Kendrick Lamar Teams Up With Cozz For The Anthemic 'Hustla's Story'
    • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2018

    • Posted by: Chris Deverell

    Kendrick Lamar has been making moves outside of his own sphere recently, joining up with LA-based rapper Cozz on his debut album Effected, released on Dreamville Records today. The 14-track album also includes features by label founder J. Cole and artists Curren$y and Garren, but it's the Lamar-featured track "Hustla's Story" that really stands out.

    While Effected as a whole is a very solid album, "Hustla's Story" stands alone thanks to its incredible production, courtesy of the production trio composed of Meez, Hollywood JB and Louie Ji. Potentially borrowing a little bit of inspiration from Outkast's anthemic track "Player's Ball", "Hustla's Story" spins atmospheric trap beats infused with progressive funk sounds into a dramatic deep cut that defines what artists mean when they call themselves story-tellers.

    More than just mere braggadocio, Cozz's verses are several narratives unfolding at once. As he says, "This ain't my story that I'm singing my n-----, but this is another song / This probably your uncle song, probably your big brother song, your father or your mother song." Splitting a fine line between boasting about his own adventures and preaching about the ills of a hustler's life, Cozz instead finds the middle ground that tells the story of his life and the lives of many others with unbiased honesty and clarity.

    Surprisingly, Kendrick takes a bit of a back-seat role on the track, though that's by no means a dismissal of his skills. Instead of riding front and center, Kendrick finds a place serenading the track on choral hooks, downplaying his usual proclivity to deliver razor-sharp lines in favor of a more melodic hook and outro. Altogether, by eschewing overcompensation and cliche, "Hustla's Story" swings with an impassioned earnestness rarely found in rap these days.

    Effected is out now via Dreamville Records.

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