RATING: 11/10
LABEL: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records
HIGHLIGHTS: i, King Kunta, Alright

BACKROUND:

To Pimp a Butterfly is Kendrick Lamar’s third studio album. Released on March 15, 2015 and went platinum QUICK. Hit #1 on Billboard and won awards and other titles. Produced by Pharrell Williams, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Flippa, Sounwave, Martin Terrace, and others. Features Snoop Dogg, Thundercat, Bilal, Anna Wise, Rapsody, and a couple others.

OVERVIEW:

This is one of the few albums I listen to on a regular basis.

Definitely a classic. The greatest album in the last 5 years. Maybe even 10.

The album starts out with his ambition and Dr. Dre giving advice and motivation. If Kendrick is going to fill his shoes he needs to stay on top.

Then he becomes King Kunta. He won’t submit and be Toby.

But King Kunta is institutionalized and can’t seem to get out. He’s stuck.

The walls are talking to him making it hard to live. They keep him in his place and it suffocates him.

The walls make it hard for Kendrick to love u(Him looking at himself).

Then he says we gon’ be alright. We gon get through these walls. We gon get out of this institution.

Is he for sale? No.

He knows everything. But then realizes he knows nothing. And somewhere in that he returns home.

Gets into simple hood politics.

How much does a dollar really cost? It isn’t worth anything but can cost your soul.

Your skin complexion is just your appearance. Not what you are in the inside. They made white right and everything else inferior.

Blacker the berry. The sweeter the juice. Oppressed, hated, stepped on, abused, appropriated. All because of the white man’s self hate. Who puts his hate on black people. Which leads to their self hate. Just so white people can feel happier. Now black people are “crazy” in the eyes of white people. But they caused this. And because of the complexity of racism and self hatred. He’ll stand for Trayvon and kill his own brother.

You ain’t gotta lie to kick it. Be yourself. Don’t fit the mold they created for you.

After having a hard time loving “u”. He accepts “u” as himself and loves “u”. “u” and “i” are in it together.

Then Kendrick gets into a deep conversation about the current state of black people. And the person he’s having a conversation with turns out to be Tupac Shakur. R.I.P.

This album is so. So great.

It really shook up the game. You can’t understand it fully with just one listen.

This album in my opinion is top 5 all time.

The soulful, meaningful words of Kendrick on Funk, Jazz and Soul production.

It touches the mind, soul and body.

I can’t quite call it timeless yet. Only been out for a couple years. But I definitely think it is.

Classic.

QUESTION:

Can Kendrick Lamar make another album of this caliber? Or even better?

What album should I review next?

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