Artist – Kendrick Lamar
Album – To Pimp A Butterfly (2015)
Check it out – https://open.spotify.com/album/5uP9oyMK5lpzbB7K6UeT3X
Kendrick Lamar is a Hip-Hop artist from Compton, USA. Kendrick follows in the footstep of many other prolific Californian Hip-Hop/Rap artists, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre and N.W.A, writing about growing up in his neighbourhood and how he got to the position he’s at today. Lamar gained major success off his major label debut album ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’, but in fact had already grown a strong following by working with such artists as Lil Wayne, Dr Dre and Busta Rhymes. Kendrick now follows up with his highly anticipated sophomore album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’.
To Pimp A Butterfly is everything us old school hip-hop/rap fans loved in ‘Doggystyle’, ‘Straight Outta Compton’ & ‘The Chronic’, grooving/catchy bass lines, emotive/clever wordplay and interesting/funny interludes between songs. On top of this salute to the godfathers of hip-hop, Kendrick pays homage to other genres, specifically jazz, rapping over well crafted New Orleans style jazz instrumentals, very similar to Flying Lotus’s latest album. As with his previous album Kendrick has been quite sparse with the guest features, choosing to go for quality over quantity, now including spots with G-funk legend Snoop Dogg and Funk legend George Clinton, adding variety and groove to the mixture. In particular i really enjoyed the first track ‘Wesley’s Theory’ for the groove produced by that wah effected bass and the track ‘I’ for it’s slightly rockier vibe and freestyle rap vibe created in the second half.
Unsurprisingly Kendrick has created another interesting, exciting and authentic piece of work. Each and every song is a call out to Kendrick’s peers, but also adds a little something new to the hip-hop melting pot, adding his own name to this list of future influences. Whereas the other recent greats, Flying Lotus, Earl Sweatshirt, are creating odd but interesting new styles, Kendrick is catering to us all that want really well crafted 80s – 90s hip-hop.