MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Kendrick Lamar Freestyles Over Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’

Taylor Swift is not the only star who can “Shake It Off”. T-Sweezy fans and hip-hop fans alike will rejoice to know that Kendrick Lamar covered Taylor’s song with his own swingin’ freestyle. And what’s even better? Taylor clapped back.

First Kendrick stopped by K104′s “Dede In The Morning Show” in Dallas to express his two thumbs up for Taylor’s hit. They heard him say on a previous radio show, “I love that song,” before busting into the chorus.

Soooo, Dede took him up on a dare to go H.A.M.

“We know you’re really good at the cyphers and the freestyles…so, we said, ‘What if we got one of the best lyricists to freestyle over one of his favorite pop beats?’”

“That’s funny,” said Kendrick, before busting into rhymes like this:

“K.Dot you know that he’s hot / I can do rhythm-hip-hop, I can do pop.”

“And the haters [they] in our way or they getting’ sprayed / ‘Cause the haters gonna hate, hate, hate…”

The radio hosts whooped it up and threw out words for him to flow off of: “White girls!” “Dede!” “K104” “Lady J”!

Kendrick Lamar’s “Shake It Off (Freestyle)”

Even though Kendrick was baby-rapping, not at his usual level of sophistication, it was a raucous, joyous occasion. Then, of course, Kendrick plugged his new single “I”.

“It represents a whole community of people that feel they got nothing to live for.”

And then… like the hardcore rapper that she is, Taylor Swift busted out with a cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle”. She air guitars, “G**damn I feel amazing, damn I’m in the matrix / My mind is living on cloud nine and this 9 is never on vacation / Start up that Maserati and vroom-vroom, I’m racing…” Well she should feel amazing: her new album1989 just went Platinum after one week, making her the first artist to reach Platinum sales with a new release this year.

Taylor Swift’s “Backseat Freestyle”

The country-turned-pop artist was all up in the front of her car bobbing her head like a thoroughbred rapper. While the two worlds of pop and rap couldn’t be any more different, and the two artists couldn’t be any further apart, this unlikely collabo has us all cheering, brava! Why? The rando-collabo introduces two different fan bases to each other, and ultimately confirms Taylor’s love of hip-hop. Which means, more fans for Kendrick Lamar.

Now, Taylor’s run-in with rappers hasn’t always been stellar (Kanye West, anyone?), but this one sure was. And as Taylor said in an earlier interview with Complex Magazine about “Backseat”:

“You want to know a trick to immediately go from feeling victimized to feeling awesome? This is my go-to… I know every word.”

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About the Author


Mic check 1,2,1,2. Not the words you expect to bust out of Orange County, California, but that's where Deborah Jane found her funk. Daughter of Guyanese immigrants, Deborah grew up in an all-white suburb where she was one of the only black kids in her school. (Fun fact: She didn't make her first black friend until attending Stanford University). Hip-hop gave her a voice and helped her discover her roots. Now she is an emcee and writer who both spits raps and writes editorials, TV shows and films - especially hip-hop musicals!

At Stanford, she wrote and produced an award-winning hip-hop musical, Strange Fruit: The Hip-Hopera (www.strangefruithiphopera.com) - now in development as a feature film. Deborah also launched her hip-hip theatre webseries, The HOTT (www.youtube.com/TheHOTTtv), published in Urban Cusp Magazine. Currently, she is penning her first hip-hop album, Do You Love Me Deborah Jane? And do you? She truly hopes you all love her.

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