When: October 2012
Where: Interscope Records
Last year, Kendrick Lamar dropped one of the highly regarded albums that made many best of lists with Section.80. It was a great example on how to produce a record that’s accessible to the masses without limiting production, beats, hooks and personality. Now this year Kendrick looks to continue his momentum with good kid, m.A.A.d city, and certainly does in a big way.
One thing I liked about Section.80 was its concept, and I was hoping that Kendrick would carry that trait of his over to future releases, and he does for good kid, m.A.A.d city. Complete with phone messages and excerpts of Kendrick’s life, from his parents to him being around his friends, it’s a brilliant way of making sure the listener gets the concept without necessarily beating them over the head with it.
Throughout the record Kendrick talks about his family, romance and doing crime with his friends. But while he’s going ahead with all this, it’s clear that he is disagreeing with some of his friends’ ideas. Tracks such as The Art Of Peer Pressure reveal his true feelings about breaking into somebody’s home, and it captures the true crux peer pressure has on some people. Kendrick is the good kid and he’s stuck into this life of committing crimes because, like many of us, we just wanna look cool infront of our friends.
Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe and Backseat Freestyle show off the personality Kendrick has while he’s around with his friends. The lyrics, instrumentation and Kendrick’s flow goes over the top with arrogance and overconfidence. It’s fantastic, and really does reflect well on how much a teenager’s company can affect them.
The production is a little inconsistent but I think that just adds more character and depth to good kid, m.A.A.d city’s concept. Kendrick has written it as a short film, and it makes sense for the tracks about Kendrick’s young life to feature production that’s as premature and juvenile as he was at that point. Also the obnoxious, robotic voice Kendrick tends to do throughout this record does become irritating upon first listen, but fortunately grows on you come the third or fourth listen.
Well once again Kendrick Lamar has succeeded in bringing out another phenomenal record. Good kid, m.A.A.d city is easily the most cinematic releases of the year, and Kendrick has done a brilliant job in bringing forward how his childhood was, and the events that affected how he grew up without it seeming like it was being forced down the listeners’ ears. The production is great, the lyrics are great; Kendrick does a great job in constantly sounding entertaining on the mic and never letting his delivery drop. Another hit, can Kendrick Lamar do anything wrong?