Kendrick Lamar was just a tyke when Snoop Dogg spit his inaugural verse on Dr. Dre's "Deep Cover" single in 1992, but 20 years later, the young Compton spitter has earned the California rap icon's respect with the release of his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city.
"I love Kendrick Lamar, I love his success, I love his story, his hustle," the newly christened Snoop Lion told MTV News on Thursday evening at the Andaz Hotel in New York. "Standing for something and being his own, tryin' to hold this thing up as far as the West coast and now we got somebody that can really run with it from a young perspective and put a different point of view."
Kendrick and Snoop both share the same mentor: Dr. Dre. In 1993, Dre oversaw the release of Snoop's classic debut Doggystyle, and since then, the Good Doctor has kicked off the careers of rap greats Eminem, 50 Cent and Game. Kendrick Lamar is just the latest. GKMC has been dubbed an instant-classic by some critics and is projected to move over 225,000 copies in its first week of sale.
There have been some detractors. Shyne jumped on Twitter and called good kid "trash," but by-and-large fans and artists alike are giving Kendrick props for the audio-cinematic debut that puts an emphasis on multi-layered rap lyrics and detailed storytelling. Game is one of those supporters, as he immediately jumped in defense of his young buddy.
"Personally, I think Shyne should just back away and let the kid breathe and if not, I don't know, we might find ourselves face-to-face or sh-- that nobody really wants to see happen," Game said.
Snoop isn't choosing sides, but he is in full support of K-Dot. "I mean, this is awesome for me, myself as one of the OGs in the game to sit back and watch the young homey have his way and really dazzle the people with great music, with a great show and a new sound," he said.
What's your favorite Dr. Dre-helmed debut album? Let us know in the comments!