Ah, the sophomore album. One that can make or break an artist’s career. Tackled with the ordeal of living up to its predecessor’s (good kid, M.A.A.D City) high standard, Kendrick’s intensely personal followup broke all the rules of conventional hip hop. If “good kid, MAAD City” is grandiose and operatic with its statements, then To Pimp a Butterfly is the grimy, ambiguous and subtle counterpart.
Hitting stores in 2015, Kendrick quickly became the talk of the town once more — becoming 2015’s best rapper off of the praise this album received. K. Dot blends a variety of genres ranging from funk, jazz and soul. Each track represents its own individuality, while all merging together to form the same message. To Pimp a Butterfly enlists Dr. Dre as its executive producer, once again overseeing the creation of an excellent, rule-breaking LP that supplants the quintessential sonic of the West Coast.
Its singles, “i“ “The Blacker the Berry”, “King Kunta”, “Alright” and “These Walls” were average commercially, but remain some of the most culturally significant songs of today. A true testament to the drawing power of the album, demanding intellect and patience from its audience in appreciating true art.
VERDICT — Kendrick Lamar backs up his masterful debut album with an equally quality sophomore, that asks questions and answers those who are mesmerised by it.
RATING: 9.5 — AMAZING
BEST TRACK: Alright