Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
BY ISAIAH HARRIS, CLASS OF 2013
Kendrick Lamar is supposedly “the next big thing” according to artist Lupe Fiasco, a young hip hop artist who is known for voicing his opinion on politics, hip hop, and rap. Fiasco also feels that “97% of hip hop is terrible” . So to hear this coming from Fiasco, Lamar must be doing something right.
Lamar has been growing in popularity throughout the past couple of years and his sophomore album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, shows why. The EP was released on October 22, 2012, fifteen months prior to his first EP, Section 80. Throughout this album, the Compton native is reminiscing about his days as a kid when he was acting foolish, riding around with gang members and doing the things everyone in Compton did. Even though he was a typical guy from Compton, he didn’t want to become just another statistic in Compton either. Lamar wanted to make it out of the hood.
While listening to the album, you can hear how creative Lamar is with the structure of his songs and his lyrics. “The summer had passes and now I’m liking her/Conversation we having probably enticing her/Who could imagine, maybe my actions would end up wifing her.” He just flows so effortlessly on all 17 tracks on the album. Lamar reminds me of legendary hip hop artist Tupac simply because of his delivery. Lamar raps about his struggles growing up with a lyrical twist the same way Tupac did. Their style of rap helps their audience get a better feel for who they are.
Kendrick Lamar was discovered in 2004 by Dr. Dre, one of raps most influential and successful artist, who took him under his wing. Working with Dre has turned Lamar into “The Future of West Coast Rap” according to West Coast rap legend Snoop Dogg. Kendrick Lamar probably created one of the greatest rap albums in our generation with help from some features from Drake, Mary J. Blige and many more.
The summer hit “Swimming Pools” is on this album. This song was played at almost every house and pool party around the country. The beat puts you in a trance that allows you to free your mind of any problems and go have fun. Another standout song on the album is “Poetic Justice” featuring Drake. The beat is a sample off Janet Jackson’s “Any Time, Any Place.” It is one of the smoothest songs on “good kid, m.A.A.d city.” Lamar and Drake both speak about that special woman in their life. “I mean I write poems in these songs dedicated to you.” The duo helped land “Poetic Justice” on Billboards Top 100 list for the month of November.
The Aftermath/Interscope recording artist also hooked up with his mentor, Dr. Dre, on the track “Compton.” The two hop on this West Coast track and talk about their loyalty to their city no matter how violent and crazy it is, they still take pride and will forever represent Compton. “Flying back to my city cuz I’ll forever stand by Compton.”
Good kid, m.A.A.d city is an excellent follow-up to Section 80. It’s filled with great songs and you can see how Lamar separates himself from other rappers just with his flow by itself. This album may be rap’s savior, with rap artists declaring the genre’s demise. I strongly recommend listening to this album whether you are having a good time, just relaxing, or even if you are going through some rough times. Lamar’s music speaks to the soul and I believe that every soul deserves to listen to good kid, m.A.A.d city.
Here is a link to his single “Poetic Justice” .