Good Kid, M.A.A.D City – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is the future of rap. Kanye may be the self proclaimed King, Jay Z may still be hyped, Drake may be popular, list off the big names of hip hop, and all will pale in comparison to Kendrick in a couple of years. That’s a big statement to make, but having listened to this debut studio album, I genuinely think he has it all. As far as a debut studio album goes, there won’t be one as good as this for years to come. There hasn’t been one in recent years. If there’s one post of mine that you have to read, it’s this one.

Kendrick Lamar was born in Compton. He’s lived the life of a youth growing up in a broken neighbourhood. This album is that story. The story of a young man dealing with the tribulations of growing up surrounded constantly by the drugs and the gang lifestyle, all while under the influence of peer pressure. “The Art of Peer Pressure” obviously discusses this, but there’s no crass lack of depth. He really gets introspective on this album, for example here discussing his bravado around his homies cruising round in his mum’s caravan, and then reflecting on his real feelings with monologue sections.

This is a deeply sentimental album. There’s a lot more here than the whole bullshit bravado phase hip hop seems to be going through right now. There’s no need to discuss the mad number of “bitches” met at the club. This is a true insight into the life of a young man in Compton. There are no corners cut. There are the soft lulls of a serenade on “Poetic Justice”, “Money Trees” highlights the ambition of them all to make it big. These are real people we’re talking about, not caricatures of the supposed “rap game” that now entails Petron and nights out.

With Dre being executive producer, you know two things about this album. One, that the production values are going to be absolutely incredible. This is no 2001, and that’s appropriate. There isn’t the same upbeat nature to it all. This is a solemn album, and the beats here reflect that all. You can hear that above on “The Art of Peer Pressure”, between them all the producers and Kendrick himself have totally gotten the idea of it all down. And two, for Dre to produce your debut studio album, you have to be absolutely incredible. Dre has produced fora few people in his time. Eminem. 50 cent. Ring any bells? Kendrick Lamar obviously has exceptional talent. His flow is undeniably good, and he drops rhymes that are out of this world. Please, just listen to this album. It will redefine the art of rap.

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