Kendrick Lamar is undeniably one of the best feature rappers of his era. The Compton rapper known for his socially conscious songwriting has collaborated with numerous artists throughout his career. Before we dive into his best collaborations lets take a brief look at his come up.
Kendrick first gained traction as a teenager under the stage name K. Dot, which he eventually dropped in favor of his first and middle names. Though he signed to Top Dawg Entertainment in 2005, Lamar would have to wait for nearly six years (2011) before he was allowed to release his debut album under the label. It turned out to be a masterstroke as the album proved to be worth the wait, earning rave reviews from underground hip-hop fans.
Following the album’s success, Dr. Dre signed Kendrick Lamar to his Aftermath imprint the following year (2012). The then-young rapper quickly went to work, and in October released his major label debut Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, which served as his first album under Aftermath Entertainment, and second album overall. GKMC received widespread acclaim from hip-hop fans and critics for its progressive theme, and lyrics. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 and earned Lamar four Grammy Award nominations at the 2014 Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
His albums have been a success but not enough is said about his features. Kendrick owes a part of his early success to his guest appearances, and surprisingly his hook abilities, which is not something he’s exactly known for. Since his show stealing verse on “Control” alongside Big Sean and Jay Electronica, Kendrick Lamar has been a problem on features and collaborators know to bring their A game whenever he’s on a track.
From the game-stealing “Control” to records with fellow Black Hippy Jay Rock and ScHoolboy Q, here are the best Kendrick Lamar collaborations.
Kanye West Feat. Kendrick Lamar “No More Parties In LA”
In Kanye West’s “No More Parties In LA,” Lamar’s verse adds a layer of introspection. With vivid imagery and clever wordplay, the Compton native delves into the complexities of fame, self-reflection, and societal pressures. His verse serves as a commentary on the allure and pitfalls of the entertainment industry, offering listeners a glimpse into the struggles of maintaining authenticity in a world of superficiality.
The Game Feat. Kendrick Lamar “See No Evil”
Kendrick Lamar’s verse here amplifies the track’s dark and gritty tone. His delivery is charged with intensity as he tackles themes of violence, street life, and the harsh realities of urban environments. His verse resonates as a raw portrayal of the challenges faced by individuals trapped in cycles of crime and adversity, painting a graphic picture of the environment he lyrically navigates.
Fredo Santana Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Jealous”
In “Jealous,” Kendrick Lamar takes a departure from his usual sociopolitical themes to explore the complex emotions of envy and jealousy. His introspective lyrics provide a glimpse into the mindset of someone grappling with feelings of insecurity and rivalry. Lamar’s ability to switch between thought-provoking commentary and personal introspection is evident as he delves into the psychological landscape of covetousness, showcasing his versatility as a lyricist.
Eminem Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Love Game”
Collaborating with Eminem, Kendrick Lamar’s verse on “Love Game” creates a captivating back-and-forth dialogue between the two artists. Lamar’s intricate wordplay and rapid-fire delivery complement Eminem’s signature style, resulting in a dynamic lyrical exchange. The verse not only showcases Lamar’s technical prowess but also highlights his ability to hold his own alongside a rap legend, contributing to the song’s playful yet intense atmosphere.
ScHoolBoy Q Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Birds & The Beez”
Kendrick Lamar adds a layer of narrative depth to ScHoolBoy Q’s storytelling. Lamar’s contribution highlights his storytelling ability, as he crafts a vivid and poignant account of street life and its impact on relationships. The verse is a testament to Lamar’s knack for painting intricate narratives, allowing listeners to immerse themselves in the world he depicts and the emotions he conveys.
T.I. Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Memories Back Then”
Kendrick Lamar’s verse on “Memories Back Then” adds a reflective and nostalgic dimension to the song. His poignant lyrics evoke a sense of longing and sentimentality as he recounts memories of past relationships and experiences. Through his verse, Lamar taps into universal themes of nostalgia and introspection, resonating with listeners by capturing the bittersweet essence of cherished memories.
MMG Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Power Circle”
Pusha T Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Nosetalgia”
Snoop Dogg Feat. Kendrick Lamar “I’m Ya Dogg”
The Game Feat. Kendrick Lamar “The City”
ScHoolBoy Q Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Collard Greens”
A$AP Rocky Feat. Kendrick Lamar “F-cking Problems”
Big Sean Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Control”
Danny Brown Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Really Doe”
A$AP Rocky Feat. Kendrick Lamar “1 Train”
Jay Rock Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Wow”
Taylor Swift Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Bad Blood”
Travis Scott Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Goose Bumps”
Jay Rock Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Pay For It”
DJ Khaled Feat. Kendrick Lamar “Holy Key”
50 Cent Feat. Kendrick Lamar “We Up”