Kendrick Lamar is a talented artist that could portray a vivid imagery of his stories from his verses. The concepts are also relatable to a variety of people, especially the ones who are experiencing any struggles and are looking for positivity in their lives. There are of course other themes within the album, such as girl trouble, a deprivation of economic opportunity, gang violence, and his relationships with his friends and family. The structure of thehichbum is also cohesive, which is surprising, given the diversification of producers on the album. It is by far the most complete and compelling hip-hop album of the year. A possible classic in the not so distant future.
I am loving Kendrick Lamar at the moment, loved his section 80. album so I was looking foward to hearing good Kid M.A.A.d city. I had a quick listen to the album, besides my fav song swimming pools track number 6 Poetic Justice stood out for me and I fell in love with this song instanly. Poetic Jusitce contains samples of Janet Jackson's song Anytime any place, which was always a song that I enjoyed. When I listened to the album thouroghly I was very impressed. Give or take that there is the odd one or two songs that I am not keen on, but overall Kendrick Lamar created a fantastic album.
The concept of the album is that as the album progresses Kendrick Lamar gets older, so a song like "backseat freestyle" which on its own sounds like him thumping his chest, turns out to be a pitiful whelp from a younger him trying to rap about popular things instead of anything with substance. Buy this album. It's worth your money. The only problem I had with the deluxe is that it comes with 2 CDs, the first being the main album and then the second only having 3 bonus songs on it. I wish they had just added those to the first CD to be honest.
Although Kendrick Lamar has been releasing music for almost a decade (formerly known as K Dot) it was only really after 2011's "Section 80" that a significant amount of people started billing him as the potential saviour of mainstream Hip-Hop. Since then many have hoped that when his major label debut dropped, it would be good enough to kick start a renaissance of talented rappers who rise to the surface because of their lyrical prowess and rapping ability and not in spite of it. Kendrick doesn't take the opportunity to present Good Kid M.A.A.D. City as a call to arms where he targets weak rappers and lame lyricists like his early 90's elder statesmen might have done. Instead he showcases his considerable mic skills and charismatic persona through an altogether more personal and intimate setting here, by creating a concept album about the trials and tribulations he's experienced throughout his life, that have helped lead him to where he currently finds himself today.
Kendrick tells this story (or short film as he's dubbed it) through many different stages, "The Art of Peer Pressure" shows a young Kendrick succumbing to the pernicious influence of his delinquent friends. Whereas "B don't kill my vibe" sees him rap from a present day perspective, with more reflections on how he views his new found fame and those around him. Songs on "GKMC" will also regularly close with a skit, usually through the form of an answering machine message if it's a family member (mainly his Mum) or a real time conversation if it's his friends. The albums narrative doesn't always feel entirely consistent with some skits being tacked onto songs that don't really have anything to do with what's being discussed, but the essential progression from a young love-struck teenager on "Sherane" to the celebratory coronation for the Rapper who's arrived on "Compton" feels pretty authentic and even if the narrative is a little shaky or suspect at times, the actual music on here more than makes up for it.
"Backseat Freestyle" features a young Kendrick at his most braggadocious, while he rides an aggressive beat. His varying flow and over the top delivery in this song remind me of Kanye West quite a bit, although Kendrick sounds like a much fiercer MC than the Louis Vuitton don, as he gives an almost virtuouso performance here. On "Good Kid" Kendrick makes deft use of Pharrel's inimitable production style, with thought provoking lines that cleverly compare racial profiling police officers to harassing gang memebers. "M.A.A.D City" is a grimy club banger, with ominously revolving synths and heavy bass, it's probably the most aggressive track on the album which is certainly helped by MC Eiht's Compton credentials. "Sing about me, I'm Dying of Thirst" is the jewel in the crown here though, with a mellow guitar riff and some smooth hi hats accompanying Kendrick, who's rapping on this song is as melifluous as a young Nas. His meditations on being remembered here, might seem conceited but the weeping strings that come in during the chorus can't help but make you empathise with his desires. The tribal switch up mid way through brings the song an extra feeling of resonance and intensity and it's the only track where the skit at the end feels necessary to close it out.
I'm not sure whether Kendrick's produced a flawless record here like many critics and fans are claiming, as I mentioned earlier the Concept isn't entirely successful and although there aren't any weak tracks on "GKMC" some of the random gun shot sounds and live narration can feel a bit amateur. It's status as one of the best Hip-Hop albums of 2012 can not be denied however, and in time, maybe i'll hop aboard the hype train because this definitely has the potential to grow on me. I'd like to end this review by stating unequivocally that Kendrick has most definitely come good here and the world of modern day Hip-hop is all the better for it.
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Best readily available hip hop to come out of America for a long time (not including NAS). Was just about ready to give up on it with Drake, lil wayne and Niki manaj. Azelia banks came through with some good popular hip hop, but even she went a bit downhill, just my opinions, but Kendrick does it in a way like NWA mixed with tupac on a few new wave hip hop beats, and some classic breaks in there too. No one can beat the classics of hip hop, but this certainly gives new hip hop a better name.