Kendrick Lamar - good kid, m.A.A.d. city LP

(Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope, 2012)

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"Hailed as a freshman calling card as notable as the Beastie Boys’s License to Ill, Led Zeppelin’s self-titled release, Biggie’s Ready to Die, the Sex Pistols’ Nevermind the Bollocks, and the Ramones’ self-titled project from 1976, good kid m.A.A.d city is equally as impressive for the narrative throughline as it is for its sonic composition – and was recognized as an instant classic.

While it would be easy to just sit back and enjoy Lamar’s oration over production by the likes of Scoop Deville, DJ Dahi and others, a closer analysis of the lyrics and accompanying skits reveal a narrative and story behind the album which holds up when viewed through a lens reliant solely on plot. Thus, names like K.Dot, Sherane, O-Boog, L Boogs, Yan Yan, and YG Lucky serve as characters with depth and motivations that rival cinematic and literary figures steeped into tradition and reinforces why it was billed as a “short film by Kendrick Lamar” on the album cover.

good kid m.A.A.d city is a coming of age story of “K.Dot” – a youthful teen in Compton battling maturation and gang violence – as he transitions into “Kendrick Lamar,” the iteration of the emcee who has come to embody the uplifting voice we know today." - Alec Banks for HighSnobiety