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108
4.8 out of 5 stars
good kid, m.A.A.d city
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2013
Early in 2012 my teenage son (whose musical taste mostly comprises of grime, dub step and rap) played me a song called 'Cartoons And Cereal' by Kendrick Lamar. I was so impressed, I asked him to play it again. Here was a 'rapper' who wasn't singing about the usual topics of bitches, n****s and having wads of money. Instead, he was telling us about how he wanted to do something with his life.

On the strength of this I purchased this album, and have to say that I wasn't disappointed in the slightest (bearing in mind, this review is from a middle aged classic rocker who thinks the best album ever is Zep's Physical Graffiti! From the very first tune it grabs you - no over production, no thud thud beat that annoys the balls off you! Lyrically, it's one of the strongest albums I've heard in a long time. Tracks that stand out for me are 'The Art Of Peer Pressure' - how many teenagers could learn from this? - and 'Sing About Me: I'm Dying Of Thirst' - the haunting backing vocals of the second half are simply superb. From start to finish it's a master class.

The album is full of quality, and just grows with each play. I can't recommend it highly enough - if you buy just one hip-hop/rap album this decade, buy this one - you won't be disappointed.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2012
Well what can I say, If I could give 6 stars, I would. The whole album is a masterpiece and the best thing I've heard in 2012, without a doubt. It's set out to be an ALBUM, not just a bunch of tracks on a disc. Kendrick tells a story all the way through, hence the album is appropriately named, 'a short film by Kendrick Lamar'. It's genius, it's almost like a movie experience on an album. There's some skits at the beginning and end of songs as a tactic to get you into the right mood for the following track, and to lay out the topic/issue that Kendrick wants to talk about.
I can safely say, from amazing heart felt tracks like 'the art of peer pressure', to the incredible Hit-Boy produced track (N****s in Paris, Goldie), 'Backseat Freestyle', Kendrick kills every track, as you would expect from such a talented lyricist.
Best album of 2012, easily.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 7 March 2013
Best album I've bought in a very long time!!! Always listen to when running as it gets you pumped and up the hills!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2014
After a stark sound bite and an ominous eerie sweeping sound, you are greeted with a smooth bassline that is a foretaste for the heavy soul influence sweeping through the whole album

The general theme of the album is one of the power of influence and the power over us that our surroundings have. The ability of what is outside of ourselves to fundamentally change and alter our very being, be those things people or a general environment and its cultural norms, is discussed within this albums songs.

Aside from any philosophical concerns there is of course an album of good quality songs that stand up even if you aren’t inclined to any deep though (or any thought at all) and are generally quite fun and playful. There is no need to skip any tracks as they are all good and there is plenty of variety to keep you going, although I’m not sure you need three versions of ‘...dont kill my vibe’.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 February 2014
For those of you who are true Kendrick fans you'll know what I mean by game changer. I'm talking his recent control verse, but this album was the true start for the masses, except the section 80 veterans out there - another great album if you are considering buying Kendrick's music.

For those who are considering buying this though, there is no question.

The same old tedium of rap gets very boring, to the point where i hear people judging a rap song on the 'beat' rather than the lyrics. What happened to real hip-hop??? Kendrick is bringing it back!!
I'm not saying a beat isn't important but Kendrick's lyrics pack enough power to shut anyone up, without needing a crazy bassline to kick it. I saw this guy live in Leeds, one of the only people i've really wanted to see live, and he was amazing. One of the few real rappers with raw talent; no auto-tune, no over the top references to hoes and money, just real rap about real life.

Sometimes i like the money and hoes rap, but its this guy i'll always return to 90% of the time for the pure raw talent and lyricism. He's gonna make it big, keep an eye out
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2013
A quite spiffing album with the popular ditty "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" providing much entertainment during the cold winter months
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2013
I have liked Kendrick Lamar for a while now and this cd of his is FAB and of course Dre
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
review from from Sam Jackson @ hilltopviewsonline.com
The young rapper's major label debut "good kid, m.A.A.d city" starts out with a group of men reciting a prayer asking the Lord to come into their hearts. Usually in this business it takes a drug/alcohol induced flameout to get artists on a spiritual kick, but Lamar seems to have skipped some levels.
Not that his ascent has not been quick either. After putting out his first mixtape at 16, he started rising in the hip-hop world, both by himself and as part of the four-man super group Black Hippy, who have two remixes on deluxe editions of "good kid, m.A.A.d city." His first album, the critically acclaimed "Section.80," caught the attention of legendary producer Dr. Dre, who executive produced this album.
So why does someone who has become so successful at 23 need aid from above?
Judging from the lyrical themes of "good kid," Lamar's trying to exorcise the ghosts of his past, mostly eschewing typical hip-hop braggadocio for deeper lyrics about things like girl trouble, the death of close friends, and his Compton upbringing.
The whole album is cloaked in beats from a variety of producers, ranging from big names such as Just Blaze, Pharrell and Hit-Boy, to past affiliates from "Section.80," with sounds ranging from seductive synths and drums ("Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter's Daughter," "Swimming Pools (Drank)"), and old school West Coast bombast ("Backseat Freestyle," the "California Love" rip-off "Compton"). The songs often end with little skits, snippets of dialogue that range from "Friday"-esque hilarity to disturbing violence.
Lamar seems to prefer rapping on his own most of the time, which is fine since this is his story and he tells it with incredibly deep, meditative lyrics and an expert flow, but he does make room for others to drop verses as well, bringing in Drake, Dr. Dre, and his Black Hippy comrade Jay Rock, along with a few others.
All in all, it is a brilliant album that soars above the standard for rap. Kendrick Lamar was running from his past on this album and not only did he manage to leave it behind, he has left his competition in the dust as well
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 June 2015
Kendrick Lamar is easily (in my opinion) the best current rapper, this is quite easily in my top-10 albums of all time.. and that's coming from a metalhead!
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on 30 April 2013
You can hear a heavy Dre influence on the beats on this record which was more than enough for me to buy this but this kid has great potential and his lyrics are not your standard rap lyrics, you can tell he put alot of work into this album and it has paid off.

Dre's next protege might actually do half as well as his biggest one which is no mean feat.

Buy this if you like Dre's producing and like a Drake like flow.
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