Kendrick Lamar: good kid, m.A.A.d city (Deluxe Edition)

By | October 22, 2012 at 8:21 pm | No comments | Editors Choice, New Releases | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Album: good kid, m.A.A.d city (Deluxe Edition)
Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Released: October 22nd, 2012

I wish I could just leave it at that.

October 22nd , We’ve been waiting on Kendrick like the 1st and the 15th!

Kendrick Lamar places himself at the top of the chain with his much anticipated studio debut good kid, m.A.A.d city, under the Aftermath/Interscope imprint. The Compton lyricist delivers an exceptional 17-track project from start to finish, where he receives contribution from beat makers T-Minus, Sounwave, THC, DJ Dahi, Tabu, Hit-Boy, Tha Bizness, Rahki, Jack Splash, Like of Pac Div, Skhye Hutch, Terrace Martin, Pharrell Williams, Scoop DeVille, and Just Blaze. Leaving features to a short minimum, with the likes of Jay Rock, Drake, MC Eiht, Anna Wise Of Sonnymoon, Mary J. Blige, and Dr. Dre, Kendrick is able to showcase why “lyricist of the year” is a fitting title.

Good kid, m.A.A.d city is one of those rare offerings that from the first track down to the last, every single one sounds like a “hit”. And it feels that way even more with it being K.Dot‘s lyricism; there isn’t any specific track we can pin-point and say “this is THE hit” or the “highest peak” of the album, in where any other track falls short. So, with that being stated, all I can offer you on my behalf is a breakdown of the tracks that hit close to heart.

“Bitch, Dant Kill My Vibe” is gem, produced by Sounwave. The strings, snare, and minimal use of synthesizers adds a melancholic dream-like vibe to the track. Lamar’s lyricism is all that more felt and relatable as he recites

“I am a sinner
who’s probably gonna sin again
Lord, forgive me
Lord, forgive me
Things I don’t understand
Sometimes, I need to be alone…”

There is a sense of repent in his voice within those few lines that is very inviting. Probably, the most humble line on this album lies within this track, as Kendrick mentions:

“I can feel the changes
I can feel the new people around me just want to be famous
You can see that my city found me, then put me on stages
To me, that’s amazing…”

It is a beautiful thing that when Kendrick drops a line like that it is felt by all his fans who’ve been there to witness his progress up until this point. Even without it being clearly stated, this is a “Thank You” to all the supporters who have contributed to his rise, placing him on hip hops pedestal, and allowing him to reach the entire world with his music from stage to stage.

“Martin had a dream… Martin had a dream… KENDRICK HAVE A DREAM!”
The Hit-boy produced “Backseat Freestyle” is, in my opinion, one of the hardest tracks to date offered by Kendrick. Lamar goes in “beast-mode” on this cut, proving that he is not a force to be reckoned with. And K.Dot once again reminds us of this on “M.A.A.D City” featuring MC Eiht. Sounwave & THC make this track an exceptional “Compton collaboration”, it’s grimy, hood, and very late-80s, early-90s west coast gangsta rap reminiscent.

Drake accompanies Kendrick on the Janet Jackson sampled, “Poetic Justice”. Only Scoop Deville could have pulled such an exquisite production for this, as Janet’s “Anytime, Anyplace” loops in the background. This is definitely a “panty-dropper” and one of the favorite among us ladies, With Drake’s smooth and charismatic voice and Kendrick reciting an open love letter of seductive and intriguing love lines, I couldn‘t ask for anything better.

Like of Pac Div & Skhye Hutch’s production really hit close to home on “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst”. Once again, Kendrick shows great amount of humility, vulnerability, and pain within the tone that accompanies his correlating lyricism. Ever felt someone else’s pain and hurt reach you, just by simply hearing their story and the voice that drowns in their emotions? That is the exact effect that the first half of this track evokes in you. The emotion put into this song is enough to make you shed a tear (I know I did).

“Real” featuring Anna Wise is somewhat reminiscent of Kendrick’s early work- “Vanity Slaves”. The message is along the same lines, yet Kendrick’s ultimate message is that it’s better to be “Real” than to be excessively vain and arrogant. A quality that up to this point we’ve all come to appreciate from Kendrick Lamar. And it is probably the characteristic that draws most of his fans to him.

“Black Boy Fly” finds Kendrick Lamar expressing jealousy in hindsight towards fellow rap colleagues who rose before him. He speaks on what it was like to see rappers out of his city, like Jayceon Taylor (aka The Game), gain success and live the dream he wanted for himself. Mary J. Blige joins the Compton native on a very uplifting track “Now or Never”, which truly testifies how far this “average joe” from Compton has came. It fills one up with a great sense of happiness for the kid.

Good kid, m.A.A.d city is an instant classic! It possess a nostalgic musical presence of the west coast all the while taking it in a new and evolving direction. Kendrick Lamar brings it back home, generating a win for the west with this debut, placing us prominently with heavy presence at the forefront of hip hop once again. West Up!

All I got to say is don‘t sleep- good kid, m.A.A.d city!

-Stace Fresh

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