Kendrick Lamar‘s etiquette and ambiance has shifted dramatically from 2009’s C4 aesthetic, which was comprised mainly of Lil’ Wayne emulation and gritty, unaltered raps about Compton streets and the rap industry. All in all, he was “KDot,” and not “Kendrick” yet, and the adopted rap persona that belonged to “KDot” was noticeably dropped when projects like Overly Dedicated and Section.80 were released.
Complex scouted out an ancient video of the Compton MC spitting over the instrumental to “So Appalled,” a track featured on Kanye West‘s 2010 project My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In it, the cadence and rap structure redolent of Overly Dedicated will remind Kendrick listeners of the progress he underwent between then and 2015, when he dropped what was arguably the best hip-hop album of the decade.
Lines like “I wake up in the morning smell some coffee/then I tell your b*tch to get off me” and “The Kendrick Lamar EP I been promoting for about a month/Don’t worry it’s coming soon… like a fast nut” echo a past Kendrick where lines were more aggressive and prosaic. The aforementioned projects- C4 and The Kendrick Lamar EP– both dropped in 2009, the former in January and the latter in December. The self titled EP was the first time we saw him using his birth name, and the one he continues to use today.