After Kendrick Lamar won the 2018 Pullitzer for DAMN, I wanted to go back to some of his previous work to see what had been building up to that. To Pimp A Butterfly is an amazing showpiece of layered flow. It will take more listens to start to internalize the lyrical depth, but yes, this is a great album.
Funk, jazz, soul, and spoken word poetry is all To Pimp a Butterfly. King Kendrick won Best Rap Album at the Grammy's for this album, and has been creating dope beats and powerful lyrics since he was apart of TDE.
This has shaped up to be one of the most important hip-hop albums of the past 5 years and he shows no signs of letting up with this years "DAMN." Kendrick is the artist we need right now.
Jesus Christ this album is truly the greatest album of all times and of course the greatest rap album of all times. When Kendrick released the song "I" we all confused of what type of album "Two Pimp A Butterfly" was going to be but the he then resealed "The blacker The Berry" and we all knew what it was going to be.
He has an interesting mix of producers and influences on this album.
This truly is one of the best rap albums I've heard in a long time. Kendrick's lyrics are heavy and real, but rather than yelling and ranting about his personal struggles and the problems with the world, he injects his songs with a funky, jazzy style. Each track is unique, but they flow together in a seemingly effortless way. Several listeners have said that the sound didn't appeal to them right away, but I fell in love with the sound the first time I heard Wesley's Theory and King Kunta. (One thing I will note that I did NOT notice when I ordered this is that I ordered the edited/censored version of the album. It does somewhat interrupt the flow and the raw emotion.)
Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar released his third studio album "To Pimp A Butterfly" on March 15 2015. However Kendrick Lamar stated in an interview with Rollingstone magazine "Tu Pimp a Caterpillar was the original name and they (Dead End Hip Hop) caught it because the abbreviation was Tupac, Tu-P-A-C. Me changing it to Butterfly, I just really wanted to show the brightness of life and the word 'pimp' has so much aggression, and that represents several things. For me, it represents using my celebrity for good. Another reason is, not being pimped by the industry through my celebrity." Although the original intention of utilizing the title to spell out T-U-P-A-C was slightly changed, the legend's presence is far from non-existent in this album; that's all I'm going to say without trying to spoil it. Unlike Kendrick's past extremely successful projects, To Pimp a Butterfly (or TPAB for short) Kendrick brings a whole different style and sound. Instead of packing magazines of hard-hitting trap type instrumentals with a trigger happy aggressiveness Kendrick equips himself with a Funk, soulful, Jazz type sound on this album and is heavily influenced by all three as well as some spoken word. Kendrick had an army of wicked-talented producers at his fingertips for TPAB. The list includes executive producer and NWA legend Dr. Dre; Flying Lotus, Pharrell Williams, Knxwledge, Sounwave, and Thundercat, and many, many more. This album discusses a lot of heavy topics such as politics, race issues, street violence, greed, wealth over mind, love, regret, guilt, self-worth and self-esteem and mental health, and hypocrisy amongst a large a demographic of his. This album is truly great, It took me a few listens to have the albums' sound grow on me, but once it did, I had nothing but appreciation and admiration for both this album and the positivity and realism Kendrick is preaching (in a non-preachy way) through his music. This album is truly nothing but impressive. As a person who much more prefers east coast hip hop over west, I can whole heartedly say this is at the top of my list for hip hop albums that came out in this recent decade. If this album does not win Hip Hop album of the year, I'm telling you the awards are rigged or go simply based off of radio friendliness and sales. I can seriously say that it would surprise me if TPAB does not become a hip hop classic in the future. I rate this album 9/10 only because the sound and style takes a little getting used to if you are not huge on west coast hip hop from the 90s and 80s.
To Pimp a Butterfly is really good rap record. This album doesn't have quite the bangers than maad city did and it's a really dense piece of art. You need to listen to this uninterrupted.
A talented artist. Shame about the misogyny though. If that's what it is.
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