Dr. Dre dubbed Kendrick Lamar the “King of the West Coast.” His sophomore album “good kid, m.A.A.d city” probes his psyche during his life in California as a curious teen.
The album literally depicts Kendrick Lamar as the good kid within a mad city. It explores what life is like within Compton, Calif., through Lamar’s intense soliloquies, interactions and rhymes. Stirring the conscience of the listener by speaking truth track after track, Lamar proves his valid position in hip-hop.
The highly anticipated album was released on Oct. 22, more than a year after the release of his debut album “Section.80.” Similar to the storytelling within “Section.80”, “good kid, m.A.A.d city” follows a plot story highlighting the tribulations of the clichÃ© good kid within a troubled city. Lamar flows smoothly over tracks and describes his gritty and riveting experiences during his adolescence.
Lamar paints a picture that guides listeners through a story. Some listeners who are part of his massive fan base have been listening to him for more than a year.
Tyrell Gordon, a third-year physical therapy student from Madison, has listened to the rapper for roughly two years.
“Kendrick is a top-tier artist,” Gordon said. “Not too many rappers have a whole lot of content in their music, and that alone separates him from most. Combine that with his unique flow, versatility and top-notch production, and you have an artist that will have an everlasting effect on hip-hop for future generations.”
With hardcore tracks such as “Backseat Freestyle” and “m.A.A.d city,” it is riveting that the artist presents tracks with a softer tone, such as “Poetic Justice” featuring Drake and “B—-, Don’t Kill My Vibe.”
Each of these softer-toned tracks offer self-reflecting lyrics. In “B—-, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” Lamar powerfully declares, “Look inside my soul and you can find gold and maybe get rich / Look inside of your soul and you can find doubt and never exist.”
Lyrics such as these suggest that listeners have high levels of intellect to understand the conscious rapper.
Dre’ Cashh, a second-year pharmacy student, has been a fan of Lamar’s since his senior year in high school and the release of Lamar’s mixtape Overly Dedicated. Cashh said in “Section.80,” he felt as if it was more of a raw type of Lamar that spit about general problems of everyday people.
“‘Good Kid, M.A.A.d City’ was more of a poetic, smooth type of Lamar that dealt more with his personal life experience,” Cashh said.
“Good Kid, MA.A.D City” is worth the listen. Each trackwill rivet and affect your psyche. Lamar successfully presents hip-hop consciousness with a passionate approach.