tellingly raps midway through his first verse on the muted-soul of "Heart Pt. 3." It's a stark moment of honesty from a rapper well known for autobiographical insight. But to borrow a De La Soul track, the "stakes is high," now. Between a BET Award for "Lyricist of the Year," a feature as a XXL 2011 Freshman, and a bevy of rave reviews for his Section. 80 LP Lamar has the weight of West-Coast hip-hop on his shoulders. Tomorrow his good kid, m.A.A.d. will drop in stores, and his entire crew is betting the house on its success.
The pressure is palpable in his rhymes, as he name-checks West-Coast legends: 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, & Dr. Dre. and admits his, "biggest fear is not feeling accomplished." At times his voice approaches a rasp, as he struggles to let every last gasp of his hip-hop soul out. This all or nothing desperation is buoyed by the Black Hippy Crew, with major-label outcast Jay Rock recounting his struggles and "secret weapon" Ab-Soul acknowledging "we never asked for no hand out." Near the track's end, Kendrick confesses "I put my whole life in these 12 songs, my fight in these twelve songs." It's a fight only Kendrick can win, and come Oct. 23 we'll see the results.
"Heart, Pt. 3" ft. Ab-Soul & Jay-Rock