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


5.0
classic

Review

by derho USER (31 Reviews)
November 29th, 2012 | 52 replies | 2,378 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Why haven't you listened to this yet?

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

In 2009, a young West Coast rapper formerly known as K. Dot dropped his moniker in favor of his birth name, Kendrick Lamar. In light of his most recent release, the epic “Good Kid, m.A.A.d City,” this seems only logical. More than just a stunning exploration of hip-hop realism, where MC’s take it upon themselves to be the faceless advocates of the city, this album presents itself as the work of an auteur; both activist and deeply personal. Couple these powerful intentions with a clear capability to execute and you get an album more captivating than anything else that’s come out so far this year.

“Good Kid” is a true novel (or short film, as the cover art urges), running at almost 70 minutes and boasting two songs over the 7 minute mark. Each song is a suite, evolving unexpectedly but pleasurably, always falling in where it should in the album’s overall architecture. This is Prog-Rap, abandoning the boxed in structures of out-and-out commercial hip-hop for the free-flowing, self-sustaining chug of the narrative. No song ends before it’s meant to, and none overstay their welcome.

Thematically, this is a classic coming of age story. The wizened Kendrick reflects with incredible candor on his experience as a teenager (still K. Dot at this time) growing up in Compton through the lens of a single, life-changing day. The genius lies in how he merges reflection and real-time events into a single entity, so that when K. Dot fires off lines with adolescent impudence (“I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower/so I can *** the world for 72 hours”), we feel all at once the reality of that confidence and the weight that bears down on our future narrator, who knows things aren’t quite that simple.

As the album carries on, K. Dot comes closer and closer to the awareness that goes hand-in-hand with maturity. The turning point of the album, the two-song secession that serves as a title track, shows him pulling himself out from underneath the thumb of denial. The lead single, “Swimming Pools (Drank)” is among the most genius tracks here, particularly because it’s sure to be in heavy rotation at clubs and parties everywhere for the next few months (“and the record on repeat”), despite its lyrical gutting of the party lifestyle. These inversions of rap convention are consistent throughout, and never come off as cheesy. It’s genuine social commentary.

Things become darker quickly(both lyrically and musically), and it becomes clear that this album is about searching for redemption. References to God abound, but there’s more to it than a call to conversion. It’s about the struggle to become a *real* man (see the climactic “Real”), eschewing the easy, empty, youthful ventures of sexual conquest, psychotropic experimentation, and senseless violence. It’s about coming to terms with your sins in order to define yourself outside of the context of dominant culture. Most importantly, it’s about helping others do so too.

Everything about this record, from the urgency of the rhymes, to the delicate atmospheres of the beats, to the cold, empty spaces that surround the tracks, comes together to form what is almost certainly a modern classic. Kendrick, if this really is a short film, I gotta say I’m pretty excited for your first feature length.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
ThroneOfAgony
November 29th 2012



3485 Comments


I feel so honored to be the first comment. All of my hard work and dedication has paid off. Getting the top comment has been a dream of mine for many years, and i would like to thank those who have helped me along the way. First and foremost i would like to thank god for giving me this opportunity. Next i would like to thank my parents. I want to thank my friend Jake Brady, for being really funny looking and always there for me. I would also like to thank my pet tadpole for surviving against all odds for over a week. Next i would like to thank the rabbit that lives in the bush in my backyard for always running away from me and giving me inspiration that i need to get threw the day. This is a special moment in my life and i would like to thank any of my unmentioned friends and family that have helped me along the way. This moment will be a moment i will never forget. I just remembered a few other people i would like to thank; facebook, my cat sweetpea from my childhood, my light in my room because without it i would hardly be able to see the keyboard, the internet for letting me go on facebook, this house because without it i would be homeless, and last but not least i would like to thank all the people out there that actually took time out of their day to read this. I cannot stress how much of a big deal this is to me. I have been trying to be the first comment on a post for years, but that has not been possible until this amazing day! Hopefully my good luck will continue, but this is undoubtedly a rare occasion. If you asked me how i did this, i would say, you can achieve anything you set your mind on. To all the kidz out there reading this, i would like to tell them to follow their dreams! Being the top comment is awesome and amazing, thank you everyone!

derho
November 29th 2012



307 Comments


kool

CaptainDooRight
November 29th 2012



28864 Comments


I'll give a listen. pos on review sir

derho
November 29th 2012



307 Comments


Thanks. It's really worth it. It's worth reading the lyrics too.

Cygnatti
November 29th 2012



21350 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

surprised you liked this so much

good job man

ILJ
November 29th 2012



6666 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

but i have listened to this.

and it's fucking awesome.

Calc
November 29th 2012



12147 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Why haven't you listened to this yet?"

i have though..

Digging: Jizue - Shiori

scissorlocked
November 29th 2012



3509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

another 5...

album is good though

PuddlesPuddles
November 29th 2012



4772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wish this impressed me at much as it seems to do everyone else

Good review

oltnabrick
November 29th 2012



30640 Comments


I fail to hear what makes this album so great.

Digging: Yung Lean - Unknown Memory

derho
November 29th 2012



307 Comments


I honestly tried really hard to find something I didn't like on this album and it just ended up increasing my appreciation

DotEight
November 29th 2012



5493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's definitely not a 5, at all. It's good, but not perfect at all.

Calc
November 29th 2012



12147 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

5 = Classic not perfect lol

derho
November 29th 2012



307 Comments


Precisely

DotEight
November 29th 2012



5493 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"5 = Classic not perfect lol"

If you rate an album a 5 that basically means you have found little to no flaws in it at all.

AKA this album is not a a 5. Classic is a stupid term to define a rating on an album.

MalleusMaleficarum
November 29th 2012



14294 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

even still, laughable rating

Calc
November 29th 2012



12147 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ehhh i look at it like this.

a 1970 mustang is a classic. not perfect.

a 1970 Gremlin is neither

derho
November 29th 2012



307 Comments


:,( jk its cool

Gyromania
November 29th 2012



15508 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

If you rate an album a 5 that basically means you have found little to no flaws in it at all.

not necessarily true. a lot of my 5s have glaring faults, but i love them for other reasons.

MalleusMaleficarum
November 29th 2012



14294 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

yea



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