Kendrick Lamar- Good Kid M.A.A.D City
There were a lot of concerns that I’ve had when I first heard that Kendrick put his ink on the Aftermath Contract. One being that Dre and Interscope were gonna try to turn Kendrick into a commercial artist and have him try to aim for top 40 hits, The other being that Kendrick was gonna join the ranks of many others whom were shelved by Dre for odd reasons. Section 80 was one of the best album’s to have dropped last year because he was able to do what many other artists struggled to do and that was to speak on real topics while grabbing the attention of the youth without looking preachy. Dr Dre took heed of the potential next hip hop star and took him under his wing shortly there after.
One of the key recipes that missing in today’s hip hop albums is that it doesn’t tell story nor do they give you a true indication of what the artist truly is. Today’s hip hop albums are nothing but formulas put together by the labels which have featured all of the hot at the moment artist and producers along with formats being laid for easy first week sales( The typical got something for everybody talk) What made Kendrick Lamar’s Aftermath debut so special is that we get to know more about Kendrick Lamar as an artist, We get to hear his story and what made him who he is and how he got to where he was at. It’s a story that many of his peers coming up can easily relate too as he introduces us into a world of a young man who with the right conscience is constantly battling the everyday obstacles of living in Compton. From peer pressure, gang wars, dealing with certain women and friends whom doesn’t have his best interest at heart. But I’m not gonna break down the entire story because I don’t want to spoil it but I wanna break down more so the tracks.
Even though many people don’t like the Backseat freestyle because he’s rapping about silly stuff. It goes along with the story of him being young, having fun, and not having a care in the world just like many youth growing up. The street tracks are a reflection of Kendrick trying to become accepted by his peers. Songs such as Art of Peer Pressure is an introduction into the new world where the drug free and sober 17-year-old K.Dot is introduced into the chaos. , Money Trees where he talks about robbing houses and doing what he has to do to fit in whereas Good Kid is also a reflection of K.Dot’s conscience as he talks about the negativity behind gang culture. He knows what he’s doing is wrong and he’s trying to come accustomed to it but with all of his peers indulging in negativity. K.Dot is seemingly an angel in a devil’s world. MC Eiht also makes a surprise appearance on the track M.A.A.D City with his strongest performance in years.
Swimming Pools is still one of my favorite tracks on the album as he talks about the peer pressure of alcoholism and how he’s trying to avoid it. In today’s world of “Getting Wasted” Its pretty odd for an artist to talk about going against getting wasted but he does it in a way where straight edge listeners can actually relate to what he’s talking about. You also have songs such as Poetic Justice which pays ode to Janet Jackson where he spits about a chick he’s feeling in the story(Sherane) and it goes along with the story. Even simping Drake sounds pretty good on this as well. The other track titled Bitch Dont Kill My Vibe which is one of the moments where Kendrick introduces himself to the mainstream. You can easily tell he’s been listening to Andre 3000 as the course is heavily influential of something 3 stacks would have done. The same influence from 3 stacks can also be heard.
Sing for a Moment show’s how sharp of a prominent writer and storytelling Kendrick really is. WIthin 12 minutes He expresses the pain behind the perspective of characters from Dave’s Brother(A character in the film) Keisha(The character from Keisha’s story off Section 80) and from his prospective to the point where he sees the trouble the foul lifestyle of sex, drugs, guns and gangs can bring. Dying of Thirst is also a further reflection of him trying to remove himself from the gang life as he’s “tired of running and gunning” and ready for a change.
This is what makes Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City a special album. He not only talks about the excitement behind the wild hood lifestyle but he also talks about the negativity that comes with it. I’m pretty sure many people can relate to some of the songs on this album because there’s chances that they have went through it themselves. Even though there isn’t any Hi Power type joints on here, Perhaps we’re gonna see that in his next album. The goal was to introduce Kendrick and his story into the masses and from the phrase of his peers, fans, magazines, and soundscan numbers, It seems that they accomplished their mission.
Vic Da Ruler rating: 10 outta 10