Album Review | Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

I’m so fucking excited right now. It is currently 1:46 AM on Monday, March 16, 2015. Long story short: Interscope fucked up. A few hours ago, the clean version of this album appeared to be available for purchase on iTunes. It was. And I was like “OOOOOHHHHHH.” KanyeToThe blew the fuck up. It was comment after comment of people screaming in all caps and going crazy. Everyone was like “quote for a link to the explicit version.” I realized they was bullshittin’ when somebody said. “Bruh, I just quoted like a hunnid niggas where the fuck is the link?” I thought the shit was planned, but then I went to Twitter and saw this shit.

After about an hour, Top Dawg decided to just go ahead and release the explicit version. So here ya go. I’m about to listen to THE BRAND NEW KENDRICK SHIT! I’m excited. Kendrick Lamar is one of my favorite rappers. I have like a thousand favorite rappers, but Kendrick is definitely near the top. The first time I ever heard him was on a freestyle to Monster by Kanye West. He killed that shit, but for some reason it didn’t make me go back and check his shit out. Then he released Swimming Pools and I was like “…Oh, fuck yeah this shit dope af.” So I went to YouTube and typed in Kendrick Lamar. The first thing that popped up was “Kendrick Lamar Look Out For Detox.” Y’all already know how fucking crazy that shit was. I remember when good kid, m.A.A.d. city dropped and I listened to the whole thing and the shit just got better with every track. When that Money Trees beat came on DJ Dahi instantly became one of my favorite producers. Speaking of producers, there aren’t any production credits for this shit yet, but I will update this review when they’re released. Ok. I’m about to start listening now. Here we go… Oh shit never mind the production credits are in the digital booklet… My bad, cuz.

Track 1: Wesley’s Theory Feat. George Clinton (Prod. Flying Lotus & Flippa)

Oh fuck yes. I never listened to the album it was on, but that Never Catch Me single FlyLo had with Kendrick was fucking dope af. This better be fucking good. Ok, it’s starting off with a sample of Every Nigger Is A Star by Boris Gardiner. Damn. RapGenius already got the whole album on lockdown. I really like this sample it’s opening up with. OOOHHH Shit this beat is fucking crazy. Feel like I’m in the 80s. This beat! Damn. FlyLo is a fucking mastermind. Damn. I can never choose favorite rappers or producers. I guess that’s a good thing tho. It’s really hot in my room right now. I’m burning up, but my feet feel like fucking ice. This beat is fucking amazing. This beat dope af. This hook is dope af too. The way Kendrick is singing just sounds so dope. It’s not like mind-bendingly crazy or anything, it’s just really dope. “At first, I did love you / But now I just wanna fuck.” Kendrick killed his verse of course. His flow is crazy. “I’mma put the Compton swap meet by the White House / Republican, run up, get socked out / Hit the press with a Cuban link on my neck / Uneducated but I got a million dollar check, like that” There’s so much going on with this track. The hook is layered and he’s harmonizing with himself. The beat sounds like it took forever to make. Kendrick’s flow is on point. Dr. Dre shows up for the break. George Clinton did his thing on the bridge. This is absolutely dope af. I don’t know why, but the female vocals on the outro are a little creepy to me… 5/5

Track 2: For Free? (Interlude) [Prod. Terrace Martin]

Damn, this chick mad af. It’s an intro of this chick yellin’ at some broke guy that’s tryna get at her I guess. Woah. This is kinda weird. Kendrick’s voice sounds weird. It’s not bad. It just sounds really different. What the fuck? His voice sounds really weird. It’s not really bad, but it takes a little getting used to. His flow is fucking crazy. Real crazy. Crazier than usual. Damn this is so fucking dope. I think I might like this more than Wesley’s Theory. They’re two really different songs, but I like how jazzy and relaxing the instrumental on this one is. It’s fucking dope. It kinda reminds me of the beat from Kendrick’s interlude on Ab-Soul’s latest album. Kendrick really wants people to know that his dick ain’t free. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 3: King Kunta (Prod. Sounwave, Thundercat & Terrace Martin)

King Kunta

This beat is real funky. I don’t like using either of these words at all, but they describe this song perfectly: funky & groovy. This beat is dope. I love the hook to this song. It’s just so catchy to me. The beat gets more and more complicated as the song progresses. This song is dope af. I am kinda disappointed tho… A few months ago, Pharrell Williams & Peter Rosenberg tweeted about a song that they had heard from Kendrick Lamar’s new album (aka this album). They made it sound like it was Control on steroids. I think this song is fucking great, but nowhere near as incredible as they made it sound. That said, this song is still dope af. I fuck with this. 5/5

Track 4: Institutionalized Feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Snoop Dogg (Prod. Rahki & Tommy Black)

Ooh shit. The beat during the intro to this song is dope af. The beat switches up after the intro from Anna Wise & Kendrick. Damn. This is fucking crazy. Kendrick’s flow is so strange, but in a good way. This beat is smooth af. I don’t know who the fuck Bilal is, but he did his thing on the hook. WHAT THE FUCK? Snoop Dogg doesn’t have a verse, but he has like a little bridge or something and he uses the same weird flow that Kendrick has. It’s probably just because I didn’t expect Snoop Dogg to do that, but I think that shit was dope af. I was wondering how Snoop Dogg was gonna fit into this song. It would’ve been interesting if he had a verse, but it’s probably for the best that he doesn’t tbh. I don’t think he really takes Hip Hop seriously anymore. He doesn’t really have to. Damn. This is dope af. Kendrick’s flow is a bit more normal on the 2nd verse. This is so fucking dope. Snoop Dogg spat a few more bars on the outro, too. Man, I fuck with Snoop Dogg. That shit was dope. 5/5

Track 5: These Walls Feat. Bilal & Anna Wise (Prod. Terrace Martin & Larrence Dopson)

Oooooohh shit Anna Wise’s vocals at the beginning of this song are so fucking smooth. This beat is dope af. This is great. This beat sounds so happy. It reminds me of Rainbow Road for some reason… It has the same airy, dream like feel that Money Trees had. That’s a good thing. Money Trees was my favorite song on gkmc. This hook is dope af. The beat is dope af. Kendricks verses was dope af. Bilal’s hook was dope af. I feel like I’m overusing the word dope… It’s the best way to describe this shit tho. “I remember you was conflicted… Misusing your influence.” Thats the third time those vocals have repeated on the album so far. This song is dope af. This is a hell of an album so far. 5/5

Track 6: u (Prod. Taz Arnold & Whoare)

Holy shit. This beat is so fucking dope. It’s so dark. The hook is cool. I love how dark and depressing this song is. What the fuck? Wow. Kendrick sounds so fucking depressed. He’s makin’ his voice crack like he’s crying. This is great. The beat switched up for the second verse too. It’s still really jazzy, but this still sounds really dark. He’s crying. If Drake did this shit he would be made fun of so hard. But that’s because he would be crying about some girl that left him. This is so dope. I fuck with this. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 7: Alright Feat. Pharrell Williams (Prod. Pharrell Williams & Sounwave)

Holy shit. This beat is fucking crazy. That bass is so dope. Pharrell’s on the hook. This beat is amazing. This hook is amazing. Kendrick’s flow is on point. He fucking snapped on that last verse too. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 8: For Sale? (Interlude) [Prod. Taz Arnold]

This song starts with a bunch of heavy breathing. It reminds me of how I feel when I’m ‘bout to throw up. Oh fuck yes, this beat is so fucking dope. Reminds me of an old video game for some reason. The way he’s rapping just sounds so different. It sounds like he did a spoken word track and then someone threw it over this beat. It doesn’t sound sloppy tho, I’m just referring to the way he’s rapping. The beat is so fucking great. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 9: Mama (Prod. Knxwledge & Taz Arnold)

This beat is dope af. The drums are so dope. All of the beats on this album are so fucking smooth. He’s rapping a lot more on this track than he did on the other songs. I mean, he was rapping on the other songs, but this one has four long verses and his flow is a lot less unorthodox. The beat switches up and gets a lot more fast paced after the third verse. Ok, his flow actually is unorthodox on the last verse. It’s really explosive. He starts singing during his verse too. It reminds me of some Outkast shit. This is dope af. I fuck with this. 5/5

Track 10: Hood Politics (Prod. Tae Beast, Sounwave & Thundercat)

This beat is real smooth. Oh nevermind. That was just the intro I guess. I fuck with this hook. This beat is dope af. Kendrick’s verses was dope af too. “Critics want to mention that they miss when hip hop was rappin’ / Motherfucker if you did, then Killer Mike’d be platinum” DAS TROO. I fuck with this shit. This shit is dope af. This dark outro is so fucking dope. It’s the same shit that keeps repeating at the end of every track, but he says a little bit more each time. 5/5

Track 11: How Much A Dollar Cost Feat. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley (Prod. Lovedragon)

This beat is so fucking dope. This might be the best beat so far. It’s hard to say tho. It feels like every song gets better and better. Kendrick has a more conventional delivery on this one. The hook from James Fauntleroy is dope af. I fuck with James Fauntleroy. He be singin’ like a motherfucker. This song is about him bein’ a dick to a homeless guy. Well, I don’t think he’s trying to be a dick, but he won’t give the homeless guy any money because he’s assuming that he’s just gonna buy crack. Kendrick sounds like a republican on this track. He’s gettin’ offended by some homeless guy that just wants a single dollar. Damn… Well it turns out the homeless guy was GOD. That’s right. Kendrick isn’t going to heaven now because he was being selfish and wouldn’t give GOD a dollar. Lmao. This shit is crazy. This is dope af. Ronald Isley’s outro was dope too. It’s crazy that Kendrick got him on this song. He must’ve liked the way his shit was sampled on i. 5/5

Track 12: Complexion (A Zulu Love) Feat. Rapsody (Prod. Thundercat & Sounwave)

“Complexion don’t mean a thing.” I already love this song. Kendrick’s rappin’ from the perspective of a slave on the first verse. His second verse was dope too. This hook is dope. This beat is smooth af. I really haven’t heard much music from Rapsody, but she fucking killed her verse. “Call your brothers magnificent, call all the sisters queens / We all on the same team, blues and pirus, no colors ain’t a thing.” This is dope af. 5/5

Track 13: The Blacker The Berry (Prod. Boi-1da & Terrace Martin)

The Blacker The Berry

I been heard this song already. I already know this shit’s dope af. I was really glad to hear it when it first came out because I didn’t like the first single, i. I was glad to finally hear a mainstream artist talk about racism and it made me way more excited for the album. The beat is dope af. Of course Kendrick’s talkin’ about real shit. Assassin fuckin’ nailed that hook too. I love that hook. All I got to say is this song is dope af. 5/5

Track 14: You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Mama Said) [Prod. Lovedragon]

Wow this is weird. I thought that was a guest artist singin’ at the beginning at first, but it’s Kendrick. The beat is real jazzy. This is basically jazz since Kendrick isn’t rappin’. He’s just singin’ the whole time. I fuck with the hook. Oh, nevermind he’s rappin’ on the last verse. Damn his flow is like crack. People gonna be suckin’ dick for Kendrick verses soon. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 15: i (Prod. Rahki)

Here’s where the album hits a slight road bump. I didn’t like this song when it came out the first time, so I doubt I’m gonna like it right now. I was really disappointed when it dropped. It sounded like a Pharrell song. I don’t really fuck with Pharrell like that. That whole “new black” thing made me lose all respect for him. Anyway, when I heard this song I thought the verses was cool and everything, but I didn’t like the beat or the hook. Or the bridge. Miss me with all that “Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum” shit. That shit was corny af to me. Woah. This one sounds different. It sounds like a live version. Wow. I didn’t think it was possible for this song to sound like this. It actually sounds good. I still don’t love the hook, but it’s way better than the old version. This actually sounds really good. This might actually be a live version. The beat sounds so much better. I think it’s the same tho. It just sounds better. This is great. He still left the original bridge in it, but you can barely hear it. This is fucking dope. There’s a long ass outro. He’s spittin’ an a cappella verse now. And he fucking killed it. This is dope af. Wow. That was quite an improvement. 5/5

Track 16: Mortal Man (Prod. Sounwave)

Oh fuck yeah this beat is dope af. This hook is dope. Kendrick did his thing on the first verse. He’s basically sayin’ he wants to be remembered like Nelson Mandela. He’s namin’ a ton of people. Moses, Huey Newton, Mandela, MLK, etc. Oh my God. This outro is amazing. I wish I could transcribe the whole thing in this review. Y’all gotta hear this track. This is amazing. He’s tryna end gang violence. He’s tryna end black on black crime. This is amazing. This is crazy. He’s talking to Tupac. He’s like interviewing him. It sounds like they’re actually together in the same room talking about… everything. This is just so fucking dope. This is amazing. He reads a poem at the end. This is just amazing. This is definitely dope af. 5/5

Final Thoughts:

This album is fucking incredible. People are gonna say that I shouldn’t do this… But I don’t give a fuck. I’m ’bout to compare it to good kid, m.A.A.d. city. They’re two very different albums, but I honestly think that this is a better album. good kid, m.A.A.d. city might be my favorite of the two, but I think that this one is definitely better. There were some songs on gkmc that I didn’t really like, but there is not one bad song on this project. I’ve never given an album this rating. I truly think that this album is perfect. I don’t think anything should be changed. The production on this project is so fucking good. And that last track… I wish everything could be that deep. Every time I hear Pac’s voice it’s just so depressing. I thought it was really interesting how he used a bunch of funk elements on these songs. Now that I’ve heard it, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before. There are very few rappers who could’ve pulled something like that off. Outkast could do it. Can’t think of anyone else tho. Kid Cudi would try, but it wouldn’t be very good. It was also great to hear him talk about racism and shit like that. While listening to Mortal Man, it became clear that Kendrick Lamar wants to be known for ending gang violence and black on black crime. That’s quite a goal, but if anyone can do it it’s Kendrick. Trinidad James (I seriously don’t know why he keeps coming up in all my posts…) has a song called Blackman, Pt. 1 with Big K.R.I.T. where he talks about African Americans needing unity. It was corny af, but I liked it because he was speaking the truth for once. Kendrick is doing the exact same thing, but he’s doing a much better job. At no point does he come off as corny or preachy. This album is fucking immaculate.

Favorite Song: Complexion

Least Favorite Song: i

Verdict:

100%

VERY HOTTTTT

Tell me if I’m trippin’ in the comments below

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For more thoughts on the album, watch the videos below

Follow me on Twitter: @OGNickMarsh

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17 comments

  1. Look, I’ve made alts in the past, and they got banned for GOOD reasons. It’s pretty obvious that I was the one behind 69SlayaBilly69 and HipHopExpert435. SlayaBilly got banned, and HipHopExpert not only got banned, but got my main account banned for a week. Genius can track down alts pretty easily.
    I’ve been discussing my ban with BasedGator, and he told me to message Michael_Heal, but he hasn’t responded yet. It’s not very likely that I’ll come back, especially because YoungToronto does NOT fuck with me. Idk why; I didn’t do anything to the guy. Anyways, now that you’ve found me, feel free to ask whatever you want.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Both of them were actually made before I got perma-banned. If you remember SlayaBilly, you can probably tell why he got banned. HipHopExpert got banned for the same reasons. Also, making alts in general is against the rules. According to the staff, I reason I got my perma was because I constantly forgot to follow the rules after they told me, whether it be by making alts, posting idiotic threads, or other shit.
        In fact, can we find somewhere else to PM? Comment conversations are extremely awkward IMO. Do you got Steam or anything like that? Yes, I’m a douchebag for using Steam, but it’s all I got.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Can I see a list of every album you’ve given a 100% on this site? Better yet, I think it would be a good idea for you to make a list of best and worst albums, like a list of albums above an 80% and a list of albums below a 40%.

    Liked by 1 person

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