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  • Writer's pictureMalcolm Williams

Like One Three #7

Kendrick Lamar - Section .80

It wasn‘t difficult becoming a fan of Kendrick early on in his career. When I saw the entire West Coast rally around him and say “Take the helm.” Snoop and Game being on that stage crowning Kendrick had 18 years old me extremely curious as to who he was. In 2011, I was more into R&B and Rock music then I was Hip Hop so I wasn’t following the genre as hard as I started after hearing this album. So seeing Hip Hop Legends (while very much still active) say carry the West made me go listen to his mixtape Overly Dedicated. I heard the Heart pt.2 and instantly saw the reasoning behind the support. That entire project was amazing to me, it brought my ear back to Hip Hop. Of course I listened to the big acts like Lil Wayne, Drake, Kanye, Jay-Z, etc. but I didn’t care to find artists at the time. After listening to Overly Dedicated I began exploring more still have not listened Section .80 due to distraction. It wasn’t till I moved to Hawaii and was really burying myself into Hip Hop that I got to it. Drake had dropped Take Care and Kendrick had the Buried Alive Interlude that made me remember to go listen to Section .80, which was a pivotal moment in my life as a Hip Hop fan.

I remember sitting in the room by myself listening to music on my 360 and pressing play on Fuck Your Ethnicity for the first time. I was playing THQ’s UFC at the same time i was listening and by the time Kendrick finished saying “racism is still alive...” I turned it off and leaned back to really digest what I was hearing. It felt so important for me to listen to every word he was intently and I had no idea why I felt that way but I did. He was just snapping, it wasn’t just the words he was sayin, I was paying close attention to how he was saying it. How he was manipulating the beat with all the different flows in the span of four bars was catching me off guard. I became a real life music nerd in those three minutes and forty five seconds.

Poe Man’s Dream is still a very important song to me. The message resonates so much with my spirit. I started feeling homesick at some point in 2011 and I was feeling stagnant. I was feeling isolated on those islands sometimes, missing my family back in Jersey and missing Dreaming. Hearing Kendrick say stuff about lack of faith and how he wants to do something to ensure his family is able to live happily was hitting me. I just would run that song back over and over when I was feeling lost. Even now hearing GLC at the end of the song refocuses me. Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance is real thing to me now.

My love for brass instruments in Hip Hop skyrocketed after hearing Rigamortus. I don’t remember many Hip Hop records where the beat was led by the horns before hearing that song and I fell in love with it. Then for Kendrick to give us the performance he unleashed on that song was a great bonus. I think now is the perfect time for me to tell the story of the Origin of Induberantly. I was listening to the song and instead of Kendrick saying separate he said partition and I remember going “yo this dude is so nice.” So started looking up lesser used words to say simple shit. So I stumbled upon indubitably one day and I had homeboy that was a know it all, I decided to fuck with him by asking if he knew what induberantly meant. Of course he pretended to forget the definition, so I just used it the same as indubitably. That shit started to be used by everyone after that, it was so funny I just decided keep the word as my own and build a brand out of it. That song singlehandedly changed my life without me knowing it at the time.

I found Ab-Soul listening to Section .80. Ab-Souls Outro led me to thinking more about my surroundings, as a 19 years old I didn’t think too much about the government manipulation among other things. I just started becoming more aware after discovering more of Soul’s music. I became a fan of Terrace Martin’s artistry after this song too. His Jazz roots grabbed a hold on how I enjoy beats and music today. Masego is one of my favorite artists right now because Terrace introduces my Hip Hop ears to Jazz blended with the genre.

This album really reshaped how I listened to music. It introduced me to artists I cherish now more than ever. BJ the Chicago Kid, Terrace Martin, Ab-Soul, SchoolBoy Q are all artists that when I see their names in the credits I’m always excited. This album has a real narrative to it that I avoided talking about because I think it’s really great to experience for yourself if you hadn’t already done so. When I went back to Jersey with the new found knowledge of all these West Coast artists I got turned away but I told everyone that Kendrick has everything it took to be the Best in Hip Hop. As the years passed I don’t think anyone can question that I was right. So much Classic material has come from the Good Kid out of Compton. Its crazy that it’s been 8 years since Section .80 has been released and how far ahead of its time it was.

I wanna Thank Kendrick Lamar for opening a part of my brain I didn’t know I could. I became even more inquisitive than ever after listening to this album. You brought me back to a genre I loved but found no interest in a lot of the artists who was coming out at the time. You made realize that I would have to go find the Gems instead of depending on being shown them at that point. Section .80 changed my life forever and I appreciate that.

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