With Jay Z sacrificing his hyphen to the artistic world and Yeezy pursuing the train of his muse’s dark dress, it’s clear—only two years after “Ni**as in Paris”—that the Throne has been abdicated. After the unmitigated success of his debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, a fusion of Outkast skill, Devin the Dude vibe, Wu cinematics, and West Coast geography, it shouldn’t be a shock that Kendrick Lamar was the first to go for it. What is a shock is that he’d announce his claim on a Big Sean remix, and maybe this is why his “Control” verse doesn’t quite reach the bar that it aims to set. Regardless, all rappers have been warned that the true quest for the Hip-Hop Holy Grail is on, and if NYC is Hip-Hop’s Camelot, Kendrick is looking like the best bet to pull the (liquid?) sword from the stone.
Tue., Sept. 10, 5:30 p.m., 2013