Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
Hailing from Compton, is a rapper with an attitude. Kendrick’s album boasts some exceptional star power. Just over an hour, there are more stars and idols on this album than you can shake a stick at. Despite being released mid through the week the album was leading the charts in Oceania.
The album opens up with a classic funk sample under a low pass filter that soon leads into live instrumentation. Despite the fact there was sampling involved with the intro doesn’t mean there is no soul to this jazz. With both Flying Lotus and Thundercat on the beginning song, you already know that the album is going to be a strong one. Originally, Flying Lotus intended his work on the first track, titled “Wesley’s Theory”, to be on his Captain Murphy project.
The fourth track “Institutionalized” features one of Kendrick’s idols and favorite rapper Snoop Dogg. The song transcends contemporary Hip Hop by having live instrumentation accompanied by vocals that almost sound like they belong in an underground coffee shop. The hook “$hit don’t change don’t change till you wash your ass!” is a bold statement that I feel is directly aimed at urban communities. Problems aren’t changed until you address them.
The last song of the album features one of the founding fathers of modern Hip Hop, Tupac Shakur. “Mortal Man” clocking in at over twelve minutes is the longest song on the album.
Without a doubt, Kendrick came out this year hot and ready. He’s gunning for the throne and I believe he has taken it!