Jay Rock ft. Kendrick Lamar & Future - "King's Dead"
I love this song for so many reasons. Here are three. 1: Jay Rock's back! There have been too many excuses as to why we haven't heard more from this insanely talented man, but we'll take what we can get. Jay's especially rabid on this cut, unleashing a barrage of boasts that set the tempo at a blistering pace. "King's Dead" will appear on the Black Panther soundtrack, and Jay made sure to make the most of the extra exposure.
2. Kendrick's hook. You can almost hear him grinning through the infectious "miss me with that bullshit"—this is King Kenny at his most gleeful, casually ripping a track to shreds with a smile on his face. It makes me wonder when "King's Dead" was first devised—it wouldn't sound out of place between "Money Trees" and "Poetic Justice," or as a sequel to Jay's "Vice City."
3. Yes, Future's inexplicable insistence on a scratchy falsetto. It didn't work super well at the end of Ty Dolla's "Don't Judge Me," but it sounds raw as hell on "King's Dead," and shows that one of rap's most successful artists is still looking for ways to take chances. In summation, Kendrick's work in music supervision is presenting some tough questions. Chief among them: can a movie soundtrack appear in our Best Albums of 2018 list?—Graham Corrigan