Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kendrick Lamar - "i"/"The Blacker the Berry"

"i" is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar, released on September 23, 2014 as the lead single from his upcoming, yet-to-be-titled third studio album. The song heavily samples "That Lady", as performed by R&B group The Isley Brothers, elements of which were re-recorded rather than being directly sampled from the original record. The song, produced by Rahki, debuted and peaked at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song received critical acclaim from music critics. The track was placed at number ten on Rolling Stone '​s 50 Best Songs of 2014 list. Billboard listed "i" as the second best song of 2014. "i" also was placed at number 14 on Spin's list of "The 101 Best Songs of 2014". "i" received the award for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 2015 Grammy Awards.

The Guardian:
The Boi-1da and Terrace Martin produced track comes in anticipation of his followup to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and echoes Lamar’s previous comments regarding the police shootings of 2014.

“What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us? It starts from within. Don’t start with just a rally, don’t start from looting – it starts from within,” he told Billboard in an interview, which led to comments from artists such as Azalea Banks and Kid Cudi, who criticized the way in which Lamar laid the blame on black youths.

Lamar is no stranger to addressing issues surrounding crime, race and violence: on the track "Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst" featured on Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, he addresses the psychology of the victim in a shooting. “That’s the most interesting story to me,” he said in an interview with the Guardian. “At first, I was scared to show fear because you can never be sure how people will perceive you. But I dared myself to do that, to stand out.”

Described by Pharrell Williams as “this era’s Bob Dylan”, his third full-length album is expected in 2015.

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