Apr 14, 2015

@KendrickLamar's #TPAB Review by @Best_ofda_Worst

We all know what Kendrick Lamar is capable of as an artist. I am going to start by saying this: I do not think this album is better than Good Kid MAAD City. That’s the only negative thing I can say about this album. Now that that’s out the way its time to give my feedback on what I like about To Pimp A Butterfly.

I knew I was going to love this album from the moment the beat dropped on track one, Wesley’s Theory. With a feature from George Clinton & Thundercat , this album wasted no time drawing you in with a spellbinding instrumental and equally hypnotizing hook this song is easily one of my favorites on the album. Following up is an interlude/poem called For Free.  The piece is about a man who’s been through too much to continue doing things as favors to people. This is a great set up to King Kunta. Me and Niles touched base on the track here. In addition I feel like Kendrick was channeling his inner Pac with how aggressive he approached in the track.

Let's fast forward a few songs to track six titled U. It hits of close to home for me. The first words are "Loving U is complicated." You feel hurt, guilt and failure to meet the standards and expectations we give ourselves. Sometimes we even feel as though we let family and friends down. That depressing inner demon won't let you forget all the negatives about you. I’d like to imagine Kendrick was looking into a mirror in a hotel room by himself when the concept of this song came to mind. Anyone who's ever internally battled themselves probably fought back a tear or two listening to U. I say this because I've personally come from the same place this song portrays. The only way out of this feeling is to face yourself and believe that all the good about you will come. That leads to a perfect transition into his next song, Alright.

U is great but I'd rather not remember the feeling that comes attached with it (haha). Alright serves as a great pick-me-up from the last depressing a** song. The next track contains the only "real" feature (person with a verse) in Rapsody. The song is titled Complexion. Here she steals this track as her verse is soulful and fits right along with the central theme of the album (poetic blackness). It was pretty tight, and each time I hear it I get more excited to here her voice than Kendrick's. Looking forward I'm excited to hear more from the North Carolina spitter in the near future. The album version of I is better than the single. It's the second deepest track on the whole album. I'd rather not give away too much so listen after the break.

 

The album closes off with Mortal Man. If you haven't heard it already I'll tell you, it's the deepest track on the album. Jonathan breaks down the track here. I serves as a great closing and a tremendous finale to this poetic album we call To Pimp a Butterfly. As Wesley’s Theory drew you in, track after track opened to a new piece of the ongoing poem presented throughout the album. Mortal Man finalizes the poem and puts it all together. You actually find out that the album was really just a conversation between K. Dot and Tupac! After little exchange of question and answer he ends the conversation with one more poem. It leaves the listeners wanting more like "This can't seriously be it. Pac got to have more to say! Kendrick got to have another song! 


I always felt like I knew Kendrick as if he were a personal friend of mine. That's the feeling GKMC gave me. I felt like I was in the van with him or maybe Compton and Rosecrans was a block in my city where I used to hang out. This album made me relate to Kendrick on a more emotional level, I'm glad it happened that way. My favorite tracks were Wesley's Theory, King Kunta, U, Alright  Hood Politics, and How Much a Dollar Cost. It's been so long since I could relate to music in such a way. I don't want to call this album a classic yet because of it's youth and early stages. However I can say I'm happy with this purchase. If you haven't already go grab this album. It's a great buy.
Issah Umar
Issah Umar

Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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