Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid, m.A.A.d City…The Review

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It’s been a long, long time since I have been able to say some of the things that I am going to say about this album. I take great pleasure in writing this review. I guess I should start with an intro…

Before listening to this album, I thought Kendrick Lamar was a good rapper with slightly above average lyricism and very good musical and song writing sensibilities. Section 80 was pretty dope, but it got boring after a while, and I found myself only listening to a few songs and changing the record. However, Kendrick Lamar still showed enough flashes of brilliance for me to anxiously anticipate the release of GKMC. I would not be disappointed. 

GKMC is the story of a day in the life of a 17 year old Kendrick Lamar (K. Dot) and how a young man in Compton can be put in a position where he has to repeatedly cheat death in spite of having a good head on his shoulders and two parents that care about his well being.  The narrative of the story is told in the lyrics of the songs as well as the skits at the end of the songs. Im not going to spend my entire week explaining these skits to you…just go listen to the damn album. Im a talk, no, preach music to you though. Allow me to dive into it…

1. Sherane aka Master Splinter’s daughter – The opening song begins the story with the story of a girl he was going to see. He name is Sherane. Apparently she is rat. They chat. He tries to get on. He get to her crib. Her people run up on him. Dope ass song though. Has a very Andre3000/outkast feel to it.  4/5

2. Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe – Man I wish this shit came out in like 2000…this would have been my theme song all through high school.  This shit bangs like ’92 John Witherspoon. 4.5/5

3. Backseat Freestyle – This one ain’t that dope, but in the context of the story being told…its that dope.  3.5/5

4. The Art of Peer Pressue – This joint is simply fantastic. The concept, how it plays into the story line, his execution…Another one that’ll remind you a lot of ‘Kast… but shid im with the homies… love it.. 4.5/5

5. Money Trees Feat. Jay Rock – This one is decent. Not mind blowing, but again…when you tie it into the story line it plays a lot better. I see a lot of nigs online calling what I just said plea copping for bad songs trying to make them seem better than what they are…nah nigga, that’s called context listening. It’s also called not hating.  3.5/5

6. Poetic Justice Feat. Drake – Poetic Justice? Janet sample? Janet played in… ah..I see what they did there. Pretty dope joint. Chicks will love this. Drake does his typical 1,2.  3.5/5

7. Good Kid – Pharrell still giving cats gems. This is the beginning of the apex of the story and this is where the strongest part of the album begins aesthetically. This joint in particular…knocks. hard. The hook is very hypnotic and the entire song does a great joint painting the portrait of a young kid who is good at heart but is also negatively influenced by the surrounding factors. Amazing song. 4.5/5

8. m.A.A.d. City Feat. MC Eiht – My lord…This song is perfect. From the hook, to the menacing beat, to the beat flip with the Cube sample, to the choice to have MC Eiht on here…I can’t say enough about this song. Where ya Grandma stay huh my nigga? haha..yikes. 5/5

9. Swimming Pools (Drank) – This was one of those joints that I was kinda cool on, until I heard it in the context of the story…and I heard the extension thats on the album. This nigga really is good. 3.5/5

10. Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst – After this song is when I realized that I was listening to a legit classic album. At this point, as long as the album didn’t tail off terribly…this young man has a classic on his hands…and it doesn’t.  5/5

11. Real Feat. Anna Wise – This joint sounds very Foreign Exchange-ish…hypnotic. Amazing. Anna Wise is perfect for the hook. The voice message from his parents mid song takes it to another level.  4.5/5

12. Compton Feat. Dr. Dre – Now as not fond as I have grown of Dr. Dre and his clearly ghostwritten verses…he aint even producing the record. This nigga living off name and headphones. But this is like the triumphant ending. No better way to end with a trademark Just Blaze joint. 4/5

13. The Recipe Feat Dr. Dre – I ain’t going to front, this joint kinda annoying. 3.5/5

14. Black Boy Fly – I used to be jealous of Aaron Afflalo…I used to be jealous of Aaron Afflao…this shit is amazing. This song should have been mixed within the album, imo… 4.5/5

15. Now or Never Feat. Mary J Blige – I gotta admit… I hate Mary J Blige since 2001. It pains me that The same woman who made What’s The 411 and My Life, is currently making the wacktastic Keyshia Cole remixes that she does. The hook on here is trash, but Kendrick tries hard to save it but rapping his ass off. 3/5

Conclusion: I’m going to give it time before I attempt to rank this album in my list of all time greats, but i’ve already decided that this album ranks amongst the greatest rap albums that i’ve ever heard. This is not coming from a just heard illmatic in 2008, fake ass hipster internet clown. This album is that good. Listen to it. Front to back. This may be the best rap album since Ghostface Killah’s Supreme Clientele. Kendrick Lamar…a new king is crowned. IN THE CIIIIIIIIRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIIIFFFFFEEEEE

5/5 

Next up: Skyzoo – A Dream Deferred and Sean Price – Mic Tyson…P! 

 

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