Sunday, October 28, 2012

Did Kendrick Lamar release the best rap album of 2012? (Wait, Who?)

Over and over again all I have heard about is the talent of this new Kendrick Lamar kid.  Apparently, his new album 'Good Kid, M.a.a.d. City', which was released 10/22, is already being held in such high regards that it already a classic album that will be a defining album for this era of Hip-Hop.  The thing with that is I had never heard of this kid before.

I started looking up who this kid was before I went to randomly youtube-ing songs.  Gaining perspective of who the artist is always helps you understand their music.  The key points found included being a west coast rapper who grew up in Compton and was mentored by Dr. Dre.  Instead of the gang life he was considered a 'good kid' doing well in school but pursuing a rap career as he went. 

Additionally, the style comparisons put him in the company of Jay-Z, NaS, Tupac and Notorious BIG.  Which is like saying this band reminds me of Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, U2, the Rolling Stones and Pearl Jam.....a pretty ridiculous claim.

So before I went out and grabbed his new album I pulled up a youtube clip of a song off of a mix tape he released in '08 called rigamortis and, well, it was mind blowing.  His flow on this song is absolutly incredible and you can see the lyrical percision he has throughout this track.

Needless to say I was overly excited to purchase Kendrick's first studio album.  The unfortunate thing is I believe I worked myself up expecting that each song would be similar to the ONE SONG I heard which is an entirely ridiculous expectation.

However, that is not the best way to frame my opinion of this album because so far I think it is really good and it only has the potential to be better as it makes more rounds through my Ipod.  The potential could push it into the best hip-hop album of the year as certain songs have already started to grow more on me such as 'Poetic Justice', 'good kid', and 'mAAd city'.

Typically a charateristic of a good album, besides songs continually growing on you, is there are songs that jump out at you as exceptional.  It is just my opinion but 'BackSeat Freestyle', 'The Art of Peer Pressure' and 'Sing About Me, I am Dying of Thirst' are the easy to see standouts. Each highlight an element of his skill set but fall into tradition rap song styles.

So if you are a rap fan check it out.  Kendrick Lamar has that traditional rap feel to him and is clearly talented so he produces a product that anyone can enjoy. 

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