Every Shot Kendrick Lamar Took on 'The Heart Part 4'

BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24:  Kendrick Lamar performs live for fans at the 2016 Byron Bay Bluesfest on March 24, 2016 in Byron Bay, Australia.  (Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Every Shot Kendrick Lamar Took on 'The Heart Part 4'

...and who could be his targets.

Published March 24, 2017

Compton’s gifted rap prophet Kendrick Lamar, royally known as King Kendrick, has made a triumphant return to the center of the hip-hop circle with his lyrical rap missile, “The Heart Part 4.”

With production from sound geniuses such as Shady Records’ in-house producer The Alchemist, the gritty, shot-loaded track gives K-Dot fans five blissful minutes of pure, raw, unscathed lyricism. But as the track continues to fall heavily on hip-hop ears, there’s a lot more to dissect from Kendrick’s first single of the year.

  1. Kendrick first teased at a 2017 return with a strange Instagram cleanse followed by a mysterious post of the roman numeral four
  2. Suspecting of a new album, K-Dot fans made sure to warn rap fans, and their favorite rappers, of his impending arrival
  3. There was a feeling that Ab-Soul, Kendrick's TDE labelmate, knew more than what he let on, too
  4. Dropping the single right before midnight, Kendrick finally unleashed the track and, like clockwork, all hip-hop hell broke loose

    As fans read in between the bars, the internet declared war between Kendrick and Drake after a few lines seemed to be sharply aimed at the 6 God’s rap crown.

    Others rebutted that Big Sean, who’s “Control” single witnessed a rap industry assassination from K. Dot with names on his hitlist, was the prey. While these theories have been proposed with some pretty solid foundations, we’ve uncovered a few more lyrical bullets of the single that may have flown over a few heads. 

  5. 'My fans can't wait for me to son ya punk a** and crush your whole lil s**t / I'll Big Pun ya punk a**, you a scared little b***h'

    A possible play on "Big" Sean's rap moniker, K. Dot's first verse aggression pays homage to the Big Punisher while simultaneously crushing his adversary.

  6. 'Tiptoein' around my name, n***a, ya lame / And when I get at you, homie, don't you just tell me you was just playin' / Oh I was just playin' with you K-Dot, c'mon, You know a n***a rock with you bro / Shut the f**k up, you sound like the last n***a I know/ Might end up like the last n***a I know / Oh, you don't wanna clash? N***a, I know.'

    On the other hand, the entire mouthful of the first verse could be a loaded shot at Drake.

    Recalling Drake's "For Free" line, "and like your boy from Compton said, you know this d**k ain't free," which is a direct allusion to K-Dot's "Buy the World" verse, he seems to reject Drizzy's "tiptoeing" around his name and all fake love after all. 


  7. 'N****s is fake rich, b*****s is fake bad / Blacks that act white, whites that do the dab'

    Oh, hey there, Hollywood! We didn't see you there. 

    Kendrick's blow at the artificial, commercialized and merchandised authenticity of society is brought to the forefront. He's had enough of get-rich-quick rap stars and bargained beauty praised on the ladies of this generation. And we're not sure that he's gone to see Jordan Peele's Get Out after his thoughts for white appropriation and self-hating Blacks, but it sure looks that way after these bars. 

  8. 'Donald Trump is a chump, know how we feel, punk / Tell 'em that God comin' and Russia need a replay button, Y'all up to somethin' / Electorial votes look like memorial votes / But America's truth ain't ignorin' the votes'

    Yup, Donald Trump and the whole "Make America Great Again" squad took a headshot for this one. 

  9. 'Salmon and capers, fame and lawsuits / You looking at me in Chucks, I'm looking at y'all suits'

    K-Dot has been riddled with lawsuits in the last couple years, from a Bill Withers sample to an infringement claim. This is his middle finger to it all.

  10. 'And real hustler lose money just to go get some more / I said it's like that, drop one classic, came right back / 'Nother classic, right back'

    In what could potentially be another jab at Sean Don's "Bounce Back" hit, K. Dot lets everyone know that the true hustlers of the game don't just re-up on cash after taking an L to the pockets, but they do so with the classics. 

  11. 'Tables turned, lesson learned, my best look / You jumped sides on me, now you 'bout to meet Westbrook / Go celebrate with your team and let victory vouch you / Just know the next game played, I might slap the s**t out you / Technical foul, I'm flagrant, I'm foul / They throwin' me out, you throw in the towel'

    Both Drake and Kendrick can be spotted courtside at the most popular NBA games, but the two important dissections here are his shots at Drake's "Pound Cake" verse and Drizzy's brotherly adoration for Kevin Durant.

    K. Dot takes Drake's "tables turned, bridges burn, you live and learn" lyrical arrangement from the Jay Z-assisted "Pound Cake" for a spin first. Treading into NBA territory, K. Dot digs up Durant and Russell Westbrook's strained basketball brother-turned-foe relationship, a possible likening to the same turn of Kendrick and Drake's hip-hop brotherhood.

  12. 'H**, Jay Z Hall of Fame, sit your punk a**down (Sit yo' punk a** down) / So that means you ain't bigger than rapping (What else?)'

    Another bullet surfaces for Drake, who has compared himself to Jay a number of times. The "hall of fame" reference may even be an allusion to Drake's alleged ghostwriting controversy, as Hov was just heralded as a songwriter. Thus, K-Dot declares, the 6 God isn't bigger than rap.

  13. 'I'll let y'all worry about a list, I'm on some other s**t / A difference between accomplishments and astonishments'

    Concluding with a final stab at Drake and his "Top 5" praise, often referencing his big numbers on top charts and lists, K. Dot reminds him that his "accomplishments" don't stack up against much of anything these days.

    And he's got until April 7 to accomplish a victory over King Kunta as well. 

Written by Diamond Alexis

(Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)


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