Kendrick Lamar
good kid, m.A.A.d city


5.0
classic

Review

by Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (24 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2012 | 3839 replies | 172,123 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This isn't Martin's dream, its Kendrick's; the dream the Hip-Hop industry needs.

"Who will survive in America?"

That was the question the final song on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy proposed. As far as the rap industry is concerned, the past few years haven't looked too bright. In fact, the bright spots are hidden in the underground of the industry. Besides Kanye's masterpiece, mainstream rap hasn't seen a bright spot in ages, and with Kanye's recent string of releases post-MBDTF, hope is diminishing that his next solo album will prove to be different. Who are we to look to for hope? Compton's human sacrifice: Kendrick Lamar.

m.A.A.d city echoes what made 90's hip-hop classics great. With the production that screams West Coast, and 2 Pac especially, to the subject matter that parallels the dark, grittiness that Nas created on Illmatic, as well as the meager amount of guests and, besides Dre, no well known outside influence. This helps create a more personal story ala Marshall Mathers. But don't get me wrong, this isn't a well done carbon copy; this is different. This is the story of a kid in Compton, one who tried not to let the city corrupt him. But no one escapes a mad city fully unscathed. This is what makes Good Kid, m.A.A.d City a modern classic. The story here isn't of the hard gangster life, it isn't about money and hoes, it portrays a kid who attempted to turn his cheek the other way. Originality is what makes this classic.

To dissect further into what this album it trying to convey, this is the tale of "Once upon a time in Compton..." Beginning to end the album unfolds into the story of Kendrick being forced into a society where the mindset is "in order to live, you have to kill". Gang violence is accepted as a way of life, and drug use is the only means of escape from reality. From the start, its apparent his parents don't rightfully care for him per se, rather his mom needs him to be home so she can use the family vehicle, and his dad's only want is to know where the dominoes are at. This narrative structures an album that is focused, and the brutal honesty is a tough pill to swallow. Lamar was quoted saying, "This is an album I needed to make. Demons that needed to be exorcised and this was the only way I knew how to do that." Indeed Kendrick, this is an album that fans of Hip-Hop need to hear, and possibly an album that could change the modern perception of Hip-Hop.

While the lyrics are nothing to write home about, they do piece together the story beautifully. The production is top-tier, creating an atmosphere that coincides perfectly with the lyrics. There is much praise due to the various producers such as Hit-Boy, Pharrel, and T-Minus, for instead of using their prototypical styles they step outside of the box and adapt to what is Kendrick's vision. From Hit-Boys stark, bass-pounding beat of "Backstreet Freestyle," to T-Minus's moody and sorrowful background for "Swimming Pool(Drank)" every production style here is an astounding representation of the overall concept. Going along with these beats is Kendrick Lamar's voice showcasing the variety of different deliveries that he has up his sleeve. Whether it be the growling, alpha-dog snarls of his voice on the third verse of "Backstreet Freestyle," the paranoia derived delivery of "m.A.A.d city" or the Drake-esque talking of "Singing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" it is clear that he is on the same level as early Eminem from a technical viewpoint.

Just like how Kanye brought out the best of everyone involved with MBDTF, all the featured artists bring their A-game on m.A.A.d city. On "Poetic Justice" Kendrick smartly puts Drake in his area of expertise: talking about women with a verse that would fit in fluently with anything on Take Care. He also brings fellow Black Hippy member Jay Rock on "Money Trees" whose ferocious verse is the most dominant of any of the other featured artists. Overall, it seems Kendrick managed to get everyone to believe in his dream, allowing them to all completely focus on a common goal.

"That was me. I got laced. The reason why I don't smoke, and it's in the album. It's in the story. It was just me getting my hands on the wrong thing at the wrong time, being oblivious to it." Kendrick Lamar didn't leave Compton without scars, and thankfully so. These scars and horrid images are brought here in an album that is needed in today's industry. The general population sees Hip-Hop as a mind-corrupting, teen influence that is an abomination to every individual it reaches out to. And who is to say it isn't? Good Kid m.A.A.d city is here to say that current theme of mainstream rap can be changed, and Kendrick Lamar's life story is proof. You aren't just Compton's human sacrifice Kendrick, you are something more than that. You are the spearhead of Hip-Hop revival. Can anyone else follow suit?



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Comments:Add a Comment 
KeithStone582
October 21st 2012



1480 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

oh shit

MMX
October 21st 2012



4798 Comments


This review

PistolPete
October 21st 2012



3591 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

finally got to listening to section.80 tn, it's actually very fucking good

needless to say i will be pumped to hear this once ive given that album it's due

Digging: Jolly - The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 2)

Guzzo10
Contributing Reviewer
October 21st 2012



1021 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This album is the only thing my life has consisted of since Friday. Well, that and the FSU/Miami game. Yeah, its that good.

Digging: Your Old Droog - Your Old Droog

boogs
October 22nd 2012



222 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Some of the Kendrick's nasally hooks kind of annoyed me but overall this did not disappoint. Great
review too.

Calculate
October 22nd 2012



1135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

awful

FourthReich
October 22nd 2012



17481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Besides Kanye's masterpiece, mainstream rap hasn't seen a bright spot in ages..."

finally someone got this right. many have tried to convey this point but have failed by insinuating that rap in general has been lacking for a decades, though as you probably know the underground scene is actually thriving more than ever. it is indeed as you stated above, mainstream rap, that is lacking greatly and, i agree that this, as well as kanye's previous work slowly are picking up the pieces. POS'D

Sleaper
October 22nd 2012



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album Rating: 2
"awful"

ohhhhhh shut up. Your opinion is invalid.

Digging: Caribou - Our Love

FourthReich
October 22nd 2012



17481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

carmelo slam dunks hoes

dathvada321
October 22nd 2012



1429 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review. i need to hear this now

MMX
October 22nd 2012



4798 Comments


"ohhhhhh shut up. Your opinion is invalid."

One of the few times this statement will ever be correct

FourthReich
October 22nd 2012



17481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

new avatar for your 3000 comment?

MMX
October 22nd 2012



4798 Comments


Kind of, sort of, not really I've had it changed for a little while now

FourthReich
October 22nd 2012



17481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

i see you chose something radical

MMX
October 22nd 2012



4798 Comments


yeah it's so much different from my old avatar

FourthReich
October 22nd 2012



17481 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

hah never could get into tesfaye unfortunately, a lot of my friends like him though.

TheCharitableMan
October 22nd 2012



16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This record is great. It doesn't permeate bull shit. overloaded with guest appearances and pretty boy swagger. Whatever the hell that is. It screams authenticity and originality. Very impressed upon hearing this in it's entirety.

Calculate
October 22nd 2012



1135 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

terrible

Sleaper
October 22nd 2012



3365 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i seriously dont know whats a better release. royalty or this..?? both are really good...

J0ckstrapsFTW
October 22nd 2012



3652 Comments


This



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