About a year ago I made a post about my favourite albums of 2015 and I knew that I had to make a mention of To Pimp A Butterfly in order to preempt the 2016 update of the Acclaimed Albums list. Like how I just had to blurb a bit about Lemonade as it seems like a very likely entry to this years update.
I called myself a philistine as, like most rap albums, I really didn’t quite get it. In the fashion of “Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells” I just thought it was noise and was really put off by all the n-words and calling women hos.
So, when it came to listening to good kid, m.A.A.d city I think my expectations were incredibly low. So low in fact that I stuck it on as a bit of noise to accompany me as I played my next video game (going up in the next post) to drown out my husband’s playthrough of Fable II.
I think I buck the trend here when I say that I prefer good kid, m.A.A.d city to To Pimp A Butterfly. I prefer it by a very VERY long way as I can honestly say that I found good kid, m.A.A.d city to be a very good listen. Maybe it’s because I could actually discern a lot of what he was saying on a first listen? Maybe it’s because it feels, on the whole, more melodic. Who knows. What I do know is that it all really came together for me in his 12 minute song ‘Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst’.
The entire album has the recurring theme of trying to break out of where you came from and yet never truly being able to discard the parts of you that this upbringing has shaped. For Lamar, like many other rappers, he was shaped by living in areas where crime was high and gangs were commonplace. It’s interesting to listen to this conflict through rap, it makes it feel a lot more personal than To Pimp A Butterfly which decided to turn it’s attention more to society at large.
Whilst this album won’t change my opinion of rap on the whole this does mean that the number of album in my ‘exceptions to the rule’ pile has gone up.