‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ definitely living up to the hype

Compton, Cali. Rapper Kendrick Lamar has seemed to yet again make another successful piece of work with the release of his newest album entitled “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

The long awaited album was released March 16, a week ahead of its scheduled release date, and it seems to be living up to all of its hype.

“To Pimp a Butterfly” is Kendrick’s third studio album, following his last album in 2012, “good kid, m.A.A.d city” which debuted at the #2 spot on the Billboard top 200 chart.

With how successful “GKMC” was the expectations for Lamar’s new album were through the roof, and yet he did not disappoint. “TPAB” debuted at #1 on the Billboard top 200, as well as six of its tracks making it on the Billboard top 100. This makes it Kendrick’s first album to go #1. If this wasn’t enough, the album also beat streaming records on Spotify on its first full day of its release reaching 9.6 million streams.

Although the album has become a large success it is a very different project as compared to Kendrick’s past works. In the 16-track “TPAB” Kendrick drifts away from the common rap/hip-hop style and flow and dives more into the poetic aspect of music.
Within the album Kendrick comes off more as a storyteller then a rapper. He shares stories regarding African-American culture, including economic inequality, as well as stories of suicide and even meeting God.

In the song “How Much a Dollar Cost” he tells a story of running into a homeless man who begs him for money, food, and at last just a dollar and Kendrick refuses.

At the end of the track the homeless man says, “I’ll tell you just how much a dollar cost, the price of having a spot in Heaven, embrace your loss, I am God.”

Kendrick does not go along with the typical punch lines throughout the song like most artists do, instead he continues the story throughout several bars. Not only is it this style that separates him from other artists but also the deeper messages put into this track, as well as the others, that separate him from his past works.

Lamar speaks of the US political system in his track “Hood Politics,” while referring to the Democratic Party and the Republican Party as local Cali. Gangs the Crips and the Bloods. “From Compton to Congress, it’s set trippin’ all around, Ain’t nothin’ new but a flow of new DemoCrips and ReBloodlicans, Red state versus a blue state, which one you governin’?”

Clearly it seems Lamar is done making music that people would want to hear but instead making music that he feels people need to hear.

I personally did not enjoy the album besides for maybe a handful of songs. What bothers me about this album is what the fans of it have to say about it.

It seems that everybody is idolizing Kendrick for actually speaking about something that matters and doing something completely different and new, although this is not the first time a hip-hop artist has done something along these lines.

Artists such as 2pac, J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco and more have always had a strong voice in their music regarding African-American culture and speaking on subjects that are actually important.

The only difference is that they were able to do such a thing and still make their songs enjoyable to listen to, unlike Kendrick.

Hopefully if you’re a Kendrick Lamar fan you enjoyed or will enjoy the album because based off the time gap from his last album I’m assuming we’re not going to hear any more new Kendrick songs for a long time.