Kendrick Lamar
Section.80


4.0
excellent

Review

by illmitch USER (11 Reviews)
September 11th, 2011 | 27 replies | 5,485 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Get up off that slave ship, build your own pyramid, write your own hieroglyphs.

7 of 8 thought this review was well written

Quick. Go to Youtube, type in your favorite early 90's rapper, click on a video, and look at the top comments. You're probably going to see a bunch of people lamenting the state of modern day rap and wishing things were still the way they were "back in the day". The thing is, they're kinda right - in a way. The modern rap market is oversaturated and overplayed in the media the way it never was back then. The advent of social media has completely transformed the rap game, and as a result we have countless no-name rappers strutting their stuff on Datpiff and flooding the market with gangsta rap mixtapes of questionable to low quality. On the other hand, we have a constant influx of socially conscious rappers, always present to critique the state of modern hip hop.

Standing in the crossroads we have Compton's young Kendrick Lamar. He delivers his first full album in Section.80, having released an EP in 2009, and by all measures it is a tour de force. Kendrick's flow is to be marvelled at - he spits adroitly over the luscious beats, with a skill rivalling the aforementioned greats of the 90's. Choice cut "Rigamortis" finds his rapping at its best, as he absolutely demolishes and raps all around a jazzy beat that wouldn't sound out of place on a Gang Starr cut.

Kendrick's true claim to glory, however, lies not in his flow - there are countless young rappers who can spit, and even Soulja Boy has his tracks with double-timed rap. No, Kendrick's skill lies in his seemingly effortless ability to blend two worlds of formerly warring schools of hip hop, the so-called "conscious rap" and "gangsta rap". The stories he tells on Section.80 are rivalled by few, whether past or present. "No Make-Up" is particularly of note, finding him taking a look at the sociology of, well, make-up - how girls try to perfect themselves and ignore their natural beauty, all through the wondrous method of song. But where his contemporaries would sound trite and played-out, Kendrick manages to sound fresh and new. He achieves the rare task of making intelligent lyrics sound interesting, a feat his predecessors Nas and Common would do well to take lessons from. And HiiiPower is a revolutionary masterwork, namechecking historical black rebels Huey Newton and Bobby Seale in its platitudes. Kendrick sums up his attitude thus: "This is physical and mental, I won't sugarcoat it / You'd die from diabetes if these other niggas wrote it". The incredibly smooth beat from J. Cole doesn't hurt either. In truth, the production on this album is another huge strength. It brings to mind Kanye's opus My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in its sprawling soundscapes, maintaining its beauties while managing to avoid its epic excesses. Sans the aforementioned J Cole and a cut from the RZA, there are no big name producers here, which helps bring Kendrick's raps to the forefront. The dearth of guest rappers is another big strength. Kendrick is a very strong lyricist, and needs no help to make great raps.

Section.80 is not without its faults. Kendrick is a young rapper, and is prone to his own lyrical failures - it's hard not to cringe when you hear him rap "Grown men never should bite their tongue / Unless you eatin' pussy that smell like it's a stale plum" (really, Kendrick? is that the best rhyme you could think of?), and there are certainly several other duds. Like most rap albums of the modern era, it could stand to lose playing time; although there is no track that stands out as filler, tracks like "The Spiteful Chant" drag on past their welcome.

The best summary comes from Kendrick himself in the so-called outro "Ab-Souls Outro": "I'm not the next pop star. I'm not the next socially aware rapper. I am a mother***ing human being, over dope ass instrumentation."



Recent reviews by this author
SpaceGhostPurrp Blvcklvnd Rvdix 66.6The Fall Grotesque (After the Gramme)
Gucci Mane The Burrprint: The Movie 3-DDischarge Why
Remains of the Day An Underlying FrequencyDJ Paul Scale-A-Ton (Skeleton)
user ratings (728)
Chart.
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
thotPrynce2 (4.5)
Kendrick Lamar seamlessly defies the laws of gravity and understanding for the genre of Hip-Hop, and...

Justin Swope (4)
On his first album, Kendrick Lamar mixes thought-provoking rhymes with excellent production and disp...

Andru Okenuf (4)
everybody put three fingers in the airr. the sky is falling, the wind is calling, stand for somethin...

PorkchopExpress (4.5)
Fire burning inside my eyes. This is the music that saved my life. Y'all be calling it hip-hop. I...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Adabelle
September 11th 2011



4160 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"he spits adroitly over the luscious beats"

I think this is one of my favourite sentences in a review ever.

EDIT: Also, really good review + pos'd.

liledman
September 11th 2011



3817 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice

Idnuf
September 11th 2011



1491 Comments


Fantastic review man, you could really be the choice reviewer of hip hop on the site if you wrote more often. You said on Bulldog's review of Let the Truth Be Told you'd write a review for that one, I look forward to it if that's still gonna happen.

Inveigh
September 11th 2011



24190 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No, Kendrick's skill lies in his seemingly effortless ability to blend two worlds of formerly
warring schools of hip hop, the so-called "conscious rap" and "gangsta rap".

^word.

nice review dude, this album definitely rules.

Digging: Symptom - Caverns Of Katabasis

Xplisit
September 11th 2011



1646 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

loling @ idnuf

aok
September 11th 2011



4165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

3 writeups in a week. consensus -- this shit's mad good

Jash
September 11th 2011



4243 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is my favorite hip-hop release so far this year, Keisha's Song is just unreal

Mewcopa0
September 11th 2011



1793 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"This is my favorite hip-hop release so far this year, Keisha's Song is just unreal"

^^^this

Urinetrouble
September 11th 2011



5695 Comments


mitchilly

illmitch
September 12th 2011



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks for the feedback yall

id like to review more but grad school applications, college, and work take up a lot of my time. hopefully i can start writing more though

aok
October 1st 2011



4165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what falls under 'conscious rap' and what falls under 'gangsta rap' ?

Ire
November 16th 2011



41454 Comments


commenting on an illmitch review

aok
November 16th 2011



4165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

responding to an ire post

illmitch
November 17th 2011



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks u guys

conscious rap is stereotypically shit like mos def, the roots, common, etc
gangsta rap is stereotypically shit like gorilla zoe, gucci mane, project pat, waka flocka flame

aok
November 17th 2011



4165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

gorilla zoe, gucci mane, project pat, waka flocka flame


i've listened to zero of these bands

illmitch
November 17th 2011



5429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uF0x-I4GUw

there u go

Cadda
November 18th 2011



162 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

conscious rap is stereotypically shit like mos def, the roots, common, etc

I hope you don't mean shit as in bad...

Tupik
November 23rd 2011



667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Gave this yet another listen, but this time it clicked. The second half of the album is truly incredible.

aok
November 23rd 2011



4165 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

whoop-de-whoop whoop-de-whoop (@tupik)

qwe3
November 30th 2011



21154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this guy is such a good rapper



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy