To Pimp a Butterfly

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Rapper from Compton Kendrick Lamar has dropped his third studio album following up good kid, m.A.A.d city. If you are not aware of Kendrick Lamar, he is easily the most popular rapper out right now aside from maybe Drake.

In 2013 when Kendrick dropped good kid m.A.A.d city, he became instantly popular. That album to this day is a classic. So the question is how do you follow up an album like that? Well with Kendrick’s new album To Pimp a Butterfly, he was able to do it.

The difference between this album and Lamar’s previous is that To Pimp a Butterfly was more of a work of art than an album. “Art” is defined as something that is created with imagination and that is beautiful or  expresses important ideas or feelings. Now when you listen to this album I think it’s really hard to disagree that this album is just a form of art. I think this album really transformed Kendrick from a rapper to a true artist.

The first track of this album is called “Wesley’s Theory”, and I think that song really set a huge tone to the album. At first I will be honest I did not like this song. The song has a very jazzy feel to it, there is a lot going on, and honestly it just set me off the wrong way.

After listening to the whole album once I  didn’t really like it till I got to the last track, “Mortal Man.” After most of the songs on the album, in this one, Kendrick speaks in a poem like way. In the song “Mortal Man” after a few minutes in he stops rapping and starts to talk again. Eventually he starts to ask questions to one of the greatest rappers of all time, Tupac.

When you hear this you realize all of the poems he told at the end of songs go together with this interview he has with Tupac, and honestly is just mind-blowing. When talking to Tupac in the interview he elaborates on the album title To Pimp a Butterfly. Kendrick then reads a poem his friend wrote and it really puts the whole album together.

If you are a Kendrick fan you will love this album. After listening through the whole album about five times I have really grown to like it as a work of art more than an album. But if you are a person who likes music based off like hits on the radio, there is a very good chance you will not like this album.

Kendrick released two very different singles for this album. The first one he released “i”, really set a lot of Kendrick fans off. The song had a very jazzy feel like the rest of the album, and sounded very commercial and mainstream, and although not really that well-liked by a lot of people it seemed to grow on most  and ended up winning a Grammy for best rap/hip-hop song, which was just a make-up for Kendrick not winning the best rap/hip-hop album for good kid, m.A.A.d city.

The song “i” on the album was not the same as the one he released as a single. On the album the song is performed live, and I like it better. The other single Kendrick released is called “The Blacker the Berry”, and is not like “i” at all. This song is very hard hitting and I like it a lot. This song does not sound like any other songs on the album, I think this song was strictly made to get some points across.

All of the songs have very different meanings, and all have different reasons to like them. If I had to pick out some songs that stuck out to me I would pick “King Kunta”, “Institutionalized”, “Alright”, and “Hood Politics.” I think Kendrick did a great job on picking out features for this album just like he did on his previous album.

If I had to pick between To Pimp a Butterfly, or good kid, m.A.A.d city I think I would honestly have to pick good kid, m.A.A.d city. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love this album, but there are not many albums that I think even compare to good kid, m.A.A.d city. If Kendrick was to never drop anymore music again, I think he would easily be considered one of the best rappers of all time.

I talked to huge Kendrick fan Max Dressmann to get his opinion on the album. Max said, “At first I was not a big fan of this album. After listening to it a few times I realized that this album has made Kendrick a true artist.”

Overall, rating this album I would give it a 9.5 out of 10. Listening to this album really changed my opinion towards Kendrick. He is a true artist, and I think he made an instant classic in To Pimp a Butterfly.

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