October 30, 2012 by maborlleile
With mainstream hip hop taking off, many big artists are starting to stay in the mold that is guarantees commercial success. They all sound like they came from the same root. Have a catchy hook and a nice beat, and you have yourself a guaranteed hit. This may be a choice made themselves or the decision is coming from the big man upstairs(label executives). This started to make the genre somewhat boring to me and made me feel as if hip-hop was starting to lose it’s material. Thankfully, Kendrick Lamar’s debut album under Aftermath/Interscope, good kid, m.A.A.d city, is completely different from the mainstream mold.
Ever since I started listening to Kendrick Lamar, I had respect for his music. He never stretches from his goal, to tell a story, but at the same time entertain. Throughout the whole album, he tells stories about his memories of his hometown, Compton. He talks about the violence, the drugs, bad influences, and many other things that he needed to escape from. He still shows homage to his home that molded the man and amazing artist that he is today. Such songs that are dedicated to Cali is “Compton” and “Recipe”, both featuring Dr.Dre.
My two favorite tracks from this album are “Backseat Freestyle” and “Art of Peer Pressure”. These two songs stick out to me the most. I find myself subliminally playing them over and over again. They really show his complex skills and mastery with words. I also am impressed with the way that the songs are put together. Kendrick can make the song start off in one direction and then suddenly change it completely, but still make it come together to make an amazing piece of art.
I would recommend this album to anyone who wants to hear a story told through hip-hop. This is a great album by the somewhat new artist and I expect many good things to come through him. To help back my review, this album even scored an XXL on XXLMag.com, the highest score you can get by the famous publication.
To see the review by Jaeki Cho, Senior Online Editor of XXL Magazine, click here :
To check out good kid, m.A.A.d city, click here: