Phil Jackson, Iman Shumpert, LeBron & the world responds to Kendrick Lamar
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Calm down people you are overreacting. Maybe I feel that way because I’m old school and grew up on rappers beefing on wax in the 80s and 90s and I’m not just talking about the East Coast vs West Coast stuff either. I’m talking about the Juice Crew and BDP dissing each other over 6 songs. Kool Moe Dee and LL went at it for 5 songs. 3rd Bass took on X-Clan, Hammer & Vanilla Ice across 10. Dr Dre, Snoop & even Kid N Play vs Luke. Roxanne Shante going after everybody from UTFO to the Real Roxanne to JJ Fad. Ice Cube vs Cypress Hill, NWA & Common, etc, etc.
Hip Hop music back then was all about battling, bragging about your skills and dissing the skills of other rappers so you could prove that you were the best. They didn’t interact and work with each other like most rappers today. Guest appearances on albums and videos were rare unless the other artist was a label mate. Most artists were self produced or produced by their DJ and it wasn’t until Illmatic that an artist had multiple big name producers on 1 album. Mainstream Award shows didn’t acknowledge hip hop music back then and VH1 used to even promote in 1995 commercials that they don’t play rap music. The only time rappers ever interacted with each other is at tour stops and concerts and there’s countless stories about rappers taking it to the stage at these stops because of diss records. There’s been some odd ones too like Treach of Naughty By Nature going after De La Soul, King Sun and Ice Cube, KRS-1 crashing PM Dawn’s set to perform “I’m Still #1” and there’s even a rumor about a 2pac and Q-Tip confrontation at the first annual Source Awards.
So here we are in 2013 and the internet is buzzing about Kendrick Lamar name dropping a bunch of rappers on Big Sean’s song ‘Control.” My only issue with his name drops is the omission of a bunch of rappers I thought he should have mentioned. The media is trying to push it as a “diss record” but to me his lyrics “I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you niggas, tryna make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas” is no different than hearing a young up and coming basketball player talk about killing players once they step on the court and saying they want to win MVP, championship rings and be the greatest of all-time without being compared to other greats because they are the first them.
Chris Paul once said he would even hit his mom when he was asked about competing with his friend Kobe Bryant on the court. If it’s ok for CP3 to “diss” Kobe and the woman that carried him around in her body for 9 months then it’s ok for Kendrick Lamar to “diss” other rappers that carried the game before him.
With that said, Kendrick has received some interesting responses in the past 48 hours from not just the hip hop community but the basketball community including Phil Jackson, who was mentioned in Kendrick’s verse, and rapper/baller Iman Shumpert who put out a song called ‘Dear Kendrick’
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This is real hip hop at his best! @kendricklamar boxed em into a corner. We going crazy over here people!!
— LeBron James (@KingJames) August 13, 2013
I agree LeBron that Kendrick is “real hip hop at it’s best” and maybe I’m a little biased because I’m not a fan of most of hip hop music today and I think Kendrick Lamar’s mixtapes O.D. and Section 80 along with his mainstream debut are easily 3 of the best hip hop albums of the past decade and because Kendrick performed at our Ballislife All-American Game but I think Kendrick is the best thing to happen to hip hop in recent memory and him calling out other rappers can only help improve the quality of music in a genre that has been suffering since it went from a “fad” neglected by pop music awards to becoming the sound of pop music.
Going back to the topic of old school beefs. No city has had more beef than Kendrick Lamar’s Compton. Outside of the known beef between NWA members with others and former group members and the mini beef between them and Luke or Tim Dog in the early 90s, one of the best hip hop beefs ever belonged to Compton’s Most Wanted/MC Eight (featured on Kendrick’s debut) and DJ Quick that went at it for over 6 years across 10 tracks. Born and Raised in Compton star DJ Quik also made some diss records to House of Pain and Tim Dog who made the song ‘Fuck Compton.’ Fuck Compton is exactly what a lot of people on Twitter are saying but all I have to say is “Thank God for Compton – where would rap music be without you?”
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