Sit DOWN. It’s a phrase we use a lot here at LaineyGossip as a way to check celebrities who don’t know their place. Lindsay Lohan says she’s going to win an Oscar? Sit DOWN. Scott Eastwood brags about allegedly passing on playing Christian Grey? Scott Eastwood breathes? Sit the f-ck DOWN.
Kendrick Lamar just gave the biggest “sit DOWN” to his peers with Humble, the new song and video he dropped last night. If there was any question whether Kendrick Lamar is currently at the top of the rap game, this video is the answer. There is no question. There is no competition. If you are currently a rapper attempting to step to Kendrick Lamar, please take all the seats.
Humility and hip-hop usually don’t go hand in hand. In fact, I would go so far as to say that humility is the antithesis of hip-hop. The genre thrives on bravado and confidence. Even the hip-hop artists who are considered more thoughtful and sensitive, like Drake, Common, early Kanye and Kendrick ooze self-assurance. Humble is not Kendrick’s declaration of new-found modesty. It may be his most boastful song to date. It’s a warning shot to his contemporaries and a reminder that there is only one Kendrick Lamar Duckworth and he is sitting comfortably atop the modern hip-hop throne so everyone else should just sit down and be humble. Are we still saying “yaaasss”? Because throughout this whole video, all I wanted to do was yell YAAAASSS KENDRICK.
The general consensus on Twitter is that Humble is taking aim at Big Sean. We know the combative history between Kendrick and Drake. Humble could be directed at either Big Sean or Drake or both. I don’t really care about the boy sh-t here. I care more about the calibre of these visuals and the strength of Kendrick’s lyrics. I want to hang every single frame of Humble on the walls of my condo. I want to get the shot of Kendrick and his boys sitting at The Last Supper tattooed on my body. Too far? F-ck, I love this video so much. The scene where Kendrick is literally on fire pretty much sums up how I feel about Humble. The recreation of the classic Grey Poupon commercial is hilarious. I took a screenshot of Kendrick sitting under the dryer in the salon and I can’t stop staring at it.
I can’t talk about Humble’s visuals without mentioning the lyrics that are already going viral.
I’m so f-cking sick and tired of the Photoshop/ Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor/ Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretchmarks
Stretchmarks were in a hip-hop video. STRETCHMARKS. I don’t need to tell you why, in the age of Instagram, these lyrics and the representation of a natural body in a rap video is important. I will say one thing about the afro line: if there’s one thing black women hate more than someone touching our hair without consent, it’s men telling us how to do our hair. I’m all for the natural movement and I’m happy Kendrick is too but I would advise him to tread carefully. That’s just me nitpicking though because everything else about Humble is straight perfection.
My love for Kendrick runs deep. I was hashtag blessed enough to work with him years ago right after Swimming Pools (Drank) came out. He was quiet, respectful and genuinely excited to be on a Canadian music show. At the time, “humble” would have been one of the first adjectives I would have used to describe Kendrick Lamar. This track and corresponding epic video do not mean that Kendrick is now completely lacking humility. I think it just means that he’s owning his genius. Once you’ve reached the artistic heights that Kendrick has, you’ve earned the right to throw out more than a few “sit DOWNS.”