Alright so if you don’t know, I am a Southern California native. South Central, to be exact. I’m a West Coast chick. So to say Kendrick Lamar sparked an awakening in me would be putting it mildly.
When I first heard G.O.O.D Kid M.A.A.d City I was blown AWAY! This was NWA, Death Row all rolled into one. I mean where were my chucks? I felt like cruising on the Shaw again. It was like old times.
So needless to say, his sophomore album was THE album I was checking for this year. To my delight it came out two days early. Spotify on DECK!!!!
As I do all new albums, they get their own play first. Skim through. Then I integrate it into my Playlist #WhatsMakingMyEarsHappy
That playlist gets played when I’m driving, cleaning, studying… whatever. So I’m going to hear it. I do this so I can hear it against the other songs I like. I want to see how it stands up.
So that’s my process.
So how did my boy hold up??!! B+
LORD I SWEAR TO SWEET BABY JESUS I WANTED TO GIVE IT AN A- BUT I HONESTLY JUST CAN’T
Heres why, Kendrick needs to grow more before he attempts an album like this.
He hasn’t been through enough.
He’s a masterful lyricist but he’s not quite there yet as a rapper to pull off an album like this yet. U is a prime example of this.
But it’s a dope album nonetheless. The assessments are correct, if you’re looking for Good Kid…. not here… it’s a complete departure!
Yes it does seem like he did Erykah in the bathroom stall lol! But all in all its a solid effort.
And a question was asked: Big Sean or Kendrick have to give to Sean then it was asked Drake or Kendrick and that question implies a set of two answers. Riding? Drake composition? Kendrick
So any who here’s my track by track critique of Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore album To Pimp a Butterfly:
You Ain’t Got Lie (Momma Said)
One of the best tracks… Here Kendrick speaks to the hangers on that feel the need to front to be in the mix. Dig a lil a deeper youll catch possible jabs at Drake.
The unofficial third single is about the complexity of King Kendrick. He’s tooting his horn loud and proud and bitch stand back and give him 6ft. on this funkadelic track. Because you weren’t there…. definitely rotation worthy
For Sale? Interlude
Kendrick laments on the critic’s assement that he sold out. He must’ve slept with Erykah Badu and went the way of Common and Andre 3000…. Lucy=Erykah
One of the most insightful pieces. K. Dot goes into being written off as a one hit wonder not being able to come with the same fevor. Being doubted. He likens himself to Nelson Mandela. One of the most poignant bars: Think she gone stick around when the 25 occur
Look to the left to the right make sure you ask your friends…. King Kendrick All Hail!
****Don’t skip past the passage between him and Pac, listen at least once***
How Much A Dollar Cost featuring James Fauntleroy and Ronald Isley
Again one of my favorite tracks…
The tracks lends the perfect back drop for James’ smooth tenor. Kendrick bares down on his soul and speaks to his conscious about pulling those up that look up to him. It’s about the legacy you’re leaving instead of the here and now.
Ron Isley’s cameo is a bit misplaced though….
Complexion (A Zulu Love)
There’s no need to sugar coat anything here. People had a whole bunch of shit to say about the complexion of his girlfriend. Especially when the girl that “portrayed” his girlfriend on Poetic Justice was NOT the same complexion.
This is definitely a middle finger to the whole “team dark skinned” “team light skinned” madness and I’m all #hereforit
May not be one of the smoothest tracks (gotta be from the West to appreciate the slang) but he spit some serious lyrics on this one …
50 Nigga Salute…
DemoCrips and ReBloodicans / red and blue states which one you governin’?!
The official single. If there was a juxtaposition of who Kendrick Lamar is, this track embodies it. But I loved the live version of it and how it got interrupted by typical shenanigans. Very insightful but shows exactly where we are as a nation and a people right now!
For Free? Interlude
Money Bitches & Status gotta love Harlem Renaissance jazz-drenched big band theme
He’ll just stick with what works
Featuring Bilal, Snoop Dogg and Anna Wise
One of the most feature heavy tracks. OK here Snoop does what he became famous for. Storytelling. Most don’t realize. Snoop was hailed as OUR generation’s Slick Rick. He handles the chorus with ease as only he could. And said to say, that is THE standout on the track. #Skip
My absolute favorite track
It’s all about the delivery for me on this. Not the deepest flow. But his flow moves over the beat effortlessly which shows his growth as not only a lyricist but a rapper. Don’t know the difference? See Jay-Z, Biggie, Pac, Wayne and Eminem
Just like he was able to deliver Alright beautifully, not so much with U. The subject matter needed to be heard. Something like Kanye’s Runaway or Eminem’s Stan…. God!!!! There was SSSSSOOOOOOO much potential in this track but the track was all wrong and Kendrick just hasn’t been through enough yet to have that grit of Ye and Marshall to make the masses LISTEN!!!!!
The Blacker the Berry
The official second single
A here you go to all the new fans that never heard of him. And then just basically I wanna make you uncomfortable let’s see you squirm. You thought I was gonna tame it down because Taylor Swift was singing my shit?! FUCK YOU!
Featuring Bilal, Anna Wise and Thunderkat
One of the rare tracks that K. Dot actually speaks on a sexual tip. Kinda missed the Poetic Justice flow.
Another poignant track. Melodic. Kendrick bares his soul, speaks about being arrogant and a bit of a know it all and having to be knocked down to size.
Featuring George Clinton (yes that ONE) Thunderkat
In the infamous words of Charlie Murphy or Rick James should’ve never gave you niggas money…. this track is all about staying hungry. Like Biggie said like its your first time….