Kendrick Lamar’s Imagine Dragons Collab Is Real, and It Is Not Very Good

January 27, 2014 | Andy Cush

The Grammys performance that launched a thousand “White Man Group” jokes and surely confused as many midwestern moms and dads now has an official studio version. Here’s Kendrick Lamar guesting on the remix of Imagine Dragons’ inexplicably inescapable “Radioactive.”

Kendrick’s verse is about what you’d expect: he leans heavily on the growl that may become his post-“Control” calling card, raining down a tirade of words that’s physically impressive but not actually saying much. The fever pitch he reaches by the end of his section is cathartic, but Imagine Dragons’ milquetoast chorus does little to deliver on the tension Kendrick builds.

A year ago, Kendrick Lamar felt like a truly revelatory, subversive voice; now, he’s doing promotional tie-ins with the electric guitar’s answer to Mumford & Sons. How did we get here? I don’t know, but Kendrick’s apparent taste for boring rock-dude cliches runs deep.

(Photo: Hollywood Reporter)