To Pimp a Butterfly

The album demonstrates an awareness of the racial discourses that have been prevalent throughout the United States.

Contributed Image
Contributed Image

Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar took two years to release his third album, but for good reason. His 2012 release good kid, m.A.A.d city was perhaps one of the most critically acclaimed rap albums of the decade. Not only does it allow him to preserve the album’s greatness, but gives him a fighting chance to make another classic.

The album —which makes reference to the racially charged To Kill a Mockingbird —demonstrates an awareness of the racial discourses that have been prevalent throughout the United States.

Lamar weaved this sense of aggressive protest amongst a series of cleverly used, pop cultural references. The production involved the likes of guru producer Flying Lotus and is nostalgically reminiscent of a 90s rap release.

The beats transition into each other seamlessly. The subject matter is focused from top to bottom. You almost wish that he had songs on the album that talked about a wider variety of themes and had some more diversity in production.

Lamar’s insight towards the discussion of politically and racially charged themes is essential towards the album’s significance as a whole.

This is an artist who is jointly frustrated with the pressure in his pursuit to achieve greatness, as well as the societal subjugation of his own race that he sees in the United States.

As a result of being caught in the middle of this tension he did a good job in his relentless criticism of the political sphere that has failed to defend the safety and rights of the black population.

He got no help from his label mates and employed a variety of softer-spoken artists like Bilal and Anna Wise. Having the mini interview with the late Tupac was something really remarkable. Their conversation sounded seamless and organic and was a perfect way to sum up the album.

To Pimp a Butterfly is a masterpiece of artistic self-exploration within the framework of a jaded man who seeks to convey his sense of pride as a black individual.

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