Kendrick Lamar is like Sriracha. We can all agree that Sriracha is delicious, but it has blown up to almost overwhelming and gimmicky levels, and now everyone is like SRIRACHA EVERYTHING—Sriracha chips, Sriracha wings, Sriracha in my soup, Sriracha tacos, Sriracha trail mix, an entire Sriracha aisle at the Asian market on the corner. And to be honest, all of those things are delicious, but it’s tiring. Even the Sriracha early adopters who have been going hard for years telling all their friends about the red chili sauce with a rooster on the bottle are reaching for the Cholula and Texas Pete.
Remember what it felt like when you first got your hands on some Sriracha flavored eats? Remember how it felt to listen to a new Kendrick verse for the first time? Both still great, but it’s not quite the same.
After dropping what was almost unanimously deemed the best hip-hop album of 2012, Kendrick Lamar’s popularity has been rushing to catch up with his critical acclaim. Stragglers are hopping on, the masses are getting acquainted, festivals are all saving him a slot, and corporations are throwing money in the air to get a slice of K. Dot.
But the thing is, Kendrick Lamar still isn’t on the level of rap superstars who have branded themselves and dominated airwaves for years. I know this because the other day I mentioned Kendrick to my mom, casually in conversation, and she said, “Who?” I was shocked, because my mom tries to keep up with things in music and she’s a pretty good gauge for when an artist crosses over into the mainstream consciousness. Evidence:
The point is, Kendrick may be saturating the market right now, but he’s doing it for good reason. In the past year he’s worked with everyone from 50 Cent, Young Jeezy, and Drake to Emeli Sande, Lady Gaga, and Dido (yeah, remember that?). Every time he gets on a remix or lands a feature on another major artist’s album, he’s being introduced to a new audience.
It is starting to become a little much, but if there are two things that you could consume forever and never get sick of, those two things are probably Kendrick Lamar’s music and Sriracha.