Yesterday, everyone heard Kendrick Lamar's rampaging bars on Big Sean's "Control." In the aftermath of the verse heard 'round the world, who's still alive?
Once he places himself within the rap pantheon alongside Jay Z, Nas, Eminem and Andre 3000, Lamar lyrically murdered many young MCs. He bodied J Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale, A$AP Rocky, Pusha T, Meek Mill, Mac Miller, Drake, Jay Electronica, Big Sean, and Tyler, the Creator. Is there anybody still out there? #rapperskendrickdidntmention
Kendrick's most obvious omission was Kanye West. But this feels like an even bigger diss, because being completely left out of the conversation hurts the most. He also left out Gucci Mane, the Atlanta rapper who released three albums yesterday on iTunes. Speaking of Atlanta, there's no mention of Killer Mike, whose Run The Jewels duo with El-P dropped a ferocious album this year.
The list goes on. But here are five excellent rappers Kendrick didn't mention on "Control" who either have already released superb albums this year, or who will (probably) be doing so very soon.
This New York rapper is too underground to be on King Kendrick's royal radar. But Ka's new self-released LP, 'The Night's Gambit,' is a vivid exploration of street/post-street life by a lyrically thrilling rapper who spends more time reading Machiavelli than bragging about being Makaveli's offspring.
4. Chance The Rapper
The Chicago rapper's "Acid Rap" is one of the best mixtapes of the year so far. Along with Kendrick, Chance recently played Lollapalooza. Though his stage show could use some improvement, Chance is a clever rapper who can excellently balance technique and lyrical insight.
3. Danny Brown
The gap toothed Detroit rapper is in a world of his own. He's weird, unafraid to experiment, and is unlike any other rapper in the game. People are still scratching their heads after his 2011 album, "XXX," and his upcoming "Old" LP is one of the most anticipated releases of the year.
2. A$AP Ferg
Kendrick took A$AP Rocky down. But Rocky's A$AP Mob partner A$AP Ferg remains standing. Though we'd heard Ferg on some Rocky and Mob tunes in the past, his recent "Shabba" and "Hood Pope" singles have floored everyone. Both will appear on his upcoming 'Trap Lord' album, which is streaming right now right here.
1. Earl Sweatshirt
Odd Future ringleader Tyler, The Creator got got. But young Earl Sweatshirt — who has been called the second coming of Nas for quite a while now — lives on. Following his banishment to Samoa, the 19-year-old rapper has been slowly rebuilding himself. Next week, he drops his long-awaited debut studio album, "Doris." Earl Sweatshirt lives!