As we begin the New Year, the two most significant rappers in the game continue to be a hot topic of discussion. For this week’s Mixtape Monday, instead of just “choosing sides”, I’d prefer to take the time to recognize them both for their most memorable mixtape projects.
In 2009, October’s Very Own, Drake, dropped his third official mixtape, and what would subsequently be his most memorable, So Far Gone. In late 2010, TDE’s franchise player, Kendrick Lamar, dropped the somewhat less impactful, but equally engaging, Overly Dedicated. Both projects served their purpose, propelling each of their careers to a larger scale, albeit in different ways. “Best I Ever Had” and “Successful” gave Drake his first taste of the charts, landing him on the Billboard Hot 100, while the tape itself, overall, seemed more like a debut album.
As for K-Dot, tracks like “Ignorance Is Bliss” and the melodic “H.O.C”., among others, established he was a rarity in the rap game worth watching, cemented by the fact that Dr Dre himself sites “Ignorance Is Bliss” as a key reason he would eventually seek to sign Kendrick. Shortly thereafter, Kendrick dropped Section 80, which would go on to introduce him to an even larger audience.
In spite of the discord caused by the now infamous “Control” verse between the two parties, each artist continues to bring something unique and worthy of recognition to the table. Whatever your preference, both mixtapes are due for another listen in 2014. – Jasmin V
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