Written by Jabir McMillian (Contributor)


Well boys (and ladies), it’s officially KING KENDRICK season these days. Drake’s More Life  came and went, Kanye is nowhere to be seen musically, and your residential veterans (free Carter V) seem to be saving surprises for later in the year. All considered, this is a perfect time for Kenny to levitate out of his hibernation and drop some chunes for our collective headtops. Fresh off his latest edition in “The Heart” series, social media was quite shocked to hear both: A. his album would be dropping April 7th and B. the supremely confident lyricist with his foot on at least one fellow rapper’s neck. This rapid-fire warfare strategy would allow us to be BLESSED with his latest banger HUMBLE. With no further ado, let’s break this one down:


Video: Pure art. When Dave Meyers and “The Little Homies” (Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free, responsible for the “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” video) got together to tease a new video on Twitter earlier this week, I doubt even the strongest of K. Lamar stans would believe we’d get something like this. Cold opening with Kendrick dressed in Pope-esque attire, the religious themes would continue throughout, as our rap messiah would also dress in all white amongst a crowd of black suited man later on, as well as a “Last Supper” reference, with Kendrick of course representing Jesus Christ. Fantastic cinematography techniques throughout, there’s nothing else to say that the stats can’t; almost 10M views in one day, #1 trending on YouTube. Also, something I’ve not seen noted, the guy sitting to the left of Kendrick really looks like Big Sean (check the gif below). Rating: 9.5/10

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Subject: Even a Kendrick song that doesn’t say much…usually says A LOT. This song is no different. Continuing from where “Part IV” left off, Kendrick still seems to be demeaning a certain contemporary, again VERY likely Big Sean, demanding that he “hol’ up, lil’ bitch” & “be humble”. Outside of that “theory”, Big Sean spends the rest of the song just flowing randomly, very akin to the G.K.M.C promo single “Backstreet Freestyle”. There’s enough on this song to make even the most devoted Kendrick hater give it a listen, although the hip-hop purist will certainly try to make a problem out of the.. Rate: 6/10


Lyrics: Sometimes saying less is more, word to Jay Z. Ask Drogas Light Trading in the hyper-bars of a “Holy Key” for ecstatic quotables, there isn’t many bars you’re going to get caught spending time on end researching on Rap Genius. However, you’ll end up not caring about that fast, with bars like “my left stroke just went viraaaaaal” taking space in your head quite easily. Maybe these singles are setting a precedent for lyrics that won’t work for an entire album, but I’m fairly sure Kendrick can turn it up like Westbrook in a convo about KD. Rate: 6/10

Beat: Not much to say here. Definitely stripped down for radio interest, you won’t see this instrumental close to the cream of the crop in the Kendrick discog. I still rock with it though. Those guitar riffs on the intro were funky. Rate: 6/10


Final Thoughts: You might be asking yourself, what is this conflict between how this guy’s praising the song versus his rating system? Even for me, it was rough to agree with the somewhat low numbers for this song, but I rationalize it as being AT BEST a hype track on the new album, if not a throwaway. Although, as Anthony Fantano essentially said during his review, “Backstreet Freestyle” seemed like Kendrick was selling out, and it ended up fitting perfectly within the album. I think we’ll all be looking back at “HUMBLE.” as a shining success for what Kendrick was trying to achieve.

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Watch humble below

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