It’s always interesting to go back to the beginning of an artist’s discography. Especially, with hip-hop, you can hear how an MC lyrical skill and flow evolve. One example of this evolution is on Kendrick Lamar’s C4 mixtape.

The project dropped in 2009 when Kendrick was going by the stage name, K. Dot. The 18-track project features a young Kendrick showcasing his lyrical prowess over beats from Lil’ Wayne’s Tha Carter III.

The project even beings with a co-sign from Wayne saying, “The homie K. Dot is crazy.”

One of the standout tracks off C4 is “Misunderstood”, Kendrick’s interpretation of the last track off Tha Carter III, “DontGetIt“. The beat samples Nina Simone’s “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”.

You can hear early signs Kendrick being a lyrical monster with bars like, “King of my jungle, swear to remain humble, keep my vision tunnel / Because I don’t need to get sidetracked, my producer name is Soundwave and he gives me beats by the batch”.

Enjoy this throwback cut from one of the greats.

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