Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid, M.a.a.d City
- Artist: Kendrick Lamar
- Album: Good Kid, M.a.a.d City
- Label: Top Dawg
- Year of Release: 2012
- ME Rating:
- Reviewed by: carlita on 2012-10-23
Seeing Kendrick Lamar perform to a sold-out crowd last week and viewing pics of thousands of people who showed up for his surprise show by the Staples Center a few days ago, a new Compton, California monarch currently reigns over this m.A.A.d rap world. Every so often, an album comes along that highlights childhood wounds influencing adulthood while saying "This is where I rep. This is my urban reality. Now". The "women, weed and weather" on "The Recipe" still exist but now another "w"- wads of cash (success)- emerges.
The inevitable hater chatter will start about a loss of authenticity after his Section 80 breakout, with his new album, good kid, m.A.A.d city reflecting an internal struggle with accepting the responsibility (not asked for but still placed on his shoulders anyway) of being an intellectual politically-derisive internationally-lauded lyricist "hood"(ied) hero vs. the anonymous dude hanging with the "hustling/gangbanging" crowd ( the Boyz in Da Hood") running the street who might grow tired of fighting an imposed expiration date from several environmental factors and stereotypes, miles away from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Commenting from the inside and at times, as an outsider, wavering, unsure, revealing discomfort with serving both roles.
Dr. Dre, who probably knows this aforementioned dilemma well, a part of historic N.W.A., spoke at the show I attended about "passing the torch" to Kendrick, which lyrically occurs on "Compton" , 20 years removed from his own meteoric rise, as MC Eiht also does on "m.A.A.d city". Black Hippy's Jay Rock, Drake (providing a nod to Janet and Pac's "Poetic Justice"), Mary J. Blige and Sonnymoon's Anna Wise notably visit Kendrick's metropolis as well.
Temporarily leaving the pressure behind of being different things to different people ("watch that black boy fly") on "Swimming Pools (Drank)", he freefalls back to Earth and finally makes peace with fame and using it to elevate his community on "Now or Never". Yes, the good kid "made it off the avenue" epicly. "What more can I say? Welcome to LA".
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