To Pimp a Butterfly Album Review(Kendrick Lamar)

Roger Herring| BKD TV Insiders


To Pimp a Butterfly is the third studio album by American hip hop recording artist Kendrick Lamar. The album was released on March 16, 2015, by Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, and distributed by Interscope Records

This highly anticipated album from Kendrick Lamar came to us March 15th  a week before it was suppose to be released. Filled with tons of Jazz themes, old school funk, R&B and Rock samples Kendrick Delivers a very different Experience from his Debut Album good kid, m.A.A.d city. This body of work from Kendrick is on a higher level than any other rap album that has came out this year thus far. The only real problem is that some of the beats don’t fit each song on the Album. Lets go track for track.

To Pimp a Butterfly

  1. Wesley’s Theory- Is a combination of Parliament Funkadelic, (thanks to George Clinton) mixed with an old school west coast sound. It is very weird at first but the concept is Lamar thinking about an old school fling that he had back in the day. This song could have been put on a mixtape. Not really sure what it has to do with the Album concept. Score 4 out of 10
  1. For Free (Interlude)- While this is somewhat funny this also could have been scrapped from the final track listing. Kendrick is trying to hard to recreate a scene from Mo Better Blues with this skit (At least that what it sounds like here). Score 4 out of 10
  1. King Kunta- This song actually has a very nice up-tempo beat. The lyrics are on point and Kendrick brings a very nice perspective to where he is at as a rapper coming from good kid, m.A.A.d city. Score 8 out of 10
  1. Institutionalized- The lyrics are hitting in this song but the problem is that the beat doesn’t match. This song could have way better production. The beat just sounds just way to lazy here.  Score 6 out of 10
  1. These Walls- Another nice lyrical onslaught from Kendrick Lamar. The Production in this song is on point. This is a very deep song that has the potential to be a single from the album.  Score 8 out of 10
  1. U- This song is a continuation from These Walls. This song is very deep. A must listen to for anybody who likes a deep prospective in their music. The production for it is decent, but this is a song that doesn’t really need any production to it. Score 9 out of 10
  1. Alright- We going be alright! This song has a cool jazz vibe to it with nice lyrics. Score 7 out of 10
  1. For Sale (Interlude)- This sounds like something Andre 3000 would have in his album. I get the concept of this interlude but it really isn’t needed. It kind of feels awkward. Score 5 out of 10
  1. Momma- Another lazy beat but the lyrics in this song match perfectly. The end of the song goes to a crazy up-tempo theme but it doesn’t take away from the song itself. Score 7 out of 10
  1. Hood Politics- This song goes hard. One of the stand out songs on the album definitely a must listen. Score 9 out of 10
  1. How Much A Dollar Cost- This song is one of the reasons why Kendrick is one of the top Mc’s in the game today. A perfect beat to go with some of his dope lyrics. A Definite must listen from this Album. Score 10 out of 10
  1. Complexion- This song has very good feel about it.  Kendrick Speaks on people skin complexion and how people should move past it being a problem. With some moving lyrics from Kendrick and Rapsody this is another standout on the album. Score 9 out 10
  1. The Blacker the Berry- This is best song on the Album. Hands down one of the most lyrical songs Kendrick has made since his last project. As the beat thunders along with his lyrics he shows why he is one of the best rappers of 2015. Score 10 out of 10
  1. You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)- This song has a smooth groove to it. Not really a standout song but it’s more like filler. Score 7 out of 10
  1. I- A positive song on the album that has a lot of political background to it. The song has an old Isley Brother theme and it shows Kendrick as a person who wants to rebel against the cause. He is showing that he has love for black people making it reminiscent to a Public Enemy Track.  Score 8 out of 10
  1. Mortal Man- The longest track on the Album with the deepest message. A must listen to where Kendrick asks people when someone does wrong will they still follow them. He also twist an old 1994 Tupac interview where Kendrick asks Tupac questions about about various situations that is on his mind. Kendrick Reads him a poem that one of his friends wrote wanting Tupac to answer but he doesn’t. Score 10 out of 10

As an MC Kendrick Lamar seems to be going in the right direction. He embodies the spirit of old school rap legends that have a conscious perspective to them Ala Nas, Tupac, Common etc. This album shows his growth as a man and human being but production wise it is far from a classic. Although Kendrick has a lot of standout singles on the Album, it just doesn’t feel cohesive as his first project. Hopefully Kendrick’s next album will have better production. The final score for this album is a 7.5 out of 10.

Reviewed By: Roger Lee Herring 3rd


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