Kendrick Lamar is the “ft.”. The big news is that Kanye West dropped a single over the weekend — with the curious and surely untrue title “No More Parties in L.A.” But a big part of the story comes after the ft. — featuring, that is. Because if you want a smash one way to guarantee it these days is to have Kendrick Lamar following your ft., and it doesn’t matter who you are or what genre you’re working. “ft. Kendrick Lamar” might as well stand for Fort Kendrick Lamar, because the American rapper protects a tune from mediocrity and defends a cut against potential enemies. Lamar is that strong.
That’s why Kanye West makes sure to feature Lamar on “No More Parties” — a return to familiar form of sorts — and why an artist as different from Kanye as Taylor Swift did the same on her 2015 hit “Bad Blood” — ft. Kendrick Lamar. (That video has a mere, um, 713 MILLION views on YouTube.) Yeezy is the star on “No More Parties in L.A.” but, you know, featuring Kendrick Lamar. Artists who’ve dropped cuts featuring Kendrick Lamar include Lyn Charles, Talib Kweli, ASAP Rocky, Dido, 50 Cent, T.I., Solange, Imagine Dragons, Robin Thicke, Alicia Keys, Jay Rock and Flying Lotus. That list is not even close to complete.