I’m currently listening to Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, which was unexpectedly released today (a week before its scheduled release date).
After listening to just two songs I knew that the album was well worth paying for. With a song like ‘For Free’, the album’s second track, Lamar lets us all know that the record is definitely going to be a little different from every other contemporary hip hop record that you might be listening to at the moment.
He has chosen to take his music in a much more experimental and progressive direction and appears to have worked with, and been heavily influenced by, experimental producers and songwriters like Thundercat and Flying Lotus.
His vocal dexterity and playfulness allows him to add a superb amount of variation and drama to the record and ensures that the listener does not lose interest. The album has a fantastic sense of coherency, despite the fact that a lot of people seemed to have collaborated on the project as a whole. Lamar’s use of recurring motif’s and his ability to broach both personal and political topics make the album an engrossing and worthwhile listening experience.
‘i’ and ‘The Blacker The Berry’, two singles that were released prior to the album dropping, are featured on the album, but the record has so much more to offer. The use of poetics and acapellas adds a certain level of thoughtfulness to the record, and the final track Mortal Man, reveals the meaning behind the album’s provocative title.
The album is now available on itunes.