The Needle Drop

Kendrick Lamar- "Westside, Right On Time" (feat. Young Jeezy)

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Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar has been having a great year in 2012. He's collaborated with Dr. Dre, announced a collaboration with Lady Gaga, performed at a number of high profile festivals (including Pitchfork, which I attended in July), and if all goes as planned, his major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city will be a great followup to last year's excellent Section.80. Earlier this week, Kendrick dropped yet another high profile collaboration in the form of a track called "Westside, Right On Time," which features Young Jeezy.

"Westside" will not appear on the album, and it's probably better off that way, although this track is quite good. With its soulful Canei Finch beat and Late Registration-reminiscent flow, the song feels like a pre-emptive celebration of the success that Lamar is bound to attain once good kid drops. It's a bold and swaggering statement for the upstart rapper to make, but unlike some less talented young MCs, Kendrick can pull this kind of thing off. Sandwiched between two of Kendrick's verses, the Young Jeezy verse feels almost like an afterthought. Kendrick can play so well with big names at this point that he can practically stand on his own as a big name himself.

good kid, m.A.A.d. city is out October 2nd on Interscope.