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I am surprised no one has reviewed this album yet as Kendrick Lamar has become very big recently and is currently the new fad. This is an awesome albums though and one of my albums of the year. Basically by fad I mean that he is the link between making underground rap more commercial, people feel they are listening to something different and I guess in a way they are.
Good kid, M.A.A.D City is the debut studio album from Kendrick and he really has come on the scene with a bang. A great follow up from his critically acclaimed independent album Section 80. This album is great from beginning to end and there are 12 tracks on all issues not including the deluxe albums. I will review my favourite tracks below. For those who don't know Kendrick is a rapper and he wrote or co-wrote each track on the album. There are a number of different producers with the most commercially popular being Pharrell and Just Blaze.
This album features Jay Rock and is just awesome from beginning to end. I get confused when listening to it as my brain can't handle how complicated and simple it is at the same time. It is like three songs rolled in to one and in the second half there is even a lady who starts singing, although I don't have any details on who she is from the album. Be warned there is definitely parental advisory and he does use a few swear words, but he doesn't go overboard. His flow is amazing and the lyrics are very thought provoking. I can see this being a commercial release as he name drops quite a lot as he drops Usher's name and Halle Berry to name a few. He even sings during the hook which is something not a lot of rappers do. Well some do, but they do it badly, Kendrick Lamar definitely does not.
This is the track I first become aware of Kendrick. It features Drake and is a commercial single he released. There is a very soft beat and it is where Kendrick shows of his rapping skills and how well he can flow. This is what I meant when I said he is linking underground rap with more mainstream. Drake does his thing as usual. He doesn't add anything to this track, but then he doesn't take anything away at the same time. The lyrics are cool enough but nothing special. It kind of sounds like a track that you may have heard before somewhere.
I just love this track. The flow from Kendrick is simply on fire, and the beat is electrifying. His singing during the hook is nothing special, but it is all about the rapping. There are some weird verses with some kind of robotic voice and then Kendrick takes over with his flow, I have no idea what it is, but is sounds amazing. Just when you think this track cannot get any better the drums come in towards the end and just add an extra element. My only criticism is I wish the drums part lasted longer, as it is only the last thirty seconds of the track.
Overall this is one of my favourite albums of the year. I could listen to it from beginning to end without needing to skip a track, and he really knows what market he is targeting. It isn't my favourite album of the year simply as I will be reviewing that soon from Ryan Leslie but it does come close and gets four stars.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Sherane a.k.a Master Splinter?s Daughter
2 Bitch, Don?t Kill My Vibe
3 Backseat Freestyle
4 The Art of Peer Pressure
5 Money Trees - Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock
6 Poetic Justice - Kendrick Lamar, Drake
7 good kid
8 m.A.A.d city - Kendrick Lamar, MC Eiht
9 Swimming Pools (Drank)
10 Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst
11 Real - Kendrick Lamar, Anna Wise
12 Compton - Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre