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finally! Seems this could be out on Sept 23rd.
so hoping to be proved completely wrong here.
but i trust that it's been in the name of working out where he goes next. and plus flying lotus said he'd nicked loads of his beats, so that makes me excited.
Gonna need some time with this I think
Gets better in the second half though
Kept expecting Rob Thomas to come in
it's not bad, but yeah, seems a bit... standard
Sounds awful, though. Who knew he'd be so desperate to have a hit so soon?
Kendrick's been around for years and is just about the only rapper at his level who hasn't been desperate for a hit.
doesn't sound like a grower either. that guitar is horrible!
ps re "he's done some questionable things musically since Good Kid" - what about Control?!?
I'm not saying his verse isn't great, I just can't imagine anyone listening to the track.
Anyway my main point is him doing huge collaborations with awful, stadium-filling bands like Imagine Dragons.
seemed to have a filter for that shit e.g. kicking Gaga off Good Kid, when she'd have sold him a few more records.
Not sure this is exactly pandering to the charts either, it's just the first half is irredeemably shite, and the trademark switch up feels way more forced than usual.
I'd probably listen more if it was a better track in general. The verse is cool.
Nor is it particularly ambitious. Nice track, all said, but yeah, was definitely expecting more
hopefully it won't end up being on the album like cartoon and cereal
also the electric guitar sample is really familiar?
there's still hope
It's a travesty that didn't end up on the album tbh.
It feels like too obvious a choice for me. Kinda like something you'd find on an early Kanye record, but not with the same impact as a pop hit.
beastie boys used it on one of the sections of b-boy bouillabaisse
but with none of the effortless simplicity and ingenuity of his early career flips.
Bloke next to me at work has just called it and it's bang on frankly.
I remember having the same feeling when he dropped 'Compton' though so I'm not gonna worry about it too much. Not to say I particularly like that song now, but it definitely made more sense on the album as a victory lap after the GKMC story.
It does get better in the second half - I bet that is Thundercat who is Thundercatting all over the end.
it's just so...corny
lets not forget Kendrick has toed the corny line plenty of times before.
Like Santana on fast forward
My friend thought it had a bit of a Chance the Rapper vibe.
I can't tell if I like it or hate it after a few listens. Kinda indifferent.
but I can understand why he's pissed.
Leaked to show he ain't gone soft, obviously.
So fed up of the big trap bass peaks.
getting worried now, but still, reserving judgement
but this song is well over a year old and was only ever a rent-a-rapper feature to try and give Mayer some post-Stones Throw cred. Even if the album does disappoint, I don't think we need to hold him up to every throwaway verse he records. That's the kind of pressure that will drive him mad.
Just gonna ignore "i" and keep rooting for Kendrick I think.
& yet... each new one of these is a little harder to forgive than the last
Ever since "i" my complete conviction that he knows what he's doing has evaporated. When you've got Dre behind you, there's no limits to the depths you can sink.
good kid, m.A.A.d expectations
good kid, m.A.A.d Internet
good kid, gone shitty
good kid, why u make me m.A.A.d Kendrick?
good kid, m.A.A.n! I feel like a woman
Sounds a bit Yeezus
loads better than 'I'
Very excited again
I guess it's cool that he's obviously working with a full band on this album. More stuff like this and less like 'i' though please.
Excited to hear what the album sounds like though. I thought this new one was ok, on par with 'i' which has grown on me
Hope to hell he can pull this record off without slipping into 'i' territory too often.
Also I'm calling it now: Narratives trying to link the D'Angelo album and this Kendrick one to some sort of 'movement' to get annoying in 2015.
Fun idea for a song. Doesn't really sound like anything else without being too crazy. Yep. Excited again after the disappointment of I.
Only listened once but on first impressions: the beat is crazy crazy good and Kendrick sounds angry (this is good).
Well this is fucking great.
Feels like like I've just got new speakers or some shit. The drums are so clean. Then the synths coming in over the chorus... Hopefully this gets rid of some of the scepticism that's been brewing since 'i'
i was so so shit but feeling really positive after hearing this. Real K Dot vibes on this.
I'm sure he knew he was throwing out a curveball with 'i', but damn... this is great.
it's corny, but i forgive it
Has grown on me a little, and it's still kind of weird for an all-out cornball fest. Would anyone else in mainstream rap pull that shit?
so fucking good.
Love the Optimistic/In Limbo style outro too
thinking about going for k-dot.
Crowd not too bad at all - lots of people not really there for the music, but relatively few dickheads. Getting between the stages was sometimes a little difficult due to crowds, but Finsbury Park was a good venue overall, especially the placement of the main stage. I'd go again this year but there's not a single standout day and can't afford the whole weekend.
It's a double album, which could be a red flag, but it's only about 80 minutes long, which isn't that extravagant.
It looks quite possible that 'i' didn't make the cut...
With tracks like 'i' on disc 1, and 'Blacker the Berry' on 2.
Totally hyped anyway.
Take that track-listing as an indication that maybe 'i' didn't make it. Track has grown on me, but can imagine it'd be difficult to sequence alongside his darker stuff. Dying to hear a studio version of that one he did on Colbert.
Fuck me, this year: k-dot, kanye, drake, earl, frank Ocean and more. Here we go!
Probably more likely a bonus cut on disc 2, alongside some track produced and featuring Dr Dre that Kendrick's hoping no one will notice.
or is the artwork plain black and its untitled?
if the latter, that's kind of... woah
You are right.
It's adding to the hype. I'm getting more excited by the day.
as I did when I was a teenager.
Then something like this comes along and I'm totally swept away by the hype.
it looks great.
Bit silly, but I'll roll with it.
Sonically, Lamar’s new album is adventurous, incorporating elements of funk, spoken-word poetry, and free-jazz, augmented by lots of live playing.
CANNOT FUCKING WAIT TO HEAR THIS.
I get bad flashbacks to 'i'.
I'm really hoping that was something tossed off from the album sessions, which they decided to release as a standalone to raise his mainstream profile.... But... Too much of that would be cringe.
If he uses, say, OutKast as a jump off point, then it could be brilliant... but the flip side is terrifying.
and all the flylo-esque bits we've heard in the stuff he's put out
Not many people make a live instrumentation, free jazz thing work. If it does, it'll be brilliant, but if he's having cheesy 70s funk wigouts all over the place it'll kill the thing.
I'm just trusting that it'll be brilliant.
so obviously the first thing they're going to notice is if there are any guitars on the go.
It's the sort of sentence that would set alarm bells ringing for nearly any other modern artist I can think of but I think he's one of the few people out there able to fully commit to a vision and that in itself will make it interesting if nothing else.
I'm hoping Soulquarians, The Roots, OutKast will be touchstones for that kind of experimentation, while pushing the boundaries out a bit further from that stuff. I'm not really sure who out there is producing relevant hip hop like that on any consistent level... Which could, obviously, make it interesting to have a big, not completely out-of-touch artist give it a go.
so so much in the past few days. such an incredible album. If he comes close...
(did somebody say dominos?!)
Still so much revelation left in it for me. Not ready for the follow-up!
01.Tenth Circle of Hell
02. Poisoned Youth
03. Watching the World Burn
04. Fade Away
05. i (Extended Version)
07. Blood in the Streets (Feat. Anna Wise)
08. Heaven’s Choir (Interlude)
10. Black Mamba
11. Fall Through Time (Feat. George Clinton)
12. Prayers from Africa
13. The Blacker The Berry
14. Savior of The Tribes
15. King Kunta
16. The Revolution is Live (Feat. Pete Rock)
17. Stand Down
18. We Don’t Die
19. The Heart pt.4
my source is absolutepunk.net - where they say this track listing hasn't been confirmed. Not seen it anywhere else yet.
If correct, looks like the Colbert song he did is only on the deluxe. Shame, as it sounded insane.
no way is that legit
1. Wesley’s Theory
2. For Free? (Interlude)
3. King Kunta
5. These Walls
8. For Sale? (Interlude)
10. Hood Politics
11. How Much A Dollar Cost
13. The Blacker The Berry
14. You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)
16. Mortal Man
'For Sale? (Interlude)' is 5 minutes long? Also we're treated to a special extended version of 'i' :'D
Only real disappointment with good kid was that the skits were tacked onto tracks meaning they couldn't be deleted when you're sick of hearing them after the 100th listen...
but I dig it. Builds as the track goes along.
The line about rappers with ghost writers...
My I-tunes pre-order just dropped!
Is on spotify too but you have to search for it.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
I really really like this.
Is the only featured rapper Snoop Dogg? Hear it's got Thundercat all over that bitch.
Choking on 5pm to come so I can finish it. Loving it so far.
first half might take me a while to get into, it's undoubtedly well constructed, but some of the lyrics and ideas missed the mark with me (on a drizzly tram into central sheffield).
Second half is incredible, genuinely.
Gonna go and listen to something else and then give it another spin, uninterrupted. So grateful to have my own office on days like these!
So, so big. That last 10 minutes, I got to work and had to stand outside in the rain so I could finish listening to it. Loved the whole thing tbh, I think it's gonna give so much on repeated listens. Gutted I have to wait til 6 to hear it again.
Sounds very very like Pyramid Song, but incredible in its own right too.
yeah mixed feelings about the first half, with king kunta being an obvious standout. some of the skit/"experimental" bits were kinda iffy, and this dick aint free was kind of shit. hoping it'll grow on me though. gonna walk home tonight and listen to the whole thing in one go.
So they had to rush release. Shame after he'd clearly put some thought into the build up.
So they were just ready to go with rush-releasing on iTunes and Spotify.
A shame it did come out early on Spotify but I guess if people had pre-ordered the CD then it's a bit unfair to make them wait, or pay again for iTunes. #moderndayreleaseissues
I think he always knew it would leak seeing as some people had promos, but 1 week before isn't too bad.
Want it on vinyl ideally really.
Everything leaks at this stage though so idk.
@kendricklamar · 7h 7 hours ago
Keep calm. All is well.
It already feels "important" but it's going to take a lot of listens to fully get to grips with. Sonically it's really interesting from a first run through though.
In an amazingly nauseating way
Surely it matters how good the record is. I imagine you listen to 2 hour mixes and shit.
It's been rap music's MO since forever to fill up the CD. Sure, if half of it sucks you can say you'd rather they'd hit the cutting floor, but if it's 80 minutes of gold then who's complaining?
I can't really get past 60 minutes - I don't believe there's an 80 minute album out there that can't be cut down. I know it's a hip-hop cliche to have an overly-long record but look at the best (imo) ones - Hell Hath No Fury, Liquid Swords, 36 Chambers, Madvillainy... all under an hour (okay maybe 1 minute over).
Anyway. wtf is this For Free? skit.
How will we cope?
this definitely does
them shits be long
but my point is it doesn't feel long at that point because that song is perfect
Oh shit, he's completely changed i !!! It's so much more fun! Love it.
sounds like a genuinely live vocal
Hood Politics and How much a Dollar cost were instantly very impressive
How Much A Dollar Cost / Complexion / Black the Berry is a great run
it's like the run on GKMC from Art of Peer Pressure through to Swimming Pools. Just a heart of the album which is truly something incredible.
It's beautifully put together. More than enough going on musically to latch onto while the larger themes/lyrics start to take hold properly.
Is that Tupac bit just an impersonator? Or some old recording of him?
Such a departure sonically from where I thought he was headed.
What an absolute tour de force. Sonically, emotionally, politically complex and ambitious. Absolutely taken aback.
I've listened to it three times back to back this evening, extraordinary record.
Imagine hearing jazz on a hip hop record!
(Review feels a bit lightweight. I've seen much better, more insightful critiques of the record. You'd think this would be an indie critics dream to write about and disect.)
Just some white guy who's desperate to tell everyone he's seen a couple of Spike Lee movies. Real missed opportunity by Pitchfork there. Also, just wait a week to review it ffs, you're not gonna miss out on traffic if you feel you need more time to just write a decent review.
Have seen some pretty good reviews by him in the past and he's well worth following on Twitter. This isn't one of his best though. He also did a pretty rushed review of Black Messiah in December.
It will be worth looking out for his review (which I assume he'll be doing for Complex, hence Craig being on this). He knows Kendrick pretty well and did some real good in depth pieces on him and TDE when he first broke through and after GKMC came out. Haven't seen anything from him yet though.
gives a nice thread through the record to hold on to
And what a dreadful opinion that was in hindsight.
Feels like this ongoing poem thing running through the album is thematically important once I have a handle on what it actually is.
Fair enough in that case, go wild
just a guess.
Can't even bring myself to scroll down the page
'ReMEMBAH the first time you came out to the house?
You said you wanted a spot like MAAHHHHHHHHN
But reMEMBAH, anybody can get it
The hard part is KEEPIN it, MUTHFURCKAH'
Makes me laugh every time.
Yeah, that line reminded me of dangerous minds for some reason. At least he didn't try to promote his headphones like on Compton.
though i've probably only listened through the last 3 tracks only a couple of times.
feel pretty disappointed so far but reading how other people feel about it, and how much there is to take in makes me hold out a lot of hope for it growing on me.
never really been that fussed on jazzy hip-hop and recent thundercat/flylo type stuff so it's very possible it just won't be for me. having said that, the first track is one of the ones I like most and iirc that's the only flying lotus produced one. pretty stunning he's gone in this direction though
get a strong outkast feel to a lot of it, but there's some tracks where it mostly reminds me of bad, latter-day outkast (e.g for sale? - though it's such a curveball i can't even tell if this might actually be really good)
feel like he's repeated the seemingly impossible feat of how cohesive and monumental gk:mc was in terms of themes, scale, storytelling (though i basically sounds like a tacked-on live bonus track and disrupts the flow for me - would actually prefer the studio version; the wooping/singing is really annoying - and the repeated spoken word bits are tiresome), but without actually having the same quality of the songs.
the only songs i find myself itching to listen to are blacker the berry and king kunta, which given those are the songs i had on repeat before the whole 80minute LP,is pretty disappointing.
also that michael jackson line : (
hopefully i'll do a total 180 and it's just a case of digesting something this massive but as i take it right now it just seems like there's nothing at the level of art of peer pressure, dying of thirst, good kid, m.a.a.d city, etc.
i'm super impressed by it all, think it's a cool record, and great that he's just fucked off expectations, rapped his ass off, done whatever he wants AND made it stick... and for those reasons alone he's probably got *at least* a cult classic record on his hands...
...but, I'm not sure i'm feeling the music that much. i think i might end up appreciating it more than i do love it.
it will get more spins than any humdrum follow would do though, and maybe it'll be a favourite later down the line.
There's tracks I definitey like, like How Much A Dollar Cost and The Blacker The Berry (although I think Assassin's bit makes the song for me). But on the whole I just can't see myself getting into it. I think that's fine. It's definitely in the later Thundercat/later FlyLo vein, and I gave up on FlyLo at Cosmogramma as it's just not for me.
Everyone can fall over themselves talking about how 'important' this album is and that, often cos they're happy to just assume no other rappers are talking about anything other than 'cars and girls' or whatever, but I do feel the expectation on Kendrick kind of outweighs the actual listening experience at this point. Like, the guy is fucking amazing, but half of the 'weirder' shit on here is just unlistenable - like that 'booboo' shit on Hood Politics?! Dunno. If everyone else thinks it's genuinely incredible then cool, I'm glad someone willing to make an album like this is considered the 'best out there' by the mainstream press and that.
I'm not having a go Ant!
Just for clarity though, all the talk of "importance" from my end has been within the context of the album itself rather than with any wider role the album has to play or "socially conscious watskys" or any nonsense like that. In the same way that my appreciation of GKMC shot up once the penny dropped that the skits drove the narrative and that the narrative was a huge part of what that album was about for me.
I don't think that ongoing "I remember you was conflicted" bit running through the thing is anything other than some sort of thread to tie the themes and lyrics together in the same way as the GKMC skits. I think that the themes and lyrics are worthy of a bit of thought or discussion but if that makes me Zane Lowe I'm not gonna have a little cry about it or anything. Nothing wrong with a bit of earnestness every now and then.
I guess they're who I'm aiming my gripe at. Your point is totally fair enough.
But they're conversations I've got no business taking part in whatsoever.
just a bit of bants xx
LA is in my top 3 albums ever made, and I can barely listen to Flying Lotus any more. I certainly think that when KL is doing is lots more latter-day Flying Lotus over LA. (Not arguing - just curious where you're hearing that influence, as I'd love to find it...my listens so far aren't much more than lukewarm, bar The Blacker the Berry.)
that straight away reminded me of the beats from LA, it's not all later jazzy stuff, I'll need top listen to it again to pick them out again but that was my initial reaction
It's institutionalised and momma which sound particularly "LA" to me
not there's anything wrong with Thundercat noodling ;)
As with Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, I've put this album on my iPhone and made myself sit through it 3 or 4 times, but it just isn't for me. I don't like his flow and I don't like the production. He sounds like a member of Freestyle Fellowship, and they weren't for me either.
...which said that this album is like Aquemini, but Kendrick never had a Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik or an ATLiens. He's gone headlong into what I find to be a pretty crazy sound, but maybe if I'd have been eased in I'd dig it more.
But I've always been a man of simpler tastes when it comes to rap music.
I think it's great, really great.
I was worried at first that it would be a record to appreciate rather than actually enjoy but the longer I'm sitting with it the more enjoyable it's becoming. There's a lot of nuance and layers to the sound which are revealing themselves every new listen and when it initially sounded very dense and impenetrable (to me at least) that's a real bonus.
Without wanting to pre-empt a million dreadful think-pieces I'm actually drawing a lot of comparisons to Black Messiah with the depth of sound and I think I'm going to keep finding something to come back to with it.
The same applies to his lyrics/flow as well, there's little turns of phrase and bits of wordplay that are really hitting the mark and whilst I can't see myself sitting through it every time I play the album, that Pac interview at the end is really impactful and #makeyouthink
Starting to appreciate it more and more as I get chances to really take it in. Seen people compare it to Kast, but they loaded their tracks with hooks to ensure everyone was along for the ride. Kendrick doesn't make many of those concessions here, but it's always sonically pretty inviting rather than overly difficult or knotty.
It seems like a record I might always throw on to #makemethink, but there's room for those too, fuck. Can't think of the last more-traditional-sounding hip hop record that had so many fresh ideas.
A little guitar lick here and there or a baseline that isn't immediately catchy but really starts to stick
wasn't overly bothered about GKMC, and I stopped listening to jazzy hip hop in like 1995
Really like it. Reminds me of Sly and the Family Stone. Same dark heart, bombed out comedown approach to source material. Think he's been listening to The Last Poets too....
I actually don't think there are many tracks properly in that vein except the first 3 & i, many just take elements of it and get it in the mix. It's not like You're Dead! where I have to listen in one sitting and not dip in and out.
It definitely unlocks on further listens, reading further etc. and I love it now, but it's a beefy record and cannot be reviewed straight away like that silly way above.
I love the starting tracks and just the sound of them. I love the way These Walls shifts from sex to social commentary, and the characters and delivery from Kendrick and how they shift on Institutionalized and U, the desperate voice he puts on for the latter is amazing, can't think of many who can do that and act that well in their rapping.
How Much A Dollar Cost is such a powerful story, I was genuinely moved when it came to the end and it turns out the beggar is God, it's incredibly well told. And the way the poem that ties the album together being delivered at the end of Method Man moved me as well, along with that interview with Pac.
It may sound silly, but I'm looking forward to hearing and reading reviews in the next week, how they read into and interpreted lyrics, I feel it just adds more to the album and gives extra pieces to the jigsaw, just as it did with GKMC. I still need to sit down with it more (I have done once with RG just to digest everything), but I love it so far.
God knows why... Mortal Man* even.
I haven't articulated this well at all, but it's classic hip-hop with jazz, funk and soul elements incorporated rather than this fully HOLY CRAP jazz hip-hop record.
I meant silly video rather than silly way as well.
I'm terrible when trying to articulate thoughts about music, my apologies.
I really don't mind that, but then I like FlyLo more the further he heads away from Los Angeles.
It's harking back to that era of soulquarian type stuff, which was fucking great before it got too watered down.
A lot of the production reminds me of Erykah Badu's New Amerykah series.
What's your favourite FlyLo track?
With Kendrick's record pitched somewhere between Like Water for Chocolate and Electric Circus, filtered through a west coast perspective (g-funk, pharcyde, brainfeedr etc)
That whole tribe/pharcyde/gangstarr thing bleeds into this.
but i really don't hear a lot of that stuff here
I fucking love this album though
but i always preferred (old) Prefuse 73 to Flying Lotus, whose music I've often felt doesn't flow in some way, like maybe the tracks don't seem to last that long and they something else is happening and it changes the mood. Actually, i think i might have reevaluated this opinion more recently. Whatever, I really like TPAB
Don't get me wrong, I think in time this album will be seen as really good. On initial listens (maybe 10 times in the past few days) There are great moments across the whole thing. But there's also some dross and tracks I already skip without feeling like it harms the overall LP.
The main thing though, is that for an album of this length and density, you really do need to live with it. I know it's Pitchfork and they review LPs, but it feels far too soon.
But then, I'm out of my mind.
two weeks for concept albums
I mean I agree that review doesn't really say anything, but they'd have had weeks with this...
like you say, the review doesn't say much and it doesn't really cast a critical eye over the whole thing. It feels superficial, because it is superficial. Even after playing it a lot I'm still not really unpicking things. It took me a good 6/12 month with GKMC to really 'get' it.
Maybe some of the major reviewers will take another look at it in the future, it'd be good to see how their view matures.
And it's been three years.
On each successive listen, I alternate between focusing on the lyrics and focusing on the music. Taken together, it's overwhelming.
The new one, more so.
I follow Craig on Twitter and he was tweeting his reactions to King Kunta when it dropped just before the album. I don't think he'd heard it.
too much potential for leakage.
been fine for a few days, but unable to play any of the trackstoday for some reason. odd
So might be back up. Weirrddd
Since GKMC came out I've been wondering how he'd follow it, and I can't say I ever expected this. In hindsight, the biggest clue was probably Kendrick's interlude on Ab Soul's album (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3A6FC4D19o) – but I thought when it came to his own album he'd have cleaned everything up and made something that radio can play.
At first I was just happy he'd made something so ambitious, but really I like the majority of the songs. I can see how the FlyLo/Thundercat thing would put people off – but I think there's enough room to breathe here and when it's messy it serves a purpose. I think 'U' is really great (that saxaphone m glad Kendrick took this path.
so fuck it, I'm a fan.
I absolutely love it fwiw. Took me at least 3 listens though. I will post something longer later with some thoughts on tracks but I am a bit busy office droning right now.
Basically, I think Kendrick has made a totally mixed-up, chaotic record that probably reflects his experience or at least a version of it, and definitely reflects this era. There are contradictions and anxieties and moments of huge self-doubt which could be seen as weakness, but I think that's where the album is strongest. Like he says on 'Mortal Man' he doesn't have the answers (because of course he doesn't) and Kendrick doesn't present himself as a superhero, but he's working through extremely difficult racial politics with the ultimate goal of inspiring and uplifting his community. That's a great thing, and it's also a very difficult thing to do on this sort of scale.
Most importantly, I like the music. As I said up there, I think 'U' is up there with his best. 'How Much a Dollar Cost, 'Hood Politics' and 'Blacker the Berry' were my other instant standouts, but I like most of the songs. I like how 'Institutionalized' is this weird mix of Quasimoto/OutKast/Brainfeeder, but still very much a Kendrick song. I still don't love 'i', but tbh I probably like the new version as much as I ever liked 'Compton' - and it's more important to the overall #message. As Ant says, there are lots of little micro-hooks and melodies that worm their way in, and outside of 3 or 4 purposefully frenetic songs, the beats actually sound pretty laid-back and head-noddy to me.
Anyway, it's not without its faults - the MJ line is very uncomfortable, I haven't fully got my head around 'These Walls' and I'm not sure the last minute of 'Momma' is wholly necessary. But I'm glad Kendrick went this way with it. TPAB isn't perfect by any means, but I can't think of many other people that could have even got close.
I think what makes it thorny at first is the number of directions he goes of on (not to mention the length), rather than the particularly challenging or un-nodworthy nature of the music. Most of it has sunk right in, and they stand alone as tracks too.
I like these 'These Walls', and think it has an outside shot of being a summer smash, while subverting listeners as he did with 'Swimming Pools'. Just has the feel of a throwback g-funk hit. 'Alright' owes a fair amount to Chance, yet I'd be surprised to if he comes up with much on that level with his Social Experiment project. His flow on 'Hood Politics' is so now, but I couldn't see anyone else putting together a track like that.
Half of all the other tracks, including the ones you've mentioned ('Wesley's Theory', 'U', 'King Kunta' 'How Much a Dollar Cost, 'Blacker the Berry') are obvious standouts by now and every track has its place.
To think that not so long ago, he was just another vaguely promising rapper. With GKMC he already put out something beyond most rappers, but now he's curated something musically beyond what most producers could hope to achieve. The amount of work he must have put in to get where he is now is crazy.
Do not envy him trying to follow this.
I haven't picked it up
How many leaders you said you needed then left ‘em for dead?
Is it Moses, is it Huey Newton or Detroit Red?
Is it Martin Luther, JFK, shoot or you assassin
Is it Jackie, is it Jesse, oh I know, it’s Michael Jackson, oh
that nigga gave us billie jean, you say he touched those kids?
what track? ha
method man aye?
Not heard of her before. Got that Vince Staples blunt southern twang thing going on, although my regional accent knowledge is pretty bad so she's probably from New York.
and Vince Staples is from California haha.
At this point that's literally my only disappointment about it and it seems like there could've been a place there for it somewhere?
'it probably wont make the album, it's just something we felt like playing'
dunno if there's anything more to read into it than that
Destined to be one of those albums that people pretend to prefer over the much better predecessor though
we're all in on it
and it is starting to grow on me. The final third I'm really digging, but it is a very long listen and my attention does wane in the build up to that.
Hmm... maybe I should have stuck it out with Innercity Griots...
It sags so much in places, but when he gets it right it's astonishing.
Relatively speaking, like. It's still got Blacker the Berry, Complexion and a fucking interview with 2Pac.
His rant on 'i' kinda disrupts things. I think Kendrick is worried that people won't get him, and I think the reception to 'i' didn't help. On the extended cut, I feel his rant is kinda his reaction to that song's reaction. Like, you're not gonna fucking listen to me, while I try and appreciate life in the midst of all this shit? So he explains the concept and sentiment.
But I feel he could've just let the song talk for itself in this case. On GKMC he walked you through his film with skits, he didn't want you to lose track of the story. Here he repeats the poem, and it works. You get it. Imagine if he hadn't. If he'd have just dropped it at the beginning or end it probably would've probably taken people a while to thread together how the songs ran through the poem.
In some ways both these devices could be an artistic compromise from Kendrick. Maybe his next step is to completely throw out the guidelines, and see if people will follow him anyway.
Not bad going at all
It's probably due to a lull in the release schedule, but I don't think any of Drake's albums have made it to No.1. I remember MBDTF hitting about 16 when it dropped. Boy's done good.
(who doesn't already own that album by now?!) but yeah, good work.
this album is very good
Makes GKMC sound pretty straightforward and ordinary in comparison...but this is only after a few listens
First impressions... there's an incredible album in there straining to get out. However, all these moments of brilliance rarely sync up in terms of content and music (with the major exception of 'The Blacker the Berry'). That is to say, while there's lots of good material, it doesn't really come together at all. Which is a real shame.
Definitely feels like a step down after GKMC. But I'm really looking forward to digging into the lyrics. All this 'modern classic' stuff feels incredibly premature, no matter how it reveals itself further down the line. I'd give it an 8/10, tops.
Quite like *bits* of GKMC now, but nothing on this strikes me as being particularly interesting or original. Not on the wind-up.
I think my main issue with rap records is that they're never, ever improved by the skits (if that's even the word) or often the song intros. For me, all that stuff simply doesn't add to the listening experience or make for a more coherrent record, to the contrary.
Also, idk, lyrically i find him quite boring and vocally pretty flat (bar the odd track like The Blacker the Berry), and he doesn't really strike me as being any less overly commercial than Drake or anyone else, but what do i know. Some of his tracks are decent - Money Trees, Average Joe, Wanna Be Heard, Chapter Six - i like all those, they're perhaps not even some of his best efforts, idk, there's a huge amount of throwaway crap in there. I absolutely defy anybody to defend a track like King Kunta.
one of the lead singles for one of the biggest albums of the year?
A song about black pride, confidence and self esteem in the wake of Ferguson?
A song that works as a big, bold, change-of-direction single AND as part of a concept album without compromising on either front?
I know you're looking for this reaction - but I think that's a simple, silly thing to say.
It's a poor track. I've tried explaining as best as i can why i don't find him a standout artist. That's not an attack on you, or anyone looking for a reaction *at all*.
This is interesting as a defence of a song, as good content doesn't necessarily make an enjoyable listen. Which is sort of what I think about this album generally. I'm not trying to say that people are 'pretending' to like it at all, but I do think people feel they have to a bit more because of the whole 'importance' thing.
But if I was going to get social constructivist, I'd say this album, like D'Angelo's record, is partly "important" because people need something "important" right now. The album to me feels primarily about Kendrick's internal struggle that has coincided with his rise to fame, which in turn casts a lens on (his) society in 2015. If it ends in a call to arms it's an uncertain one, asking more questions than it gives answers, and definitely shying away from any kind of leadership. It doesn't carry any wikileaks style truth bombs. At the same time, D'Angelo's record could have probably been released a few years ago with relatively little fanfare over its political edge, but in the current context that was arguably the main focus of the release, for the artist and critics.
Anyone's reception to any music is shaped by the social context around it. To separate it's "goodness" and "importance" is implying an objectivity to the art that doesn't really exist.
For me, it took a while to set in, but it's musically, conceptually and lyrically more interesting than GKMC, which already had all those things going for it. Whether it's "important" is shaped more by the reaction and the reception to it, rather than the record itself.
but I meant that I don't think people like it just cos it's important.
but are familiar with the pre-Section.80 parts of his catalogue! Kudos I guess
I've not listened to the pre-GKMC stuff extensively, but have skipped through it to try to put his more recent output into context. There are 6-8 tracks of absolute gold in his back-catalogue, songs i absolutely love and listen to most days. Those tracks, thinking about it, probably have something in common - an immediate opening melody - which is maybe why i listen to some genres more than others.
I'm not really professing to be a rap fan, i don't like 90% of the genre, or have a political interest in its content, but i do like good songs, irrespective of genre, and bits of Kendrick's stuff are splendid, probably the bits that you as hardcore internet rap fans find quite throwaway, i guess.
Again, i've tried to explain this as best i can so don't expect to be jumped on by angry office workers. Many thanks.
Each to their own though eh!
doing a review of this?
saying there was no planned vinyl release at the moment
I've give it a few listens now...and it's fucking brilliant isn't it? Such a thrill to hear someone with talent like his and the platform that he does making such an uncompromising work. And regardless of however meaningful it is as a statement, it is simply a joy to hear him rap. Totally appreciated the fact that the narrative is more cerebral this time and that the production fires in so many different directions, it gives the record a scope and excitement that I'd imagine is going to reward years of listening.
On the topic of the beats, who's responsible for the bulk of this? Don't know much about tde's team or whether he himself is responsible for much of it, but it's sonically amazing...
Reebok sponsored moving concert where fans had to jog to keep up.
some big talk going down in here! I like it when forza drops character and is just sincere, love it when that happens.
just listened for the first time, immediately spellbound. hadn't heard 'i' before, guessed this was a different version.
umm... I don't know. there are enough lengthy deconstructions here already. I think a lot of the criticisms are valid, but I feel like I prefer it as an imperfect sprawling opus. didn't someone suggest that he's being open about not having all the answers or something? tires me when art strives for perfection when there'd no such thing. this record works because he just throws it all at the canvas.
I hear all the reference points, but it feels totally distinct from any other record. he's really out there on his own.
This kinda sucks. Do a shoe advert, whatever, but the message is all kinds of lame.
and it's wowee zowee really ace so far
and it was whizzo terrific great
is well worth a listen. Songs sampled, artists featured, tidbits talking about the album from FlyLo and Kendrick, new Thundercat & Lapalux tracks and much more.
just got that
Quite honestly, an incredible work.
I'm 27 years old. What's amazing about this album is I believe I'll be listening to this album as a 47, 57, 67 year old. It's that good.
That's a video.
will return to this thread in 5 years time.
a proper show like this would be amazing
TWO bass players incl. Thundercat!
Also hopeful of a vinyl release given Colbert seems to be actually holding one
please bring this to the UK
My mate who works at our local record shop got this e-mail from their Universal rep.
Due to an issue with the manufacturing Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ vinyl release has been delayed.
Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.
As soon as I have update on the new release date I will let you know,
FUCK IT ANYWAY.
I'm going on a trawl of record shops after work tomorrow so we'll see if it's actually out and if Universal are lying to my mate.
Vinyl release delayed indefinitely once again.
Keep us posted in this thread! All the shops around me are saying it's delayed so this is weird. I'm hoping you're right here 'cos then I'll just order it myself.
Not for my wallet though, must have picked up six LPs over the weekend.
Thanks for keeping us posted Ant!
when that woman says "sex" - it lets you know what the song is going to be about (i.e. sex). I require that kind of assistance
and one of the questions was what is that song about...
That his concepts are good, but the devices he uses can be bit heavy handed. The poem in TPAB would be more revelatory if it was just at the end and not repeated throughout, so the listener had to thread it together. The "cinematic" experience of GKMC could be achieved without skits. His metaphors don't necessarily need to have a reveal at the end of the song for people to get them.
Would like to hear him trust the listeners intelligence a bit more in that regard in the future, now it's clear that any song he releases people will fine-comb for meaning anyway.
Now this I like!
Dre can keep his tour tbh.
is the stuff dreams are made of.
with a full orchestra. sounds like it was amazing.
Not the best quality audio but it looks like it might've been the best thing ever. Gutted he's not bringing it over here.
like most of these things. the strings in the chorus of king kunta make it sound like something off of 2001.
Bad: its supporting Florence
He'll do proper gigs around then as well surely
Kendrick must have paid too much attention to xylo's list of the coolest people on earth.
Hope the studio versions of these are gonna appear at some point
The boy doesn't mess around, does he?
But I'm actually speechless after that. He's developing at such a rapid pace - leaving everyone on his level for dead.
I loved that other untitled track he did on some TV show last year. Can see why neither made the album as they're a totally different thing - but he's gonna cross over in a MASSIVE way with an album of this sort of stuff.
that I was hoping Frank Ocean was going to move into when his SNL videos dropped, different musically but very similar live vibe. Incredible live performance from Kendrick. Come back Frank!
this song is amazing. wasn't really into the album so much but woooaah. gonna check out tpab again i think
Had anyone overcome initial impressions that some of his stuff is a little corny? Sax solos and stuff, rly? I'm struggling with some of it a little. I want to love it, help me.
not a saxophone!!!
especially the newest album.
Little bits are just a bit too Jools Holland for my liking. Bits of it are great though.
he's headlining latitude festival's partner festival in ireland for some reason?
pretty good line-up actually tbh