Today’s listen is a track called “Growing Apart (To Get Closer)” brought to us by a young California rapper named Kendrick Lamar, who I’m sure nobody has ever heard of. He definitely has not won a Grammy, nor has he won a Pulitzer. The track in question can be found on his 2010 mixtape O(verly) D(edicated) (Top Dawg Entertainment.) For those who were surprised by Kendrick’s turn towards jazz and soul music on 2015’s To Pimp A Butterfly, I would point to this song as evidence that his inner Miles Davis has been there from the start. Using a drum break from soul group Bobby Cook and The Explosions’ song “On The Way” as the backbone to a spacious, off-kilter instrumental, producer Tae Beast leaves room for Kendrick to wax introspective about love, music, and religion. Jhene Aiko, another total unknown who has definitely never been nominated for a Grammy, contributes the sung hook, which is downcast until a melodic shift and coda/outro verse end the track on a slightly more upbeat note. Listened to this one in the shower this morning; it made me sad for 165 seconds and happy for 56 seconds.