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Kendrick Lamar’s First New Release in Five Years, “The Heart, Part 5” Dropped Yesterday, Reviewed

Kendrick Lamar may well be the most overrated pop star of all time, taking five years between his Pulitzer Prize winning Damn. and four years after his Black Panther soundtrack, he disappeared and rested on his rep. Also four years after I caught him headlining at the TDE concert and MSG (Here) he returns to prove it again. So back he comes post-superbowl with a new double album Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers dropping on Friday and a brilliant video for “The Heart, Part 5”, yes, there were four more over the years.

On “The Heart, Part 5” Kendrick steals a page from Tomas Doncker’s upcoming “Endangered”, the verses take the position of various black male superstars, O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, Jussie Smollett, Will Smith, and Nipsey Hussle; the video uses deepfakes on the video to morph into the men he is rapping about whether it be the more than endangered Nipsey and Kobe, the clearly endangered OJ and Smollett, and might be endangered Ye and Will Smith. At the heart of the freestyle rap is Nipsey Hussle and Kendrick gives a true tribute to the late, much loved and respected rapper. And it is from that canvas that Kendrick paints a story so far… anchored by a terrific rap and a set of intellectual glorifying words that paint pictures of black America with hope where there is none.

But it is building to a portrait of Nipsey in heaven as Kendrick testifies on his behalf, on the most moving part of the rap, and the most moving thing you will hear in 2022. It is the final verse that makes “The Heart, Part 5” a major piece of work from our best rhymer:

I can’t stress how I love y’all
I don’t need to be in flesh just to hug y’all
The memories recollect just because y’all
Celebrate me with respect
The unity we protect is above all

Grade: A-

1 Comment

  1. ALBERT Charles WALTON on May 9, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    One word AAWOESOME!

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