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Tracking The Many Voices Of Kendrick Lamar | Genius News

December 14, 2019


Kendrick Lamar is one of the greatest rappers
of this generation. From his vivid lyrics to his dexterous flows,
there’s a lot of reasons why Kendrick is considered one of the best. But one stand out reason is
the way he uses his voice. I’ve always been heavy on vocal tone and the
way you manipulate your voice because different tones to me just deals with different expressions. Throughout his albums, songs, and features,
Kendrick often changes his voice to reflect different characters and moods. And even Schoolboy Q wanted Kendrick on a
track for his vocal chops. “I brought Kendrick in. I said “Give me that ‘Lord of the Rings’ voice
that you do.” This high pitched “Lord Of The Rings”
voice is the same one that perked our ears on To Pimp A Butterfly tracks like “Institutionalized.” There’s the rough edged voice that stole
our attention on the already captivating “Backseat Freestyle” from Kendrick’s debut album
Good Kid M.a.a.D. City. It’s go time, I roll in dough with a good grind And I run at ho with a baton That’s a relay race with a bouquet They say, “K, you going marry mines Beeotch!” On Isaiah Rashad’s “Wat’s Wrong”
Kendrick identified this voice as his Gemini alter-ego. To express a bout of delirium, Kendrick often
taps into this panic-driven voice and captured us with it on To Pimp A Butterfly’s “u.” “And you the reason why momma and them leaving. No, you ain’t shit. You say you love them, I know you don’t
mean it.” Another voice Kendrick often uses is achieved
by pitching his vocals dating back as far as his 2011 mixtape Section .80 Kendrick utilizes this effect to depict an
authoritative voice. “As we stand on our neighborhood corner Know that this fire that’s burning represents the passion you have. Listen. Keisha, Tammy. Come up front. It makes a notable appearance on To Pimp A
Butterfly’s “King Kunta.” “By the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you.” Now I run the game got the whole world talking. King Kunta.” And possibly the coolest of Kendrick’s voices
is the playeristic “For Free” Kendrick. “This dick ain’t free,
I mean, baby” Dot tends to pair this voice with sexually
charged lyrics and delivers them with a smooth yet confident swag. Now we know Dot isn’t lazy with his pen
but he does seem to take on a more desensitized tone with this next voice. The lyrics in these instances display an intentional
numbness that Dot may be using to characterize a hopeless mindset. When the Good Kid’s had it with the world,
he opts to lash out. And if you thought you’ve heard all of Kendrick’s
voices, think again. Digging through his catalog of guest verses,
interludes, and music videos will prove, we haven’t even scratched
the surface. “Tell me who the bitch nigga hating on me? Jumping my dick, but this dick ain’t free. To Pimp A Butterfly another classic CD. Ghetto lullaby for every one that MC.”

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