Kendrick Lamar and Danny Brown are very different rappers. Lamar is quiet, mostly modest, nobly contemplative. Brown is brash and gross, mesmerized equally by his own penis and the destruction of a mind through drug abuse. But where they’re the same is that they are both immeasurably talented rappers with unique gifts for language. We are lucky that rap is in a place where dudes of all kinds of nerdy vocabularies are having a moment. We sent Andrew Noz out to LA to meet with Lamar, which included a trip to his mom’s house and plenty of time with his Black Hippy compatriots, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab Soul. Noz gets pretty deep into their craft. If you’ve ever wanted someone to explain why rap is good, this is the one to read. In the middle of the country, Duncan Cooper hung out at home with Danny Brown. They got pizza there (and in New York, too), and discussed how he made it to 30, why that’s been such a hard slog and how it makes his glide into the spotlight is so much sweeter. And, yes, they briefly discuss his hair.