Kendrick Lamar - Humble
Mar 30, 2017 (updated Mar 31, 2017)
82
Well, having overcome the initial shock of seeing Kendrick put out a straight-forward, old-fashioned, Mike Will Made-It-produced (who actually saw it coming?) banger as the lead single of his new project, it is safe to say that this is much likely going to be a very distinct follow-up to 2015's To Pimp a Butterfly. Not that Kendrick hasn't put out any banger in the past, that is not the case (King Kunta was a total groovy, hard-hitting moment on his previous album per se), but Humble sees him indulging in a much more accessible and, yes, conventional direction, with Mike's intense, banging beat and killer piano-line constantly hitting in the background. It is also somewhat of a bragadocious track as well, despite presenting quite a handful of subthemes in its entirety - as most of Kendrick's material tend to follow - and it is at least a bit strange to see him addressing possible feuds with other rappers here (although there is no really clear evidence of that), but still, this song is quite catchy and short, which means some thorough change of direction in comparison with the almost progressive, puzzlying music he was putting out, well, until last week.

Which leads us to another interesting point. It would be naivety to believe Kendrick will embrace this format for the whole upcoming project, and the song presents itself as some sort of short interlude that will most likely fit into the album's tracklisting (possibly in the same vein as the For Free? Interlude on TPAB) as a sarcastic view on the current hip-hop culture as a whole.

Once again, the Compton-based rapper proves his incredible flexibility by releasing a track that goes on the complete reverse path of his recent output, but that still sounds undeniably keen to his own identity, and even though it may turn some listeners off by its more accessible (even predictable, if you will) modus operandi, it just opens up way for deeper thoughts about the new album and about Kendrick himself as an artist. It is, by the way, that same unquiet, restless facet that has put him in such a high place in the current state of popular music worlwide, and, by embracing such disparate, plural ways of doing music, that Kendrick is continuing his impressive legacy. Humble might not be as grand, cerebral and visceral as many could have expected, but nevermind, its vivid energy and booming chorus just feels like a small step demanded before entering even larger rooms.
8 Comments
Mar 30, 2017
And the award for the cringiest review on AOTY goes to.....
Mar 31, 2017
Why do you think this review is cringy?
Mar 31, 2017
He changed it. At first it was just "OMG AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH, KENDRICKKKKKKK"
Apr 1, 2017
i agree, this review is fucking cringy. so many words without saying anything; trying to sound like some pitchfork reviewer
Apr 5, 2017
To say that this was a shocker because it old-fashioned or straight-forward (TPAB were both of those things) or because it was made by Mike Will (who produced "Formation" and "Black Beatles", two of the most critically acclaim singles last year), would be wrong. This was not a shocker. This was expected from Kendrick. He only puts out good music.
Apr 6, 2017
Well, i don't think anyone who listened to both TPAB and last year's untitled unmastered could expect a Mike Will-produced banger like this, but that's just me.
Apr 6, 2017
i do agree that i was pleasantly surprised how much of a banger it was. to say "oh this was expected, yeah, i saw this coming a mile away. i expected GOOD MUSIC and it was GOOD" is a cop out.
Apr 6, 2017
Literally listen to all of GKMC. Money Trees? Swimming Pools? MAAD City? Those are all radio-friendly bangers, two of which actually made the radio. These kinds of hits have been proven to be in his wheelhouse. You're sleep.
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