Good Kid, m.A.A.d City might be a wide-ranging, far-reaching success, but one suspects it won’t be his best record.
Lamar has bypassed the norm by producing an album that’s damn near unimpeachable.
It is a varied and dense listening experience that feels more like an emotional outburst than an assured statement of purpose.
The miracle of this album is how it ties straightforward rap thrills-- dazzling lyrical virtuosity, slick quotables, pulverizing beats, star turns from guest rappers-- directly to its narrative.
Naysayers who thought that Lamar's shift from independent to major label would risk the grit found on Overly Dedicated and Section.80 have been proven wrong.
With Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City, Compton's flag bearer unveils a group of songs equally potent individually and collectively, meeting the mainstream and rabid fans in the middle, improbably touching that thinnest slice between mass appeal and mass respect.
Providing the sort of semi-autobiographical character arc, good kid would be enough for some, but it’s the lush environs surrounding this “short film” that makes good kid not only a compelling story, but also musically interesting.
Good Kid is an exercise in tasteful restraint, with Lamar employing his boundless budget in creative ways.
good kid, m.A.A.d city is a cocksure record, but that confidence isn’t misplaced.
There are dramatic flourishes, rising crescendos and introspective lulls. In short, it is far more than your typical rap album.
Throughout these 12 songs (often bi- or tripartite), Lamar reshapes and improves upon enough modern rap tropes to at least partially justify the “unique” and “forward-thinking” mantles that have been placed upon him.
It might lack the raw appeal of Kendrick’s 2011 mixtape ‘Section.80’, but it’s also a big-budget reminder that the 25-year-old hasn’t forgotten his roots.
Best Track: The Art Of Peer Pressure, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, or Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst
Worst Track: Real
Most Overrated Track: Poetic Justice
Most Underrated Track: Compton
Best hip-hop album in a very long time
A really adventurous album with great stories inside the songs! Lyrically is genious and musically is simple but the simple sometimes is the best way! I hope for a biggest album after this "Gigantic" LP.
Every hip-hop artist should now relate to this work of art to cohesively match the content level this album provide us with.
|# 11 -||A.V. Club|
|# 4 -||AllMusic|
|# 1 -||BBC|
|# 7 -||Beats Per Minute|
|# 14 -||Clash|
|# 5 -||Cokemachineglow|
|# 3 -||Consequence of Sound|
|# 1 -||Exclaim!|
|# 1 -||FACT Magazine|
|# 4 -||FILTER|
|# 3 -||Gorilla vs. Bear|
|# 44 -||NME|
|# 1 -||No Ripcord|
|# 3 -||Obscure Sound|
|# 18 -||Paste|
|# 2 -||Pazz and Jop|
|# 1 -||Pitchfork|
|# 9 -||PopMatters|
|# 3 -||Pretty Much Amazing|
|# 6 -||Rolling Stone|
|# 2 -||SPIN|
|# 4 -||Spinner|
|# 3 -||Stereogum|
|# 2 -||The 405|
|# 5 -||The Guardian|
|# 46 -||The Quietus|
|# 23 -||The Wire|
|# 20 -||Tiny Mix Tapes|
|# 16 -||Drowned in Sound|
|# 8 -||Entertainment Weekly|
|# 2 -||Greg Kot (Chicago Tribune)|
|# 8 -||Idolator|
|# 1 -||Insound|
|# 1 -||Nitsuh Abebe (New York Magazine)|
|# 485 -||NME Top 500 of All Time|
|# 3 -||Pitchfork Readers|
|# 3 -||PopMatters (Hip Hop)|
|# 2 -||The Needle Drop|
|# 2 -||TIME|