Emeli Sandé featuring Kendrick Lamar “Next To Me (Remix)”

emeli sande - next to me (remix) (ft. kendrick lamar)

In the wake of good kid, m.A.A.d city‘s overwhelming acclaim, current hip hop MVP Kendrick Lamar has been popping up in some interesting places recently, whether through the two posse cut entries he contributed to A$AP Rocky’s debut and an attention-grabbing hook-up with 50 Cent that managed to actually live up to the hype, or in less obvious guest turns that found him sharing track space with Dido and The Lonely Island.

Now, here he is helping to break singer-songwriter/ global sensation (and freshly-honored Album of The Year and Female Solo Artist BRIT Award winner) Emeli Sandé in probably the only area in the world she has yet to truly conquer (that would be America), slipping in a couple verses on a remix to her 2012 international hit “Next To Me”.

A rousing, Alicia Keys-meets-Tracy Chapman-meets-Stevie Wonder piano-soul inspirational ballad from her Our Version of Events debut notable for having devotional lyrics that could be directed at either him or Him, having the fine as-is “Next To Me” be updated with a rap cameo for a bigger U.S. push seems like an unnecessary move, but it’s an understandable one, with Lamar–who keeps in line with the gospel aspect of the song’s message with a couple strong, if not necessarily A-game, appearances here–registering as one of the few emcees able to make something of its construct work.