Review: Kendrick Lamar – ‘i’

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‘i’ is Kendrick Lamar’s first release since Good Kid M.A.A.D city back in 2012. The incredibly popular Compton rapper took the rap industry by storm with his last album, and his latest single reveals that we have not seen the end of the good kid from a mad city.

Produced by Rahki, who also worked on Kendrick’s last album, ‘i’ samples an Isley Brothers classic, which Kendrick spits fire on. The producer incorporated 1970s disco guitar solos, soulful piano riffs and an unconventional drum rhythm to make a track that is truly original. A great disco-rock beat, and an uplifting chorus that screams “I love myself”, will certainly lift anyone’s mood.

The video to the track shows a parade of dancers led by Kendrick through the city. However, we also see people being arrested by armed police. A comment on the recent events in Fergusson? Whilst the track is optimistic, the video contrasts positivity with the struggles of the people living in the city. The video is open to interpretation, but it is clear that Kendrick has a message.

Can we expect his next album to have the emotional slow jams like ‘Poetic Justice’, or chart toppers like ‘Swimming Pools’?  Whatever he pulls out the bag for his next studio album, it will surely be great, demonstrated by this impressive single.

4.5 stars

‘i’ is out now via Top Dawg/Interscope records.

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