Album Review | Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly (HHBMedia)

I’m absolutely in love with Kendrick Lamar at that this point in my life. Going back to the summer of 2011, when I had my first listen to his independently released album, Section.80, I knew that he would be a force in the industry. And his sound hasn’t changed. By now, you know that when you hear a Kendrick Lamar track or feature, you’re going to get authenticity. And in a time when every other rapper is a carbon copy, I love that we can depend on him to put his artistry over fame and radio bangers.


good kid, m.A.A.d city was awesome, but To Pimp A Butterfly is history. BLACK history. Funk, jazz, blues, spoken word, the samples – black history. I get the feeling that Kendrick put his all into each and every track, including the interludes. I have to say, For Free? and For Sale? are just as good as the songs.

Abnormally, I find myself at a loss for words as I write this – trying to organize my thoughts without getting carried away. I’m just, in a nutshell, overwhelmed with passion. I expected something good, but NOT anything like this.

Socially conscious? Sure. Maybe a little. But this album is way more than just an industry phrase to categorize “eloquent Negroes”. It’s a testament to the fact that no matter how much money, power, or success you have, we all still deal with some of the same issues. Self doubt, self consciousness, internal morality battles, skin complexion-complexes, depression, feelings of neglect and abandonment, questioning your self worth (especially in a time when people of color are still being treated as less than human), wanting to build a united front but allowing our religions, social statuses, cultures, or gang affiliations continue to tear us apart – are just a few of the albums themes that I identified with. I kind of feel like to label this masterpiece as “socially conscious” would be disrespectful. Kendrick packed his life’s insecurities into 16 wonderfully-made tracks that can’t be described as anything but “unapologetically black”.

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