Kendrick Lamar

Pointlessly crowned Compton's New Favorite Son by most every hyperbole-seller inside and outside the city's boundaries, Kendrick Lamar is one of those all-too-rare young rap stars who actually lives up to the hype. Obviously he's not perfect, and his stream of consciousness is occasionally hard to follow, but there are few in the current crop of sophomores who can touch his style. His bars contain effortlessly clever jabs and calmly delivered hood observations that link his experimental production of choice back to the streets that have so defined his region's rap output. He's a master of the stoned observation, and his finishing rasp tells jaded stories of Cali life with perfect cadence. Though he's currently surrounded by rap royalty (his good kid, m.A.A.d. city album drops October 22 on Dr. Dre's Aftermath imprint), he's already shown he can swim on his own. With Fly Union, Stalley, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul. TODD HAMM

Sun., Oct. 14, 9 p.m., 2012

 
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