Kendrick Lamar
To Pimp a Butterfly


5.0
classic

Review

by thekilleruser USER (22 Reviews)
March 16th, 2015 | 258 replies


Release Date: 03/17/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A message for 21st-century America, this album may be considered a modern classic in the years to come.

I turn eighteen in ten days.

I’ve been around for great releases, for modern classics, but never have I been mature enough to care enough about the music world to fully appreciate it in real time. Too young for Is This It, for Funeral, for Merriweather. I was even too young to take in good kid, M.A.A.D. City, as my freshman self was still too busy trying to be an athlete to develop my music taste. Guess a lot has changed in three years.

Yet, I had gone through my childhood without ever having the experience of discovering an album as everyone else did. I had never been around to be able to witness something that can have such a large impact on its genre, its culture, its audience. I waited as albums by respectable artists came and went with a Best New Music sticker and a small niche praising the glory no one else saw in it. There was nothing that had been dropped by any artist that could impact all listeners.

To Pimp a Butterfly has a message that is reflected by the current state of the nation, and can reverberate for years to come. It is a manifesto of racial tension in the 21st century, in a country where we consider our civil rights movement a success, even though so much still remains the same. The themes of violence and hatred towards and within black culture maintains its presence throughout, and when Kendrick brusquely questions the listener on “The Blacker the Berry”, “You hate me, don’t you" / You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my culture,” there is no sense of braggadocio or masculinity that has so often impeded modern-day rappers. What Kendrick is speaking on To Pimp a Butterfly is nothing but a harsh truth about afrocentrism in a continuously opposing world.

This message itself is built upon jazzy, soulful instrumentals that call back to A Tribe Called Quest without necessarily paying homage to it, with a harsh G-funk spin to further create its own unique sound. There isn’t any “banger” on here, and there doesn’t need to be. Thundercat provides fire basslines as usual across each track, horns spill out of every crevice, and the subtle crackling of vinyl can be heard throughout, providing a grimy, dark atmosphere with which Kendrick can feed his message through. Even “i” is bookended by what sounds like a fight breaking out between a live audience during the song, and Kendrick speaking over the crowd and eventually breaking out into an acapella rhyme as the crowd noise eventually fades. It’s one of a few climaxes on what was already an extremely emotional and powerful album.

I turn eighteen in ten days, and while that may not be a lot of time, at least I can say I witnessed something that may be considered a modern classic in the years to come while I was still growing up. This is a message for 21st-century America, a manifesto for black culture and the opposition they will undoubtedly continue to face in the decades to come. Should we listen, it can be a wake-up call for an oblivious nation. Should we listen, it can be a signal that we can and need to continue to change our culture towards equality for all.

Should we listen, Kendrick can be the voice that helps guide us there.



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user ratings (3269)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Tunaboy45
March 16th 2015


16587 Comments


Would hype again

Tunaboy45
March 16th 2015


16587 Comments


Great review though, pos.

"even though so much has still remains the same"
*Remained

wtferrothorn
March 16th 2015


5798 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Let's keep this thread better than the other one. Things are just going bananas over there.

thekilleruser
March 16th 2015


45 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@Tunaboy45 Changed. Thanks.



To me, this *deserves to be* a modern classic, and a D'Angelo-like statement that has more potential to reach the mainstream than the aforementioned. This will be one of the most important albums of the year for sure.



edit: also, i tweaked this slightly to change sentences that read poorly.



edit #2: changed the wording so people will stop freaking out

SGGreenman
March 16th 2015


1226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

indb4 10 more reviews by the end of the day.

SGGreenman
March 16th 2015


1226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice review though

MattTD
March 16th 2015


678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Something tells me a lot of people are going to be reviewing this over the next couple of days.



"a fight breaking out between the audience during the fight" This reads kind of awkwardly. Good review otherwise though.

thekilleruser
March 16th 2015


45 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

tweaked. thanks for pointing it out.

anarchistfish
March 16th 2015


26736 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

how much a dollar cost feelin like a highlight atm

Digging: Manic Street Preachers - The Holy Bible

JS19
March 16th 2015


6947 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album came out less than 24 hours ago

treeqt.
March 16th 2015


16962 Comments


whats that even supposed to mean

SPRFanOf5H
March 16th 2015


831 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review man, pos'd. Seriously, well done.



My review did touch on the whole American state crap in which this album conveys, but oh well. It definitely accomplished the whole visualization aspect in which I did lack in my review so well done man!

wtferrothorn
March 16th 2015


5798 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I honestly can't believe that K-dot actually topped gkmc. Then again, I haven't listened to this yet so ya never know.

SmartWentCody
March 16th 2015


143 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I really don't understand the hype behind Kendrick. Great review, but man, I just don't get it. Pos'd.

ParanoidAndroid96
March 16th 2015


1391 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

I turn nineteen in 8 days, pos

scottpilgrim10
March 16th 2015


4750 Comments


this. dick. ain't. fffrrreeeeeeeeeeeeee.

PappyMason
March 16th 2015


5702 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, a great read. Pos'd.

I liked the way you made references to the current state of American race-relations in the review.



There is so much to discuss about this album, both musically and lyrically. I need to give it more listens as well.

ParanoidAndroid96
March 16th 2015


1391 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

at the moment, I think this is better than section.80 but not at good kid level yet. there's so much substance on this album. I'm still really surprised he was able to make an album that could rival good kid tho

Diglett
March 16th 2015


1607 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

great review

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 16th 2015


56228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.6

that dude from Yeezus is on blacker the berry sweet



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