If you’ve ever wondered what Kendrick Lamar would sound like over a mid-’90s New York beat, now is your chance! Not sure it’s the best look for Kendrick Lamar to appear on an album called Grown Man Hip-Hop. As legendary and essential as Kay Slay is, Lamar could stand to avoid being lumped in with the old bitter dude movement that comes attached to that phrase, even if the other people involved are maybe not actually bitter. That said, he turns in a breathless performance here, and is ably followed up byPapoose, who also does great until he throws a backhanded diss at “weirdoes” in rap and some stuff about disrespecting the culture. Aren’t those weirdoes kind of essential? Speaking of weird, “Lyrical Gangstas” also features an unexpectedly tense, alienating beat that sounds like an outtake from Blackout!.
Stream: DJ Kay Slay f. Papoose and Kendrick Lamar, “Lyrical Gangstas”