Kenrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

kendrick lamarThe words “genius” and “best rapper of his generation” are words that have been tossed around in regards to Kendrick Lamar. An investigation was undertaken. I am back with the results and I concur with both statements. The guy oozes talent, does his own thing, will be setting trends within the rap world, and is a master with beats and words. He manages to be political without detracting from the music (take notes Bono). Maybe Kendrick Lamar is this generation’s Chuck D. His rhymes are so fresh and his command of the English language so strong that it is breathtaking at times.  Kendrick is powerful, poetic and complex all at the same time. What I like about this is that he is not only throwing shade at the U.S. government or the racism black people (“The Blacker the Berry”) have to face, but he also takes that microscope and aims it at himself.  He criticizes and makes fun of himself just as much as he does others. “Complexion (A Zulu Love)” is filled with vulnerable moments and even a good measure of self loathing. As far as the sound goes, at times, like on the track “For Free”, this feels like a mix of the sixties and today in that he is all about slam poetry.  It is like a history lesson of Black American music in that you get a little jazz, blues, George Clinton inspired funk, and, of course, rap. This guy is redefining what the genre is and leaving it better than he found it.

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