Volume 3, Number 6 - November 13, 2012

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Gregory Castillo
Gregory Castillo
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Kendrick Lamar performing in Miami
Rigamortis: Kendrick Lamar performs before a sold-out crowd at The Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater on Sept 27. Lamar's new album good kid, mAAd city is his first major label debut which dropped on Oct. 22. Gregory Castillo / THE REPORTER

Lamar’s First Major Release Causes Spark In Hip-Hop Community

By Gregory Castillo

My anticipations for Kendrick Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city were high, especially after watching his live performance in Miami. For my fellow hip-hop heads, and anyone that appreciates rap music, you'll come to understand how exceptionally well-made this album is.

Building a narrative that is consistent throughout the entire concept album, the record puts you in a first-person perspective through events of Lamar's life that have shaped him into the artist and person he is today.

Different nuances and themes intertwined with transitional story recordings, such as voicemails from the MC’s parents, help further develop the connection of the listener with Kendrick as a person.

Highlight tracks include “m.A.A.d city” and “Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst,” the latter of which clocks in at about 12 minutes and is a rap-style opera we haven't heard since the glory days of the Wu-Tang Clan. The song takes listeners through two songs compiled into one, touching on the topics of gang violence, prostitution and religion.

An extended version of the album's hit single "Swimming Pools (Drank)” is also included and offers refreshing additional length to the increasingly-popular radio hit as well adding details that make it an essential part of the story’s arc. good kid, m.A.A.d city is an album you need to sit down and listen to in one shot. Lamar’s creative control and collaborations have helped to create a masterpiece.

This musical milestone has put the young rapper from Compton not only on the map, but given him keys to the game for the foreseeable future.

good kid, m.A.A.d city—deluxe edition—released: Oct. 22—label: Top Dawg, Aftermath, Interscope—15 tracks—83 minutes 3 seconds

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