20 of Kendrick Lamar’s Best Guest Verses
Kendrick Lamar had already cemented his status as the rap game's next superstar by the time he delivered his incendiary guest verse on Big Sean's "Control" in 2013. By that time, the Top Dawg Entertainment signee also had a cosign by Dr. Dre, traveled with Drake on his Club Paradise tour and, of course, dropped good kid, m.A.A.d city, a major label debut universally hailed as a classic from the moment it was released, less than a year beforehand.
You could argue the proverbial passing of the torch had been completed long before he hopped on the blazing No I.D. beat and made an otherwise great Big Sean verse irrelevant. If, at the time, you didn't want to, K. Dot's name-dropping, flow-twisting, syllable alchemy on the track was proof enough he was going to snatch that torch pretty soon.
The MC doesn't ride beats as much as he dematerializes and explores them, switching through speeds and stuttering rhyme schemes like a 2001 Eminem while finding pockets in the instrumental you barely even knew existed. When you combine that technical mastery with his underrated knack for melody and the outright conviction Kendrick brings to everything he spits, there's no wonder he's upstaged so many rappers on their own songs.
Today, in celebration of his recent appearance on Future's "Mask Off (Remix)," XXL takes a look at 20 of Kendrick Lamar's best guest verses. Peep the list for yourself below.