#8 Kendrick Lamar - DUCKWORTH.
I’m a middle aged white guy. I’m right on that generational line of people who grew up with hip-hop and those who didn’t. I was lucky enough to get exposed to a lot of hip-hop growing up, thanks to some friends who were (and still are) more deeply immersed than I ever got. But I got exposed to Public Enemy and Tribe and Tupac and Nas and a whole bunch of really great hip-hop and I really believe it helped shape my views on people, politics, and privilege.
For me, hip-hop does a couple of things. Good hip-hop has good beats and hopefully a good flow. And it tells a story from a point of view that I will probably never experience in my life.
“DUCKWORTH.” fits that to a tee. There’s a bunch of good tracks on DAMN., but I think “DUCKWORTH.”’s story of how Kendrick Lamar grew up and the chance events that separated him from one life versus another is both fascinating and enlightening.
It also has a ridiculous run of lyrics (about 2:30 in) that not many people could pull off besides Kendrick.