h

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

Kendrick Lamar is the shining star of new school hip hop. With the critical acclaim of his debut and independently released album, Section.80, stylistic comparisons were drawn between Lamar to Jay-Z, Tupac, Nas and Eminem. good kid, m.A.A.d city is his first major label record and it satisfies the high expectations surrounding its release to the umpteenth degree.

 

Featuring iconic collaborations with Dr. Dre, MC Eiht and Drake, his ear for bold, yet left-of-centre beats have not faltered. Lyrically, he has become one of the best fresh faces in the industry due to his reliance on powerful storylines and ability to show and not tell. His capacity to flesh out imagery and rhyme through action is superb on this album. Weaving listeners through detailed and well constructed narratives, his unique and raspy voice and excellent flow provides him with an idiosyncratic style. While most tracks on the album are above standard, the highlight song would be Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe. Reconnecting with an often explored theme, he delves into his conflicted views on sin and faith. Reflecting on his career, he describes (though somewhat abstractly) the effects of being in the spotlight and its poison. His flow in this song is particularly well rounded, complimenting the beats.

 

Poetic Justice, Swimming Pools (Drank), The Art Of Peer Pressure and Backseat Freestyle are other stand out tracks (and that’s half the album). All killers, no fillers, Lamar is a lyrical force to be reckoned with.

 

BY TAMARA VOGL

 

Best Track: Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe

If You Like These, You’ll Like This: A$AP Rocky, Drake, Frank Ocean

In A Word: Profound