Kendrick Lamar’s diss track “The Heart IV” is what I consider to be a failure.
While the beat is cool with its multitude of switches, Kendrick somehow doesn’t use it to do anything to make it worthwhile. While I may be the only person on earth that is disappointed by it, I feel this is the worst use of Kendrick’s talent. Kendrick has already dropped his most ferocious songs, he’s already slain his rap enemies, he’s already proven he is one of the greats.
So what is the purpose of this song.
To create hype for his next album? The hype is already high. To notify people to make better music? He’s done that several times before now, so people acted accordingly and made better projects. So what is there left for Kendrick to do now that he has already conquered. Who is Kendrick going to be with nothing left to prove.
No one knows the answer to this but Kendrick. While he has talked about making an album about pressing matters, I can’t help but wonder if this is a good thing with so many artists making music about current issues i.e. Joey Bada$$, Tribe Called Quest, Vince Staples, and others. Will Kendrick be able to find a lane especially with switching sounds again?
I think the thing that gets me is that compared to some fantastic diss tracks that have recently released, “Shether” and “Idols Become Rivals,” this one pales in comparison. While Kendrick has a better flow on “IV” than Remy Ma had on “Shether” he doesn’t come anywhere close to delivering the type of bars that she ran off. I don’t know that I have ever heard any more meaningful diss track than “Idols Become Rivals.” It doesn’t seem like it was made for increased drama or publicity. It was made to shed light on the shady practices of Birdman and his record label. As well as being just a great song on top of all that. Worst of all “IV” doesn’t even match Kendrick’s verse on “Control.” This feels like a cheap reflection of one of the most memorable verses I have ever heard.
I don’t fault Kendrick for making it though, it certainly served its purpose. The amount of people going crazy over it is astounding. So while I don’t love it, I can see why people do. It has some great production and Kendrick comes decently hard over it with some good bars. I think that with the bar having been set so high since Control, I can’t help but feel it falls short of the goals that he made others jump for.
by Addison Garry