Monday, April 1st, 2024

Future and Metro Boomin ft. Kendrick Lamar – Like That

A Drake diss track provides our highest  controversy of the day; it truly is April 1…

Future and Metro Boomin featuring Kendrick Lamar - Like That

Andrew Karpan: “Like That” is probably the best of the varied anti-Drizzy discography that I’ve encountered so far; the flipped, forgotten Rodney-O record emerging out of the dust of a minor E-40 posse cut into a throbbing, pulsing menace that owns its own side of the street, untouched. Kendrick, like Pusha-T and then Meek Mill before him, finds inside Drake’s bloated success and notorious mediocrity a melancholy yearning to belong, which frankly confuses him. But this is, of course, why the devout listen to Drake in the first place.  

Taylor Alatorre: Not the second coming of Big Sean’s “Control” that I thought it was upon first listen; the Michael Jackson line is doing most of the heavy lifting as far as pure shock and awe goes. The Verse is more of an announcement of hostilities than a full engagement on the battlefield, sounding like an intended sneak diss that turned less sneaky after a few hard drinks. The time and place of its delivery matter almost as much as the content: “Wait, Kendrick’s on this thing? Can he say that about Drake on a Future album? How did Melle Mel get dragged into this?!” By design, it’ll never again hit as hard as it did the first time, but the jolt of that initial impact stays imprinted in your brain like memory foam. Credit to Future for humbly recognizing his limited role on this stage (despite being as influential as any rapper mentioned here) and to Metro for being good at sample clearance, both much unlike Big Sean on “Control.”

Alfred Soto: “I still got PTSD,” Kendrick rasps. Could’ve fooled me. He responds to the competition with zeal — from Future to Eazy-E. The first half sticks to Future’s tried-and-true. 

TA Inskeep: I can’t, and won’t, with Future’s gun-glorifying, misogynist lyrics. And Metro’s Barry White-sampling track is just lazy.

Isabel Cole: Shrooms are really having their moment in the zeitgeist, huh? I kind of like the inclusion of a whistle done by someone who can only whistle poorly, if only because you don’t hear that every day. The dull, droning rest of it, though, feels like something I’ve heard before, and I didn’t care for it the first several times, either.

Katherine St. Asaph: Doomy, like background music for surveying the world from a high perch. Kendrick just overkills Drake and everything else.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The thrills of the Kendrick verse dimish with every listen – perhaps I’ve grown cynical (or just counterintuitive), but his performance last year on “The Hillbillies” (loose, fun, hanging out with his cousin) was a better demonstration of the appeal of latter-day Kendrick than this ceremonial airing of grievances, at once impressive and a little tedious the same way watching someone solve a cryptic crossword is. Future and Metro are exquisite hosts, though. The lifted synths and chants from the class of ’87-’88 lend the whole affair a charming old revivalist sensibility, while Future, a man of infinite regress into his own worst impulses, sounds gleeful. He whistles! Why isn’t that the story rather than warmed-over beef?

Ian Mathers: Imagine if the fierceness of the Kendrick verse (the only reason we’re here, right?) had inspired Future to match it even remotely. I don’t mind his sleepy affect most of the time, but it doesn’t really match here; the bit at the fade where he perks up is actually promising in comparison. Good production (so much so it basically gets a verse!), good ft., but Future drags it down.

Oliver Maier: A heap of irritating choices, bafflingly put together even before you get to the part where it fades out as Future is still rapping.

Nortey Dowuona: The discovery of Kendrick Lamar’s incredible ability is as unsurprising as it is predictable — there hasn’t been another figure blessed with either the talent or critical armor to take his place in the eyes of the larger public who don’t read good music writing and let YouTubers tell them what music to like — but the verse is at least good. It picks up the jengabuilt flows of Detroit/Bay Area rap and his long time record of disrespecting his peers for kicks and clout and actually has the bar “my temperament bipolar, I choose violence” comfortably lodged somewhere towards the beginning. It’s telling that Future has another verse on the song yet chooses to let Metro place it after a shrieking riff under some heavy kicks, then fade it out, almost as if the point had been made.

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