I just got my cd copy of this one, and HELL I LOVE THIS ALBUM SO FRICKIN MUCH. I'll try to unpack it and explain why this record is such a masterpiece.
I usually start with thing that I don't like, but I honestly can't find anything to criticze here. One can maybe find this poem-thing that progresses along with the album a bit boring, especially during "I" and Mortal Man, but I think that it's done extremely well and adds a lot to the feel of TPAB, and gives it some kind of narrative. There's no weak point in the whole record as well, I literally love every single track here, start to finish, which says a LOT in a 16 track album.
But yet. It is THAT good.
To Pimp a Butterfly is the third studio album (Yeah, I consider sec.80 to be his debut) from the phenomenal rapper Kendrick Lamar. TPAB deals with fame, identity, violence, addictions, self hatred, self love and so much more. Kendrick truly poured his soul into this one. Written the lyrics with the blood of his heart. It has this poem building up through the record, each track adding a line to lead into the next track (which details the meaning of that line and , I'd say). I find it really cool and creative actually, and like I said before, it adds a lot to the feel and the narrative of TPAB.
But, you know, I truly love every detail here. The beats are so detailed and well produced - they're full of synths, trumpets, electric guitars and what-not. Each one is so unique and creative, and each beat sound SO GOOD. Not just the instruments, but the production, the mixing, anything really. Every song sounds fantastic.
And Kendrick. Oh boy, Kendrick. His flows are so percise, so smooth and clean. His lyrics are personal, as I mentioned earlier, and everything is written in such a clever and sophisticated, yet down-to-earth way. You can follow a story that he tells without thinking too much most of the time, but if you dive into the lyrics you'll find much more than you'd think you will. He delivers emotion in such an honest, heartfelt, effective way as well. From the self hatred in U to the anger in The Blacker the Berry, from the self empowerment in "I" to the optimism in Alright. I like the features, too. Every featured artist adds a lot to the track in which they're in, and in a great way. They add a lot of diversity and I like that a lot.
Top Three Tracks: How Much a Dollar Cost, Wesley's Theory, The Blacker the Berry. (Kind of a mood thing tho, I guess. I may prefer others, but those three are generally my top, prbably.)
Least Fav: ....I litrally think that every track here is AT LEAST very good. Most of them are fantastic. But if I had to pick one...Hood Politics. IF I HAD TO, OKAY? I STILL LOVE THIS TRACK.
So, yeah. I don't know what else to say. It's a must-listen in my opinion. A truly fantastic record, probably one of my all-time favs. Feeling a 10 on this one.