By: Bishop Nesby
Once every generation, there comes an album that embodies the social climate, bottled emotions and social frustration felt by the youth of that time. It appears that Kendrick Lamar has delivered us this album for this generation with his second mainstream release, “To Pimp A Butterfly” (TPAB). All eyes have been on Lamar in anticipation for this album since his verse on Big Sean’s “Control” set the hip-hop industry ablaze. I can honestly say that once again, Lamar set the bar even higher.
Conceptually, this album is pure genius. It sounds like 2011’s “Section.80” with a mainstream budget. Lamar wrote a series of poems that tell the story of a rising rapper and the struggles that he goes through. Honestly, there is so much packaged into these 16 songs that to do this review justice would require me to do a literary analysis. To put things into perspective, this album has content about racism, depression, religion, self-hate, self-love, hypocrisy, black love and so much more compacted into one disc.
Sonically, this album is beyond beautiful. It combines elements of funk, soul and hip-hop and blends them together effortlessly. Unlike “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” TPAB strays away from potential radio singles and replaces them with thought-provoking records throughout the album. Kendrick sounds amazing on all of the production, and the features on this album were insane with guest appearances from George Clinton, Snoop Dogg, Bilal, Rapsody, James Fauntleroy, R&B legend Ronald Isley and more.
I will not spoil the entire album for you readers out there because I want everyone to listen to this thoroughly and fully grasp everything that this album has to offer, even the surprise guest appearance on the final song “Mortal Men.” Overall, this album is not for the simple-minded and demands the attention needed to truly appreciate it.
5 out of 5 Owls.