Kendrick Lamar dropped his latest studio album, To Pimp A Butterfly in the middle of the night, just like our Queen Bey when she surprised us with Beyonce. But this isn’t about Beyonce (everything is about Beyonce). This is about Kendrick Lamar’s impressive ability to keep us engaged because he’s got something to say and we’re listening. In fact, we haven’t stopped.
It’s been less than a week since Lamar’s talked-about Rolling Stone cover featuring a lighter skinned woman twisted his hair. While many critics were busy wanting Kendrick Lamar to literally represent all Blackness, he was busy…representing Blackness. This highly anticipated album features so much love and appreciation for a saturation of melanin. This album is a artistry.
Good art is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable. From the album’s cover to songs like “King Kunta,” “Institutionalized,” “How Much A Dollar Cost” and “Hood Politics,” Kendrick is clearly an artist.
“Complexion” featuring Rapsody is already a fave. “Complexion, it don’t mean a thing…” Lamar croons over the grooving track. It’s like he takes every chance he can get to praise Black women, allowing us to know that we’re beautiful despite what society spoon feeds us on a daily. Rapsody’s feminine touch on the song is just the touch it needs to solidify the record as a new feminist anthem.
The way Kendrick Lamar us able to infuse hip hop with funk, soul, R&B and tie all of that up in a message, he’s quickly becoming instantly legendary. No shade to those rappers who have nothing to talk about but chains and how much champagne they can pour all over a woman in the club, but Kendrick Lamar is out here talking about shades of Blackness, the depth of oppression and messages mothers give to their Black sons. It’s a powerful offering of true hip hop. We’re impressed.
The album features greats like George Clinton and Ronald Isley and fellow rappers Snoop Dogg and James Fauntleroy and more. It’s a solid piece of work and is sure to be on the top of every hip hop list there is this year.
Haven’t listened yet? We’ve got you covered.
Stream To Pimp A Butterfly Below: