A lot of people may argue that hip hop’s glory days are well in the past, and honestly, I think in some sort of way that may be a true statement. But at the same time over the last few years the genre has taken a few steps back in the right direction. Like I read earlier today on Hypebeast. com, they said “As a genre, hip-hop has often been confronted with stereotypes of materialistic tendencies and lack of substance. Whether you agree or disagree with this notion, you cannot deny that Kendrick Lamar has provided the rap game with a breath of fresh air through his complex, thought-provoking lyricism in the past couple of years.” while this may be true, I think that Kendrick Lamar does a great job with his storytelling more than anything. Other hip hop artist have a hard time portraying their message to the masses in a credible way. I am glad to see that good kid, m.A.A.d. city dropped when it did because hip hop was staying a float but this project re opened the outlets for hip hop to have a respectable voice in society like it did in the 80’s and 90’s. People will finally (on a major scale) have a different perspective on how hip hop can portray what really goes on in some of the cities on our home soil.
While Section .80 may be forever a classic in some fans minds, anyone and I mean ANYONE can pop in good kid m.A.A.d. city and take something from it, which makes this album another instant classic. I salute Kendrick for taking this opportunity to tell the world the most universal story of a kid growing up in the inner city of LA. Lets get to it.
Kdot starts the Album of with a couple of his homies re-sighting the prayer for eternal salvation which leads into the first joint, Sherane A.K.A. Master Splinters Daughter (Produced by Tha Bizness). He uses the intro to take listeners down memory lane when he was 17 and had a thing for a shorty named Sherane. But like most situations in inner city LA, Sherane was affiliated with a gang from a different neighborhood, hints the title of the song. We all know the power of the P as does my man Kdot apparently. (Through out the project Dot has skits of his moms and pops leaving messages on his voicemail which helps the storytelling aspect of this project go through the roof. something so simple can change so much. Plus we all remember that shit…smh!)
While Kendrick uses the next two track, which includes Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe and Backseat Freestyle (Prod. by Hit-Boy), to bridge the gap, The story of his adolescence picks back up on track four, The Art of Peer Pressure (Prod. by Tabu), where Kendrick submits to the homies peer pressure as they decide to mob through the city acting reckless as teen boys normally do at one time or another. Unfortunately for Dot, the homies were plotting to rob a house in the burbs and the night didn’t go as smoothly as planned….with the homies.
The climax of the album follows the next two records, which includes features from TDE’s own, Jay Rock and Young Money artist Drake. If you have been listening a following closely you should be right with me. Dot goes into his next joint Good Kid as just another brotha trying to make it out of the inner city of LA. Explaining that you always gotta be aware of your surroundings because even if you don’t bang or are affiliated with a gang, you still may be subject to some sort of violence whiiiiiiiiich takes us right into his next joint m.A.A.d. City Ft. MC Eiht. A 2 part masterpiece that is a perfect example of what I had been talking about earlier in the review. This is the same story that Rick Ross, Jeezy, Meek Mill, and any other of your favorite street rappers tell; drugs, money, sex, guns and violence. The sole difference is perspective and presenting it to the mass in its purest form. This record could have bombed if he went out of his lane as a lot of artist tend to do. I respect Kendrick Lamar for keeping it all the way 100.
After KDot takes us through the ends and outs of Compton, CA, he uses the last couple records of the album to solidify his spot in hip hop. Sing About Me, Dying of Thirst has Kendrick speaking in the voices of siblings of two other characters in two older records “Lil Johnny” and ” Kiesha’s Song” which both featured on Section .80. Real, takes us to the end of Kendrick’s the battle with understanding the ultimate concept of loving ones self. It is a feel good joint that gains even more leverage with the skit of Dot’s parents to wrap it up. Explaining to him what it means to be a man and the importance of having his priorities in line and learning from his mistakes. The conclusion of good kid m.A.A.d. city ends with a classic west coast banger titled Compton Ft. Dr. Dre (Prod. by Just Blaze). West coast pioneer, Dr. Dre took this opportunity to the undeniably hand over Compton hip hop to who we now know as….. the good kid.
This album has so many different elements and when that is combined with lyricism, good beats and catchy hooks…You end up with a classic project. This is my album of the year. But I want to ask you all something . What do you think the main topics Kendrick talked about throughout the album?? Leave your comments below and we will start a discussion. #NoGimmicks
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