Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City pitchfork review(official review)

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Did Kendrick Lamar Deliver
Yes!! Certified classic/future Classic Ya Bish 96 88.89%
No Album wasn't that good. Just an overhyped Average rapper 12 11.11%
Voters: 108. Sorry, you cannot vote on this poll (Boxden members only)

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 4 years ago '11        #1
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shaquir13 5 heat pts
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$449 | Props total: 0 0
Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City pitchfork review(official review)
 

 

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 http://www.pitchfork.com/ .. kid-maad-city/

Kendrick Lamar
good kid, m.A.A.d city
Interscope / Aftermath / Top Dawg ; 2012
By Jayson Greene; October 23, 2012
5
9.5
BEST NEW MUSIC

The first sound we hear on good kid, m.A.A.d. city is a prayer: "Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving us with your precious blood," voices murmur, evoking a family dinner gathering. The album's cover art, a grubby Polaroid, provides a visual prompt for the scene: Baby Kendrick dangles off an uncle's knee in front of a squat kitchen table displaying a 40-ounce and Lamar's baby bottle. The snapshot is such an unvarnished peek into the rapper's inner life that staring at it for too long feels almost invasive. This autobiographical intensity is the album's calling card. Listening to it feels like walking directly into Lamar's childhood home and, for the next hour, growing up alongside him.*

Lamar has subtitled the record "A Short Film by Kendrick Lamar", and the comparison rings true: You could take the album's outline and build a set for a three-act play. It opens on a 17-year-old Kendrick "with nothing but pus-y stuck on my mental," driving his mother's van to see a girl named Sherane. As his voice darts and halts in a rhythm that mimics his over-eager commute, Lamar explores the furtiveness of young lust: "It's deep-rooted, the music of being young and dumb," he raps. The song is interrupted by the first of several voice mail recordings that delineate the album's structure: Kendrick's mother, rambling into his phone and pleading for him to return her car, inadvertently saves Lamar from his first brush with violence.*These voicemails appear through the record, reinforcing that good kid, m.A.A.d city is partly a love letter to the grounding power of family. In this album's world, family and faith are not abstract concepts: They are the fraying tethers holding Lamar back from the chasm of gang violence that threatens to consume him.

All this weighty material might make good kid, m.A.A.d city sound like a bit of a drag. But the miracle of this album is how it ties straightforward rap thrills-- dazzling lyrical virtuosity, slick quotables, pulverizing beats, star turns from guest rappers-- directly to its narrative. For example, when "Backseat Freestyle" leaked last week, its uncharacteristic subject matter ("All my life I want money and power/ Respect my mind or die from lead shower") took some fans by surprise. But on the album, it marks the moment in the narrative when young Kendrick's character first begins rapping, egged on by a friend who plugs in a beat CD. Framed this way, his "damn, I got bi-ches" chant gets turned inside out: This isn't an alpha male's boast. It's a pipsqueak's first pass at a chest-puff. It's also a monster of a radio-ready single, with Kendrick rapping in three voices (in double- and triple-time, no less) over an insane Hit-Boy beat.

Lamar grew up in Compton, and ghosts of West Coast gangsta-rap haunt this album's edges, casting shadows on Kendrick's complicated relationship with his hometown. When*"The Art of Peer Pressure" brings Kendrick and his friends to Rosecrans Ave., the music downshifts into menacing G-funk mode as a salute to hallowed ground.*Ice Cube’s “Bird in the Hand” is invoked to set up “m.A.A.d city” (“Fresh of out school, 'cause I was a high-school grad..."), which appropriately marks the moment when real violence erupts.Here, Kendrick sounds like a terrified kid: "I made a promise to see you bleeding," he raps, his voice pitched at a pleading, near-hysterical sob. In response, the voice of Compton's Most Wanted rapper MC Eiht leers, "Wake yo' punk a.ss up," like a father figure of the Darth Vader variety.

Which brings us to the album's most visible benefactor and most unsettled presence: Dr. Dre. In recent months, Dre has availed himself of the fresh-career oxygen Kendrick's rise has pumped into his atmosphere, lumbering out of his corporate airlock to stand with Lamar on magazine covers. But the role he plays in Lamar's story feels muddled and unresolved. On an album that manages to seamlessly work a smirking Drake and a highly recognizable Janet Jackson sample ("Poetic Justice") into the fabric of a larger narrative, and somehow convinces Lady Gaga to relegate herself to a breathy, almost-unrecognizable background singer ("bi-ch, Don't k!ll My Vibe"), it is only Dre's appearance, on the final track "Compton", that feels like an uneasy outlier.

"Compton" is the victory lap, the coronation. Coming after the stunning 12-minute denouement "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst", in which Lamar delivers a verse from a peripheral character that is the album's most dazzling stroke of empathy, it can't help but be a small deflation. The moment of arrival in any artist's story is always less interesting than their journey, and there's a disconnect in hearing Lamar and Dre stunt over Just Blaze's blaring orchestral-soul beat. Dre's music is part of the landscape that Kendrick grew up in but his actual appearance has a certain Truman Show feel to it.

But the true ending of good kid, m.A.A.d. city takes place at the end of the previous song, "Real", which represents the spiritual victory that the album's story has thrashed its way towards. Finally grasping that "none of that sh-t"-- money, power, respect, loving your block-- "make me real," Lamar embraces what does, as his parents put the album's central concerns to bed: "Any n*gga can k!ll a man," his father admonishes. "That don't make you a real n*gga. Real is responsibility. Real is taking care of your motherfu-king family." And his mother: "If I don't hear from you by tomorrow, I hope you come back and learn from your mistakes. Come back a man... Tell your story to these black and brown kids in Compton... When you do make it, give back with your words of encouragement. And that's the best way to give back to your city. And I love you, Kendrick."

52 comments for "Kendrick Lamar Good Kid M.A.A.D City pitchfork review(official review)"

 4 years ago '11        #2
shaquir13 5 heat pts OP
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$449 | Props total: 0 0
9.5 rating pitchfork brough justice for once :)
 4 years ago '12        #3
CosbySweater 295 heat pts295
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9.5
 4 years ago '11        #4
UrbanGAAWD 209 heat pts209
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9.5 wow

I think Kanye was an 9.1 or 9.2....K Dot is shocking people around the world with this classic to be(check back in 3 years for classic status)
 4 years ago '12        #5
TRILL SH1T 90 heat pts90
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A 9.5 ... from pitchfork
 4 years ago '12        #6
cubes 4 heat pts
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Now n*ggas gonna be on pitchfork's d!ck cuz they liked the rating they gave Kendrick

I thought they sucked at hip-hop album reviews?

 4 years ago '10        #7
ColeWorld 41 heat pts41
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Pitchfork always has the most accurate reviews

I remember when recovery was rated a 2.1
 4 years ago '07        #8
240ka 49 heat pts49
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 cubes said:
Now n*ggas gonna be on pitchfork's d!ck cuz they liked the rating they gave Kendrick

I thought they sucked at hip-hop album reviews?



So not these KL d!ckriders want to say they are on point?


Last edited by 240ka; 10-22-2012 at 11:53 PM..
 4 years ago '07        #9
240ka 49 heat pts49
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 berzerkerguts said:
They still definitely do. It's the fact that they normally are incredibly harsh on a majority of their reviews
and incredibly off
 4 years ago '12        #10
hou12 
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All credibility lost @ "Backseat Freestyle" being radio ready...


 4 years ago '05        #11
Vancouver 11 heat pts11
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I didn't expect that. Sometimes I think PF is really off, sometimes I think they give great, honest reviews (good or bad). I'm putting this in the latter category. This is the first review of GKMC I've read that really got it.
 10-23-2012, 03:39 AM         #12
Silver N Black 
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9.5 with 2 1/2 bangers (tops) on the album. where they do that at?
 4 years ago '07        #13
clipse_designz 
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9.5 and people cannot see why people think it's a classic
 4 years ago '10        #14
trex 16 heat pts16
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 10-23-2012, 03:51 AM         #15
Lyriceater 
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Haven't seen so much praise for an album since MBDTF.
 10-23-2012, 04:10 AM         #16
TheMob 
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Channel Orange was a 9.5 though.


Pitchfork always gets caught in the hype
 4 years ago '04        #17
graydome 
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good review
 4 years ago '05        #18
Gm0ney85 9 heat pts
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most the time pitch fork be on point...

it be that one white boy with them glasses who reviews be garbage...
 4 years ago '09        #19
thegoldenhero 3 heat pts
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 Lyriceater said:
Haven't seen so much praise for an album since MBDTF.
It's the most overrated album since MBDTF
 4 years ago '09        #20
Ash10 21 heat pts21
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 thegoldenhero said:
It's the most overrated album since MBDTF
and WTT
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