During his conversation with veteran music journalist Touré, Kendrick was asked if "he's written the perfect rhyme yet." Though he doesn't answer with a "yes" or "no," i-D reports that Kendrick said "FEAR.," the 12th track on his 2x Platinum-certified new album, DAMN., contains the best verses of his entire recording career.
"It's completely honest," he says. "The first verse is everything that I feared from the time that I was seven years old. The second verse I was 17, in the third it's everything I feared when I was 27. These verses are completely honest."
Kendrick Lamar has released more than 60 records over the past seven years, spanning four full-length albums, as well as countless guest verses spread out over nearly 50 feature appearances. For artists like Future or Gucci Mane, that's a Tuesday morning, but for Kendrick, an artist who scrapped "two or three albums" before releasing his GRAMMY Award-winning To Pimp a Butterfly, that means a very deliberate creative process, from formulating the entire direction of an album to choosing the right collaborators and crafting the actual material.
In this case, Kendrick's ability to illustrate our shared struggle to achieve true happiness is not only pitch perfect but also universally relatable.
Picking a favorite Kendrick verse is like choosing a favorite child, but setting aside the charting and streaming success of DAMN. singles "HUMBLE.," "DNA.," and "ELEMENT.," "FEAR." is, without a doubt, the artistic high-water mark of what is now the most popular body of work of Kendrick's career.
At least, until the next one.