Aaaand… we’re back!
Let’s jump right in – Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly was probably the most anticipated hip hop album of the past few months (years?) and boy, did it deliver. It came out in mid-March and instantly made a huge impact.
First off, I have to say, as an English major, I do appreciate the reference in the title but what I do appreciate most are the current and so so important themes Kendrick covers in his lyrics. The first few singles already hinted at the topics on this album and I am glad that Kendrick Lamar has contributed in his uniquely concise and well-informed voice to the discussion of race relations and police brutality that are all over the news nowadays. I love his lyrics a lot, from the enraged The Blacker the Berry to the timidly hopeful Alright, he covers pretty much every emotion that comes with disillusionment at the current state of the world.
His sound has definitely evolved too, with a lot of Jazz elements to the instrumentation that make a beautiful change from the more beat-driven hip hop that’s around a lot in the mainstream today. And still, there are great hooks and danceable beats, and most definitely a few hit singles. However, they are interspersed with spoken-word pieces that are eloquent and insightful (and directed at Tupac Shakur, nonetheless) which I think make this record so important and impactful.
I even like the album version of I, which in the past, I shrugged of as too poppy and far away from Kendrick’s usual true-to-life style.
I really do love this album, which is a relief, because I hate when a release get hyped up only to disappoint. But yes, Kendrick did deliver and all is well, at least in the music world…