New Kendrick Lamar Released
After the critical and commercial hit Good Kid, m.A.A.d City Kendrick Lamar has been onee of the most talked about MC’s in years. Fans everywhere salivated for his next album and after three years it is finally here. Needless to say it’s been an interesting road to the album release. After his epic Control verse in 2013 calling out the industry he made his official return with i last September. While critically acclaimed it got mixed reviews from hip hop heads expecting a harder sound rather than the funk influenced message about positivity. They got their wish this past February with The Blacker the Berry. Like old school Ice Cube and Public Enemy it was a confrontational look at race and culture in the modern day.
Scheduled for a release on March 23rd a download link appeared on Itunes on the 15th. Whether the fault of Itunes or someone at Interscope the cat was out of the bag and was released early Monday morning. At this point I’m more floored by the album than anything else. Moving away from the more West Coast rooted sounds of his major label debut the beats are more influenced by funk and jazz. Even more impressive, especially for a major label act, is that there are no clear cut singles. The closest is the aforementioned i which isn’t exactly a club banger. Instead it is a concept album following K-dot post-GKMC and his struggles with fame and racial identity. The album takes these often used themes and presents them in a way that never feels formulaic. Expectations were high for Kendrick Lamar after his major label debut; maybe even too high. Considered the savior or “real” hip hop by some he had to deliver something big to avoid the sophomore slump that followed other greats like Jay-Z and Nas. Somehow, some way, he did it. He delivered an album that is not only different from his debut but different from pretty much everything out now. In an already good year for hip hop we already have a clear contender for album of the year.