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FACT Magazine

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.

Consequence of Sound

Lamar has bypassed the norm by producing an album that’s damn near unimpeachable.

Pretty Much Amazing

It is a varied and dense listening experience that feels more like an emotional outburst than an assured statement of purpose.

Any hesitation about the horror of it all is quickly wiped away by Kendrick's mix of true talk, open heart, open mind, and extended hand. Add it all up and even without the hype, this one is still potent and smart enough to rise to the top of the pile.

Lamar's inimitable artistry and self-assurance have been on display for a while now, but good kid, m.A.A.d. city is the uncompromising documentation of that treacherous journey of self-discovery.


Overall, good kid, m.A.A.d city is an invigorating LP. Every record is both complexly arranged and sonically fitting, foregrounding Kendrick’s vivid lyricism and amazing control of cadence. There’s not a single loophole.

NOW Magazine

He remains magnanimous but brash, never conceding to collaborators or the beat, rapping hard - channelling multiple voices - as if hip-hop depended on it.

Spill Magazine

Each track on good kid, m.A.A.d city is unique and impeccable, making this album one that should be a milestone in Rap history.

The Irish Times

Lamar's major label debut is a different matter: a powerful, significant, thrilling and astonishing affair, good kid, mAAd city recalls the heyday of West Coast rap supremacy while sketching out a new manifesto.


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. 

The 405

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.


This is a great album for many reasons, but a historic album maybe just for one: it is a gorgeous, poignant, real, and fitting final curtain for the era of gangsta rap it was borne from.

The Young Folks

good kid, m.A.A.d city is a dense though-provoking album.

Entertainment Weekly

His major-label debut contains even more deep hooks, without diminishing Lamar’s knack for riding humming beats with his surreal interior narratives.


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.

The Needle Drop

With good kid, m.A.A.d. city, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar drops what's easily hip hop's most cinematic album of 2012.


Good kid m.A.A.d city is a definitive album for Compton - though it is not without its flaws.


It is rare accomplishment to have such an array of different producers on one project to sound this cohesive.

Spectrum Culture

good kid, m.A.A.d city is the rare album that feels alive with an entire universe inside of it. While I wouldn’t immediately label it a classic, I can say with confidence that any rap artist looking to make a classic should follow in Lamar’s footsteps.

Crack Magazine

Even when approached cautiously, it’s hard to pick out a single flaw.

A.V. Club

Good Kid is an exercise in tasteful restraint, with Lamar employing his boundless budget in creative ways.


It's a completely exhausting listen, one that might prove easier to admire than enjoy. But at the very least, it's never anything less than fascinating.

No Ripcord

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.

Rolling Stone

Lamar is an unlikely star: a storyteller, not a braggart or punch-line rapper, setting spiritual yearnings and moral dilemmas against a backdrop of gang violence and police brutality.

Slant Magazine

Good Kid, M.A.A.D City has a widescreen narrative and scope. The dense, often lengthy tracks are interspersed with spurts of dialogue from friends and family, creating an air of intimacy reinforced by the hushed, watery beats.

The Guardian

From its ambitious narrative arc to its fine linguistic detail, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is a honed and deliberate major label debut.

The Observer

Lamar's major-label debut, probably the year's most significant hip-hop release, proves his talent to be as prodigious as his online output

Tiny Mix Tapes

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.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Lamar is a technically supreme rapper, with varied, elastic flow and dexterous tongue twisting.


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. 


Fucking hell I accidentally deleted my 2nd most liked review.

Can we smash 26 likes again?

*orginal review*

No one:
Kendrick's Dad: Where my god damn Domino's at?


Edit: finally pinpointed my only problem with this album.... the hook in Real.

I am this album's bitch if we haven't established that already


I decided to finally give this album a full, uninterrupted, in depth listen. I think I was too obsessed over TPAB in the past to truly see the tracks on here as more than just great on their own.

GKMC tells the tale of a young Kendrick Lamar struggling to find his way, and his self worth in the city of Compton. This narrative is very straightforward, but the assembly is not very “in your face,” resulting in a very easy listen regardless of what mood you’re in.

I was in a ... read more


wasn't sure what to expect at first but i immediately got hooked after the first track. felt a bit confused in "real" so there are some downsides to making storytelling the priority.


I don't like making reviews for hip hop albums but damn this is an album of gold. Kendrick is a master of painting his story in a way that is not only relatable, but a fucking vibe.


Favorite Tracks: m.A.A.d City, Backseat Freestyle, Swimming Pools (Drank), I’m Dying of Thirst, Money Trees, Compton

Least Favorite: Real (Still a good track though)

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Added on: June 27, 2012