Nothing like a Dr Dre cosign to fast track any career. He (Dr Dre) made a career out of foreseeing the next great artist. If you look at his track record, it is hard to argue that he has an eye for talent. So when he put out a statement saying that he wanted to take time developing a new artist by the name of Kendrick Lamar, I knew I had to check this boy out. However I half expected that it would be 2015 before he actually released some material.
It was a welcome surprise when Section 80 arrived so soon after that statement was made.
Outside a couple of features and the J Cole produced single young Kendrick was pretty much unknown to me. And to be honest he never made much of an impression, good or bad, on the material I heard.
So upon 1st listen to the raspy voiced MCs album or retail mixtape or whatever it is, I was taken aback by its content. From the raps about ethnicity to his use of strange accents on ADHD, he sounded nothing like what I expected or anything like other artist that had received the Dre Dre stamp of approval before. In fact I even thought I had paid for the wrong downlaod. I had to skip to Hiii Power just to make sure.
After the product check I went back to where I left the album and began to open my mind and ear to KL. To my surprise I found a multi dimensional artist who is somewhere between gangsta, conscious, emo etc. without being any of that. Comfortable in any skin and clearly an artist 1st and a rapper 2nd Lamar takes you on a wonderful journey into his neighbourhood, loves, lusts and his mind. A complex mind that makes for an interesting collection of songs.
There is so much to the seemingly simple No Make Up where KL painfully describes the moment when one is patiently waiting for a lady who is either too vain and into herself or too insecure to realise that she does not need all that make up. K Lamar has to complement her while reassuring her that she is beautiful au natural. But the story gets even deeper than that.
The tribute to Aaliyah and Pimp C is also an exercise in contrdiction. I am not even sure it is a tribute or just his way of crediting those that influenced him. It could even be a slight to those who disrespect the legacy of the fallen.
He has songs about the 80s that double as his testament to his hood credentials. He later criticises his own desire to be a thug but shows sympathy to those who chose to walk that path.
The songs are all interesting even he is simply doing the mandatory F the world track. After all it is the same track where he declares that he will not even accept a hand out from Dre. A bold declaration indeed.
On Rigamortis which is meant to serve as his Lyrical Exercise or Emcee Murdah he kicks things off by confessing that it is his 3rd take. An impressive feat I am sure but when other rappers are bragging single takes it makes for another head scratching moment in an album that is filled with many such instances.
I am not sure what Section 80 is meant to be... A mixtape, a debut album or a sophomore release given the previously released Overly Dedicated. Either way it sets a high standard for other artists as well as his own future projects
This is a great debut album I think Kendrick did really good with it the production and the beats are great, there was a couple of songs in there that I like but didn't love there's some I loved and there some that where very skip-able there's songs in there that are replayable but not the whole album entirely but I enjoyed it the first time.
Amazing piece of work from the king of Compton. I bought this after I bought his album good kid maad city which got me into his work; but I must say I prefer this section.80 a lot more!! Definitely recommend this to any other fans.
If you've come in at Good Kid Maad City, and you're looking for some of Kendrick's earlier stuff, then I really do recommend this. Well worth a listen! Hol'up and ADHD are my two fave tracks on the album.
I have to say that Section 80 actually surpassed my expectations... Every song in it is worth listening over and over again. There so much to think about and contemplate on .. very well done Kendrick Lamar! Highly recommended to anybody interested in hip-hop, but disappointed from the majority of non-sense music nowadays. Peace :)