Of all the rappers that have come into the spotlight in 2012, there has been none more fascinating than Compton’s very own, Kendrick Lamar. Coming off a vigorous 2011 with the release of his critically acclaimed independent album Section.80, inking a major deal with hip-hop heavyweight Dr. Dre and essentially being labelled the new face of west coast rap, Kendrick Lamar had something to prove with his major label debut. Luckily, at least creatively speaking, Kendrick delivers with ease. From mic to headphones, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d. city’ is stellar. The album is appropriately titled ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ due to his hectic but honest upbringing in Los Angeles’ south-central gangland. The title is heavily represented throughout the LP as it lives in its narratives. Each and every song encompasses its own miniature story which builds the larger scale theme of a good kid growing up in a mad city.
From the intimate story telling on ‘The Art of Peer Pressure’ to the light hearted love on ‘Poetic Justice’ to the radio-friendly track ‘Swimming Pools’, Kendrick truly proves his skills as a multi-dimensional MC. His bars and delivery pivot on a dime, whether on or off beat. He literally never takes a verse off displaying an array of flows on each track. This is what makes this album so tight and cohesive.
With ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’, Kendrick unveils a collection of songs that are as strong individually as they are together. Touching everyone from the radio rap fans to the hip-hop hipsters, Compton’s golden child gives us a body of work that is being debated as an instant classic. Not only is this his major label debut, it’s his shot at hip-hop history.