By YARA BEYDOUN, Guest Columnist
Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Album: good kid, m.A.A.d city
Release: October 22, 2012
A new MC has hit the scene, and he is one to watch out for. As a rap/hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar has released many mix-tapes from a young age and finally gained national attention with his debut album Section 80; and what a breath of fresh air it was.
Unlike the mainstream rap we hear nowadays, rapping mainly about the dreams of women, money, and power, Lamar gives us something real—and he doesn’t brag.
In his follow up album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, he does not lose this honesty. good kid, m.A.A.d city is like an open book into the life of an innocent growing up in the ghetto. Lamar takes us through many events of his life and how he felt about it.
For example in the song “The Art of Peer Pressure,” Lamar and his friends do drugs and rob houses trying to live up to a somewhat gangster lifestyle. But these are things Lamar normally wouldn’t do, until he’s with “the homies.”
In the song “Swimming Pools” he gives us a different outlook into the dangers of drinking excessively and what it can turn a person into: “All I have in life is my new appetite for failure/ And I got hunger pain that grows insane/ Tell me do that sound familiar?/ If it do then you’re like me.”
After almost each song is a skit that ties in to the overall theme of the story Lamar has written. These skits include voicemails from his mother and father or just conversations between him and his friends (sometimes ending in gunshots).
This album is unique in the way Lamar crafts an entire storyline which, for a moment or two, might make you feel as though you were a part of his reality. The only time I questioned this album was during a listen to the track “Backseat Freestyle,” in which Lamar does in fact rap about women, money, and power.
It was very unlike him. However, after I got through the entire album I realized this track (like all the others) was how Lamar felt at one point of his time in trying to find himself in this crazy city.
In the final song, “Compton,” Lamar is joined by Dr. Dre in a tribute to the city they both came from. It is a perfect way to end a story that will leave you in awe.
Key Tracks: “The Art of Peer Pressure,” “Poetic Justice,” “Money Trees,” “Swimming Pools.”