So I would have to say that my first spurt of love for Rap came when I was in middle school. In the Late 90's Chronic 2001 had just come out and the basketball team was bumpin Warren G's I Want It All in the back of the bus. I can't exactly remember what happened to me, but music changed for me. I was curious, I wanted to get my hands on any and everything Rap. Unfortunately, my parents weren't too thrilled and thought that I was gonna run around acting like I was a gangster. Quite the contrary. (Side note: Actually, that's what a lot of my issue with people's judgements on the genre as a whole. I would argue that Rap has so much more depth to it and has created more innovative ways to story-telling then any other music genre. I digress.) I dove into stories of a world I wanted to understand and experience. I learned empathy and to see what perseverance looked like. I saw a lot of beauty in what the outsider may see as dirty, rough, and scary. It's helped me dip into lives I didn't necessarily live with in my own experiences. I have grown as a person, for sure, thanks to Rap.
I haven't listened to all of the latest, but I will say this... Kendrick Lamar is an incredible human being, let alone Rap artist. Going through his album, To Pimp a Butterfly, is like going through an incredible book. From start to finish, his albums have a cohesive line that brings you on a JOURNEY!
Unfortunately, they have taken down his performance at the 2016 Grammy's on YouTube... Well here's this crappy version:
But if this doesn't spark your interest to research this MC, I don't know what will.......
I wish him all the best and hope that we get to see more of him! And I hope I've converted you, if you haven't been yet. I am also more than happy to have listening parties of his albums! Let me know if you'd like to join me and we can explore good kid, m.A.A.d city or To Pimp a Butterfly together! ;-)