“It might be a jinx to the whole rap game to make this claim but it seems like the particular slipperiness and relative complexity of Kendrick’s flow(s) make him nearly impossible to bite directly. I mean he’s obviously a considerably more popular rapper than say ASAP Rocky, but you don’t see hoards of Kendrick-lite types out there like you do the aspiring rapper with a dollar sign in his twitter profile types running that god damn Lord Infamous flow fragment into the ground.”
While the rise of a legion of Kendrick-lites is (thankfully) unlikely, Kendrick’s explosive 2012 served as proof that you can be a technically proficient rapper rapping about meaningful things and become a star in the process (because of those characteristics, no less). While mimicking Kendrick’s delivery and flow on the whole might be ill-advised, young artists could do worse than to take cues from his musical playbook and winning combination of passion and personal narrative.
PrinceFooL is a rapper from Atlanta who does a bit of both. On first listen, “Climate Control” takes obvious notes from Kendrick’s catalog (particularly the way FooL emphasizes words and occasionally over-enunciates), but it never feels like a style bite. “Climate Control” is a young rapper’s story told with passion and enough personal detail to charm (in particular, “my cousin so I’m lame, it’s only cuz I’m unique/she also say I’m ugly, I shrug it off like it’s nothing/I’m watching for her change as soon as she see me bumping”). It’s not a fully polished vision yet, but it seems a promising indicator of what the young emcee has in store.