“All them years of being in the studio, all them years of writing, of freestyling, and just being a student of the game, don’t mean shit if I can’t live up to this track. It didn’t mean nothing if I couldn’t do the best of my abilities to at least stand out in some type of way on the record with him.”

These were Compton MC Kendrick Lamar’s words a day after releasing the official remix to the second track on his critically acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city album, featuring none other than Jay-Z. The general consensus among industry insiders is that Kendrick got the better of the Roc Nation boss–who, incidentally is notorious for coming on rappers’ tracks and rendering their verses irrelevant with his own–and Kendrick himself credits Hov for pushing him to be as good as he was on the track. An important tidbit of note is that Jay-Z laid his verse first, and Kendrick felt as if he needed to match, or better that verse. This vibe, no pun intended, is missing in hip-hop, and we’re appreciative of that competition happening between two proven greats.

-Khari Nixon (@KingVanGogh)