Kendrick Lamar has been quiet. This year, Kendrick — our pick for the artist of the 2010s — was supposed to headline the Glastonbury Festival. That didn’t happen. Instead, Kendrick has only stayed active behind the scenes, launching a mysterious new venture called pgLang and laughing off rumors that he’s leaving longtime label home TDE. He hasn’t released any music this year. But today, Kendrick has shown up on a new single with rap elder Busta Rhymes.
Tomorrow, Busta will release his new album Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath Of God. It’s Busta’s sequel to his 1998 LP ELE (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front, and it’s also the first proper Busta Rhymes album in 11 years. We’ve posted Chris Rock’s album announcement and the Anderson .Paak collaboration “YUUUU,” and the album will also feature all-star collaborations with Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Rakim, and Q-Tip, among many others. (The Minister Louis Farrakhan is on there?) But the most intriguing track on the ELE 2 tracklist is “Look Over Your Shoulder,” a song that features Kendrick Lamar. This morning, we get to hear it.
“Look Over Your Shoulder” is built on a tender and stately boom-bap sample of the Jackson 5 classic “I’ll Be There.” On his verse, Kendrick seems to be coasting but also reaffirming his love of hip-hop: “I lead this new generation, boy, don’t argue with us/ Marvelous beat selectors, authors, and novel spitters/ And it’s all for thе literature.” Busta, clearly having a good time, goes back and forth between a throaty preacher delivery and a dizzy fast-rap flow. Listen below.
Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath Of God is out 10/30 on the Conglomerate Entertainment, Inc./EMPIRE.