Kendrick Lamar is a 25-year-old rapper from Compton, California currently blowing up on the Hip-hop scene. After the release of his 2 successful mixtapes ‘Kendrick Lamar EP’ and O(verly) D(edicated) as well as his debut album Section.80. His followers were eagerly anticipating his next project, which was finally released on 23rd October. I personally made an effort to stay up the night before, just so that after midnight I could listen to the album, which I had pre-ordered well in advance. I guess some may call that ‘overly dedicated’. But so worth it!
Sum up this album in one word? Masterpiece. In my opinion, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City will surely go down as a hip-hop classic. Kendrick’s remarkable ability to depict a story in the mind of the listener through his lyrical dexterity is superb. Subtitled ‘A Short Film by Kendrick Lamar’ the album really does live up to its name as well as the high expectations of all of Kendrick’s devoted supporters- like myself. Each track is a new scene in an intimate script taking us through the life of a young Kendrick, who evolves as the plot progresses through lessons learned and constant self-assessment. One cannot possibly be satisfied hearing this album once through, the body of work is thickly layered in such a way that you will always take away something new from a track already heard. Including guest appearances from the likes of Dr. Dre, Drake, Jay Rock and MC Eiht, the diversity of styles of each song is astounding; there is certainly something to cater to the fancies of every type of listener and to suit any mood. It’s difficult to decide which tracks I would recommend particularly as, for me, every track flows so much into another that you can never truly understand a single song without listening to the album as a whole. But if I had to pick a few tracks that stand out the most, they would have to be ‘B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe’, ‘Money Trees’ and ‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst’. Still, there are bigger and better things to come from this young artist, and I look forward to seeing where next his talent will take him and his listeners.
Words by Crystal Weale