Compton seems to be the birthplace of some of the most important rap artists of our time: Beats founder Dr. Dre and his N.W.A co-founder Ice Cube. But in 2014 came the rise of the most important rap artist of the 21st Century Kendrick Lamar with his incredible jazz-gospel-rap record To Pimp A Butterfly.
Having previously released his first major lable record, the outstanding good kid M.A.A.D city, it was time for him to cement himself as the best rap artist in the world… And he most definitely did.
What he produced was not only an eceletic mix of jazz, gopsel and rap music, he developed a message throughout which was recognsiable in most of the tracks. The most iconic track off of this particular record was Alright, the hit track which has been associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The track i also has the same message as Alright, with an inspiring speech from Lamar at the end of the track showing how much passion and influence he has for the movement and political matters.
The record also contains tracks which are equally as important for Lamar to gain a wider audience. King Kunta is a funky diss to the rappers who use ghostwriters (hello Drake), and These Walls, a dreamy jazz track which he focuses on sex, violence, his career and much more.
“…it was time for him to cement himself as the best rap artist in the world…”
It’s rare that I can listen to a record in full in the modern era of music. Most artists or bands bring out a few songs which are for the mainstream radioplay with the rest of the record being album filler trash. This is the exception. Each song flows into each other, with the record setting a great pace alongside the more fast-tempo tracks like For Free? – Interlude, to the slower chilled out sound of u.
It’s hard to think if another rap record will have this much importance to it as this one did. And with the state of the genre at the moment, I don’t think there will be for the foreseeable future. But it’s safe to say one thing… Kendrick Lamar is the greatest rap artist of the past few years, and is still as relevant as ever. Just listen to his latest record DAMN. and you can see why.
Best Tracks: ALL OF IT.
Listen to: Alright – the Black Lives Matter anthem which is so so important, a real standout track from an incredible record.
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