Opinion: Is Kendrick Lamar's Black Hippy Crew The 2013 G-Unit?

Is Black Hippy's mounting run giving you déjà vu? VIBE stacks Kendrick's crew up against G-Unit's early days

Comparing Black Hippy to G-Unit of a decade ago seems about as inappropriate as Charlamagne Tha God. But there are some parallels.

While Kendrick isn’t slaying birthday songs, the wordy rapper kicked in the door like 50 Cent with a hard-knocking instant classic, good kid, m.A.A.d. city. He's been the hottest, most hyped-about rapper of 2013, spazzing on cameo appearances and remixes. And back in 2003, 50 Cent was as ubiquitous as oversized white tees (remember those?!). Then there's that Dr. Dre guy, who's been influential in the success of both respective rookies of the year. They've got distinctly different rhyming styles: 50's flow often slows to a drawl and is loaded with threats and gangster glorifications; Kendrick's is much quicker and far more lyrical, giving a hefty slice of the streets as a reporter rather than a participant. But still, only 10 years separate rap's two hottest newcomers.

And then there's their crews. Schoolboy Q recalls Young Buck; they’re both high-energy street disciples with heart. If someone tested Dre at a 2013 awards show, our cash is on Q to pull out a shank. Ab-Soul brings Lloyd Banks’ cool and clever lyrical premium. Soul is aesthetically more eclectic; a side-by-side comparison of Control System and Banks' Hunger For More exposes as much. But there's no question that each are the lyrical lieutenants of their set. Meanwhile, slept-on street vet Jay Rock’s intangible presence—like Tony Yayo’s—glues the gang together.

The Hippies seem to have the right idea with their rollout, though. Each member has carefully carving his own following, astutely rotating with solo releases before ever embarking on a group project. So there's not quite the same hierarchal feel of G-Unit following 50's record-breaking Get Rich Or Die Tryin', which preceded the group album Beg For Mercy. While G-Unit followed the same release blueprint as the likes of St. Lunatics and D-12 prior (with much better success), Black Hippy is making its own rules, writing its own script. They're not following any formulae or chasing radio and mainstream success. And that's part of why BH is the most talented and exciting new rap troupe of the past few years.

While 50, Banks, Buck and Yayo's collective chapter is a wrap, Kendrick and Co. are still on the ground floor building the Black Hippy legacy. Gotta wonder what The Game's take is... —John Kennedy (@youngJFK)

From the Web

More on Vibe

Brandon T. Jackson Says ‘Big Momma’s House’ Ruined His Career

Brandon T. Jackson says appearing in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son was a “negative” turning point  in his career. The actor and comedian dressed as a woman in the 2011 film where he starred alongside Martin Lawrence.

“Everything went wrong when I put on that dress,” Jackson told Comedy Hype in a new interview.

Jackson revealed that at the time of the film's release, his personal life was “in shambles,” while his career was soaring. He went on to admit that the film wasn’t very good, and that he wasn’t a fan of the premise. Following the success of the previous Big Momma’s House films, and Mrs. Doubtfire, Jackson felt that “the whole dress bit was already overdone,” at the time, but he agreed to be in the film mostly for a chance to work with Lawrence.

In the film, Lawrence’s reprised his role as Malcolm Turner, an FBI agent who goes undercover as an elderly woman. Jackson played Lawrence’s stepson, Trent Pierce.

Big Momma's House: Like Father, Like Son grossed close to $90 million worldwide, but Jackson said that he's had bad luck in the eight years since the film was released. “I believe it was cursed because nothing went right since then.”

Jackson added that Katt Williams publicly warned him against taking the role, and claimed that Lawrence hasn’t been the same since the Big Momma’s House films. He also shared thoughts on Tyler Perry’s Madea character.

Check above for the full interview.

Continue Reading
Tom Fox

Amber Guyger Takes Step To Appeal Murder Conviction: Report

Amber Guyger is taking preliminary steps to appeal her conviction in the murder of Botham Jean.

An attorney for the former Dallas police officer filed an intent to appeal her first-degree murder conviction and 10-year prison sentence, nearly two weeks after the verdict was handed down. Though the filing was publicized on Tuesday (Oct. 22), Guyger’s lawyer, Michael Mowla, reportedly filed on Oct. 16.

It’s unclear what Guyger will use as grounds for a potential appeal.

Earlier in the month, a Texas jury convicted Guyger of first-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Guyger shot and killed Jean, her 26-year-old neighbor, in his home last year. Guyger maintained that she walked into Jean’s apartment thinking it was her unit, and subsequently killed the unarmed accountant out of fear that he was an introducer.

Her reported notice of appeal comes amid legal strife involving Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, and trial Judge Tammy Kemp. Creuzot, who is facing contempt charges for doing an interview that aired the night before Guyger's trial began, requested that Kemp be removed from  his case. Meanwhile, Kemp has come under fire after she hugged Guyger in court, and handed her a Bible. Kemp defended her actions, noting that Guyger asked for a hug after the sentencing phase was over. Kemp wasn’t alone in embracing Guyger, Jean’s brother hugged her as well.

A hearing in the contempt case is scheduled for Oct. 31.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Kanye West Will Preview ‘Jesus Is King,’ And IMAX Film At Los Angeles Event

After previewing his album in New York, Detroit, Chicago and taking Sunday Service to Jamaica this past weekend, Kanye West will bring his traveling musical sermon back to Los Angeles for a special listening session and film screening.

West is expected to preview his forthcoming Jesus Is King album and accompanying IMAX film, at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Wednesday (Oct. 23). The Nick Knight-directed documentary, which was shot over the summer, brings the Chicago native’s “famed Sunday Service to life in the Roden Crater,” artist James Turrell's  never-before-seen installation created in Arizona's Painted Desert.

Tickets for the Jesus is King Album & Film Experience are free to the public, and will be released on a first come, first serve basis, at 10 a.m. PST via Ticketmaster. Fans who pre-ordered Jesus Is King scored early access to tickets to the event on Tuesday.

West’s forthcoming release is a follow-up to 2018’s ye album, and marks the Grammy winner’s first LP to be dedicated to gospel music, but apparently not his last. West has reportedly shunned secular rap music, in lieu of gospel.

Jesus Is King is slated to drop on Oct. 25.

Continue Reading

Top Stories