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Welcome to the 5&A Dime soap box. 

My Thoughts on Kendrick Lamar's "i"

Jason Huggins

Kendrick is back at it! Not that he ever really stopped, but there's finally and officially new music from K.Dot. Last week, the artwork for his new single, "i", was released inciting hype that is usually reserved for Kanye West sneakers, Supreme collabs, or Tarantino movies. Hip Hop fans everywhere were rejoicing. Yesterday, the song was released on iTunes and TDE's Soundcloud account to what seems to be mixed reviews.

iTunes reviewers are finding the song favorable. "i" has a 4.5 star review rating with 733 (at the time of writing this) people rating/reviewing. Soundcloud comments were a bit more 50/50 about the new material. Here's some samples :

"you never know what's comin from kendrick Dope! lol" 

"Does this sound like it's destined for the radio to anybody else?"

"how the FUCK could ANYBODY think this is bad?"

"King Kendrick never disappoints, fuck whoever hating."

"too poppy"

"dont fux wit this"

You get the idea. Throughout the internet the song has seen some pretty polarizing responses. People have all kinds of ideas and theories about the source of inspiration for the new track. Some think Kendrick is intentionally putting out something "off the wall" to avoid giving away the vibe of his next album, some think that his rumored (or not rumored?) relationship with Erykah Badu has caused him to go "soft" - citing Common and Andre 3000 as earlier examples, while some think Kendrick is just going outside of his comfort zone creatively. 

Whatever the inspiration was, I dig the new track. It's upbeat, it's jazzy, it's fun - but still has a solid message behind it. That's one thing I've always felt Kendrick has done well - give you a song with a message that you can still dance too. He disguises his meaningful songs as pop songs (refer to "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" or Swimming Pools (Drank)" for examples). "i" just seems to be another example of the young emcee's ability to flex multiple musical muscles. He uses his higher, effects laden voice in a rapid-fire delivery to show off his skill, but doesn't leave the message over your head. And again, he does so while keeping the track fun. You can dance, you can sing along, or you can simply jam out.

Check out the song above, if you haven't already, and let us know how you feel. Did this get you hyped for a new Kendrick album or are you disappointed?

See y'all at the shop!

- Zach & the 5D Crew