Kendrick Lamar Takes a Stand Against “Molly Rap”

May 24th, 2013

(Photo: Neilson Barnard/WireImage for VEVO)

By Jake Rohn

Is there anything Kendrick Lamar can’t do? In a recent interview with MTV and Shade45’s Sway, K. Dot explained why he feels rapping about “molly,” which is a powder or crystallized form of MDMA often used in ecstasy pills, is one of those trends that’s popular but not necessarily cool.

“Sometimes you have the trends that’s not that cool,” Kendrick told Sway. “You may have certain artists portraying these trends and don’t really have that lifestyle and then it gives off the wrong thing. And it becomes kinda corny after a while,” he continued.

Over the past couple of years rapping about molly has become commonplace for many of hip hop’s top-selling artists. Trinidad James, French Montana, Kanye West and 2 Chainz have all made reference to the recreational drug, and, most notably, Rick Ross lost his endorsement deal with Reebok after referencing the drug in a line that was perceived by many to be about date rape on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O.” remix.

As if he wasn’t already everyone’s new favorite rapper, Kendrick has elevated himself to an even higher echelon by taking this stand. First of all, he went against the grain. Even in high school it is difficult for people to take a stand and say that a drug isn’t cool. When you’re a rapper it can be even harder to speak out against something that has become associated with the hip hop lifestyle. It is refreshing to see someone (especially someone of his stature) go out of his way to show that not all rappers believe this and, more important, that you can just lump all MCs into one category. It’s the type of prejudice that racists use to justify unfounded hate of other ethnic groups. When someone like Kendrick says something, people listen. There’s only a handful of rappers right now that truly set the tone for the rest of hip hop, and Kendrick is one of them.

The other thing that was impressive was how Kendrick called out the problem. He could have name-checked half of the industry and garnered himself tons of free press, but he didn’t. He did it in as classy a way as possible, without even a hint of antagonism. It was something that needed to be said, not only because molly can be dangerous, but also because, just like rapping about swag, it was just getting tired. If there is one problem in hip hop in recent years it’s MCs’ follower-like mentalities. Rapping about molly now is like using autotune in 2011, played out. Yet with autotune it took Jay-Z to make a song about it for others to fall back from it. What Kendrick just did was like Jay-Z’s “D.O.A.”

Though hip hop’s demographic has expanded in age and culture, it’s still young people that make up a significant portion of the fan base. Now they have someone to look to that isn’t some corny rapper or no-name lyricist that shows the same audacity in his actions as he does in his words.

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