Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

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Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Setherex » Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:17 am

[imgsize 500x500]https://rymimg.com/lk/o/l/3a1a2edfef1f8 ... 623788.jpg[/imgsize]

"To Pimp a Butterfly"
Kendrick Lamar
West Coast Hip Hop
March 15, 2015

01. "Wesley’s Theory" [feat. George Clinton & Thundercat]
02. "For Free? (Interlude)"
03. "King Kunta"
04. "Institutionalized" [feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Snoop Dogg]
05. "These Walls" [feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat]
06. "U"
07. "Alright"
08. "For Sale? (Interlude)"
09. "Momma"
10. "Hood Politics"
11. "How Much a Dollar Cost" [feat. James Fauntleroy & Ronald Isley]
12. "Complexion (A Zulu Love)" [feat. Rapsody]
13. "The Blacker the Berry"
14. "You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)"
15. "I"
16. "Mortal Man"


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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by PlasticRam » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:41 am

Yeah this is really good. I focus on the actual music more than lyrics in music, if that makes any sense, so that's really positive that this is musically a great piece, with jazz and funk influences and just very varying sounds. Great lyrics are a bonus for me.

Didn't expect this to be this good, but maybe I should have, since I like GKMC very much. Serious contender for album of the year. I'm not talking about the Grammys though :D
I feel like that

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by GucciLittlePiggy » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:50 pm

Stunning! I love the retro funk of this album. Kendrick has set the bar for album of the year very high. The three advance singles didn't make me too excited for the album. I really liked "i," as it made my top ten of 2014, yet I was worried I wouldn't enjoy an entire album that upbeat. And then when "The Blacker the Berry" was released I didn't see how the album could feature both these songs, since they were drastically different in tone. "King Kunta" was good the first time I heard it, though it got much better in the context of the album. I love the frequent refrain of "I remember you was conflicted..." that weaves through the album. It provides the cohesion I look for in great albums. I've only listened to the record once so there's a lot left to digest.

edit: I want to add that the album version of "i" gave me chills!
I just wanted to be one of those ghosts
You thought that you could forget
And then I haunt you via the rear view mirror
On a long drive from the back seat...

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Nick » Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:48 am

I'm on the fourth track so far. If the rest of the album keeps up the quality of the first four tracks, this album is going to be a masterpiece.

EDIT: Almost done with the album. I really liked "Black Messiah", but this album is what I was hoping "Black Messiah" would be more like. "To Pimp a Butterfly" is a beautiful blend of funk, jazz, and hip-hop. It's a powerful statement on self-image, introspection, race, poverty, and love. I'm gonna need some time to fully process this one, but I can already tell that it's a seriously great album.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by notbrianeno » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:43 am

I didn't think it would be possibly to deliver on the sky-high expectations after good kid, m.A.A.d. city, but Kendrick Lamar has more than surpassed the promise of his debut. From the schizophrenic, nightmarish funk of opener "Wesley's Theory" to the chilling conclusion of "Mortal Man," To Pimp A Butterfly is the sort of album most artists only dream of making: a career redefining sophomore album that flips the table on traditional genre conventions. My new frontrunner for album of the year.
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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:40 am

Nick wrote:I'm on the fourth track so far. If the rest of the album keeps up the quality of the first four tracks, this album is going to be a masterpiece.

EDIT: Almost done with the album. I really liked "Black Messiah", but this album is what I was hoping "Black Messiah" would be more like. "To Pimp a Butterfly" is a beautiful blend of funk, jazz, and hip-hop. It's a powerful statement on self-image, introspection, race, poverty, and love. I'm gonna need some time to fully process this one, but I can already tell that it's a seriously great album.
Not sure what this means but Black Messiah didn't need all of that to be a great album.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Zorg » Wed Mar 18, 2015 11:14 am

So much funk! But then alongside that you have the riproaring The Blacker The Berry...very intense. It seems a lot like Stevie Wonder/ P-Funk brought forward to 2015 with a rapper on top. Though at the same time, Kendrick raps a lot less than on GKMC, so who knows. I love the sound of his voice.

Thematically, whereas GKMC was about an individual's experience growing up in Compton, To Pimp a Butterfly is more about the experience of the general black man in America. References to forty acres and a mule abound, King Kunta etc...

And then Mortal Man is very interesting! Just listened to it for the first time so i didn't really get what it was talking about, but I enjoy the idea of a sort of interview to bookend the album.

All round, it's a very interesting album, and I'm pretty sure it will be my favourite of the year soon enough.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Nick » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:08 pm

bootsy wrote:
Nick wrote:I'm on the fourth track so far. If the rest of the album keeps up the quality of the first four tracks, this album is going to be a masterpiece.

EDIT: Almost done with the album. I really liked "Black Messiah", but this album is what I was hoping "Black Messiah" would be more like. "To Pimp a Butterfly" is a beautiful blend of funk, jazz, and hip-hop. It's a powerful statement on self-image, introspection, race, poverty, and love. I'm gonna need some time to fully process this one, but I can already tell that it's a seriously great album.
Not sure what this means but Black Messiah didn't need all of that to be a great album.
While I like Black Messiah, I can't help but feel like a lot of its acclaim is lost on me, especially considering how well regarded it is on this forum. When Black Messiah was initially released I was expecting it to sound somewhat like To Pimp a Butterfly based on the descriptions of it (minus the rapping of course). I was disappointed that Black Messiah didn't capture the aesthetic I imagined it would have, so I'm very satisfied that To Pimp a Butterfly has managed to capture it.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Nick » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:01 am

Image

I know this is premature, but this album could very well be the critic's AOTY.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Bruno » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:18 am

I'd say top 5, for sure.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Gillingham » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:03 am

I'd bet top three. It's not an album people tend to forget.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by PlasticRam » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:44 am

I don't think anyone else can compete for AOTY with this except for Kanye. But even I concede that this is the favorite right now. MBDTF has 94/100 Metacritic, though I think MBDTF will do slightly better in the end-of-decade lists than TPAB.

If there is three or more releases of this quality, this is gonna be a huge year for music.
I feel like that

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:50 pm

Nick wrote:
bootsy wrote:
Nick wrote:I'm on the fourth track so far. If the rest of the album keeps up the quality of the first four tracks, this album is going to be a masterpiece.

EDIT: Almost done with the album. I really liked "Black Messiah", but this album is what I was hoping "Black Messiah" would be more like. "To Pimp a Butterfly" is a beautiful blend of funk, jazz, and hip-hop. It's a powerful statement on self-image, introspection, race, poverty, and love. I'm gonna need some time to fully process this one, but I can already tell that it's a seriously great album.
Not sure what this means but Black Messiah didn't need all of that to be a great album.
While I like Black Messiah, I can't help but feel like a lot of its acclaim is lost on me, especially considering how well regarded it is on this forum. When Black Messiah was initially released I was expecting it to sound somewhat like To Pimp a Butterfly based on the descriptions of it (minus the rapping of course). I was disappointed that Black Messiah didn't capture the aesthetic I imagined it would have, so I'm very satisfied that To Pimp a Butterfly has managed to capture it.
Well yeah you are right to you I guess. It hasn't lost it's appeal in general. Why would you expect a D'Angelo album to sound like To Pimp A Butterfly. None of D'Angelo's prior albums sound anything like that. Two very different artists, sounds, and genres. They aren't going to sound similar. Black Messiah is a great album regardless of what kind of label you are trying to put on it.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by PlasticRam » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:30 pm

bootsy wrote:Well yeah you are right to you I guess. It hasn't lost it's appeal in general. Why would you expect a D'Angelo album to sound like To Pimp A Butterfly. None of D'Angelo's prior albums sound anything like that. Two very different artists, sounds, and genres. They aren't going to sound similar. Black Messiah is a great album regardless of what kind of label you are trying to put on it.
bootsy, your opinion sucks!
I feel like that

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:40 pm

PlasticRam wrote:
bootsy wrote:Well yeah you are right to you I guess. It hasn't lost it's appeal in general. Why would you expect a D'Angelo album to sound like To Pimp A Butterfly. None of D'Angelo's prior albums sound anything like that. Two very different artists, sounds, and genres. They aren't going to sound similar. Black Messiah is a great album regardless of what kind of label you are trying to put on it.
bootsy, your opinion sucks!
Plastic Ram, eat a dick up. And get off Kanye's while your at it. You fucking idiot. LOL at saying someone's opinion sucks at least I have one.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by PlasticRam » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:49 pm

bootsy wrote:
PlasticRam wrote:
bootsy wrote:Well yeah you are right to you I guess. It hasn't lost it's appeal in general. Why would you expect a D'Angelo album to sound like To Pimp A Butterfly. None of D'Angelo's prior albums sound anything like that. Two very different artists, sounds, and genres. They aren't going to sound similar. Black Messiah is a great album regardless of what kind of label you are trying to put on it.
bootsy, your opinion sucks!
Plastic Ram, eat a dick up. And get off Kanye's while your at it. You fucking idiot. LOL at saying someone's opinion sucks at least I have one.
I'm allowed to have an opinion of your opinion.
I feel like that

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by PlasticRam » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:53 pm

I think we have a Bruce situation here. Bootsy has many times been really aggressive and it has been bothering me. Now I did what he has done so many times before and now he sent me an aggressive PM too. And like I think I've generally been pretty nice at this forum. It's just that bootsy has been a little aggressive to people and that made me be aggressive to him.

Just to be clear, he has said that it's okay to voice your opinion about someone else's opinion. So I was just playing by his rules.

And okay maybe I was overly direct with my comment, but you know when you look at the big picture, I think I'm like at 10% fault here.

I can't be the only one that has been bothered by bootsy's antics.
Last edited by PlasticRam on Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I feel like that

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:54 pm

PlasticRam wrote: I'm allowed to have an opinion of your opinion.
You don't have one. Just shutup idiot and flick boogers on people or something. Putting you on ignore.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by BleuPanda » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:56 pm

bootsy wrote:
PlasticRam wrote:
bootsy wrote:Well yeah you are right to you I guess. It hasn't lost it's appeal in general. Why would you expect a D'Angelo album to sound like To Pimp A Butterfly. None of D'Angelo's prior albums sound anything like that. Two very different artists, sounds, and genres. They aren't going to sound similar. Black Messiah is a great album regardless of what kind of label you are trying to put on it.
bootsy, your opinion sucks!
Plastic Ram, eat a dick up. And get off Kanye's while your at it. You fucking idiot. LOL at saying someone's opinion sucks at least I have one.
Stop with the casual homophobia.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:56 pm

PlasticRam wrote:I think we have a Bruce situation here. Bootsy has many times been really aggressive and it has been bothering me. Now I did what he has done so many times before and now he sent me an aggressive PM too. And like I think I've generally been pretty nice at this forum. It's just that bootsy has been a little aggressive to people and that made me be aggressive to him.

Just to be clear, he has said that it's okay to voice your opinion about someone else's opinion. So I was just playing by his rules.
LOL how am I being aggressive. I am giving my opinion on this forum and someone tells me my opinion sucks. There was nothing aggressive about what I did. If anyone was it was you. There was no need to tell someone their opinion sucks. That's what started it. Give me a break. You have it wrong here. Just because you don't like my opinion don't sit here and say it sucks. Give a reason why and don't be lazy by just plainly saying it sucks. You are doing nothing but baiting and trying to get someone in trouble. You are the worst kind of troll poster.
Last edited by bootsy on Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:56 pm

BleuPanda wrote:
Stop with the casual homophobia.
LOL that's not homophobia. Telling someone their opinion sucks is wrong period.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by BleuPanda » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:59 pm

No, telling a guy to "eat a dick" is generally rooted in and encourages homophobia. I don't care how mad you are at him, there's no excuse to fall back on stuff like that.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by PlasticRam » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:01 pm

I just think that this is a great forum and it really bothers me how confrontational bootsy generally is. It's like there's a line and bootsy continuously is on it, I'm not necessarily saying crossing it.

Actually I kinda forgot that there's the ignore feature, so I'm gonna do that now. I'm terribly sorry that it had to come to this instead of me just doing the ignoring sooner.

So in a way I guess I crossed the line once vs. bootsy almost crossing the line multiple times if you wanna put it like that. So I am really really sorry and this won't happen again cos I have him on ignore and literally all other people on this forum I don't have a problem with.
Last edited by PlasticRam on Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I feel like that

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:08 pm

BleuPanda wrote:No, telling a guy to "eat a dick" is generally rooted in and encourages homophobia. I don't care how mad you are at him, there's no excuse to fall back on stuff like that.
Telling a guy who told me my opinion sucks to eat a dick up is not homophobic. Please.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:08 pm

PlasticRam wrote:I just think that this is a great forum and it really bothers me how confrontational bootsy generally is. It's like there's a line and bootsy continuously is on it, I'm not necessarily saying crossing it.

Actually I kinda forgot that there's the ignore feature, so I'm gonna do that now. I'm terribly sorry that it had to come to this instead of me just doing the ignoring sooner.
LOL my goodness what a troll you are. You are working overtime.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by JimmyJazz » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:28 pm

Yo, Bootsy, bro, BleuPanda may take special offense to that (which is most definitely positively absolutely a homophobic slur, you flying dumb fuck) because he IS gay, you fucking dumb shithole! We actually have a number of users who are gay on this forum, so yeah there's that to, not that you're intelligent enough to assume that, judging from your prior comments, LOL.

And BTW, you use those same "smack talk" on me, troll, I will be perfectly willing to indulge in some fine language with you as well, buddy. Your vocabulary and talent for trolling isn't exclusive to you. Bring it, anytime, anywhere, bitch.

Go off to fucking 4chan while you're at it, piece of shit.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by PlasticRam » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:31 pm

EVERYONE STOP IT!
I feel like that

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by BleuPanda » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:34 pm

Can we all please calm down a bit, though? This is getting out of hand. bootsy's strongly opinionated, but his usual posting style is neither as overbearing or outright offensive as Bruce's. Just let bootsy have his word and ignore it if it comes off as rude. He might be blunt but I don't think he's intentionally trolling, and his comment that started this whole kerfuffle really wasn't bad at all. He simply feels the need to defend his favorite works, and he didn't say anything bad here until PlasticRam attacked him.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:35 pm

JimmyJazz wrote:Yo, Bootsy, bro, BleuPanda may take special offense to that (which is most definitely positively absolutely a homophobic slur, you flying dumb fuck) because he IS gay, you fucking dumb shithole! We actually have a number of users who are gay on this forum, so yeah there's that to, not that you're intelligent enough to assume that, judging from your prior comments, LOL.

And BTW, you use those same "smack talk" on me, troll, I will be perfectly willing to indulge in some fine language with you as well, buddy. Your vocabulary and talent for trolling isn't exclusive to you. Bring it, anytime, anywhere, bitch.

Go off to fucking 4chan while you're at it, piece of shit.
Don't call me bro you fucking idiot. i'm not your bro and no it wasn't homophobic. It's called self defense from saying my opinion sucks. My goodness this forum is a forum where everyone has to agree and fall in line or else you are labelled an outcast. God forbid I disagree someone death to bootsy. There was nothing in my post that screamed smack talk. I'm not and don't have to agree and if I don't and feel like posting I will express that disagreement. Your talent for being a pretentious fuck face is legendary. You think you are God's gift to movies, music etc and you aren't even close. You think you know everything about those subjects and don't prove it. Well hey you have a Lou Reed avatar so you must know it all right? Fuck off.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Henrik » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:40 pm

Yes, stop it! ANYONE who says anything offensive in this thread from now on will be banned! :angry-banghead: :angry-nono:
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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Setherex » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:42 pm

Alright - guys, if you don't mind me interjecting in here a bit.
PlasticRam wrote:bootsy, your opinion sucks!
This was unnecessary.
bootsy wrote:Plastic Ram, eat a dick up. And get off Kanye's while your at it. You fucking idiot. LOL at saying someone's opinion sucks at least I have one.
This was even more unnecessary.
JimmyJazz wrote:Go off to fucking 4chan while you're at it, piece of shit.
This was extremely unnecessary.

Everyone is allowed to have their opinions, guys, but whether we are attacking someone verbally or defending someone verbally, there's no need to go on like this. You may all do what you want in the private messages, it seems like some people have pent up problems here that they need to sort out. But please don't drag a whole thread down with back and forth. That should be the last thing we go for.

If the next couple topics could be about TPAB, please. Regardless of subject, I haven't seen a group of posters "discussing" this passionately about something in a long time. While we're all online and here, why not have a livened conversation about music? It would be a joy.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:45 pm

Setherex wrote:Alright - guys, if you don't mind me interjecting in here a bit.
PlasticRam wrote:bootsy, your opinion sucks!
This was unnecessary.
bootsy wrote:Plastic Ram, eat a dick up. And get off Kanye's while your at it. You fucking idiot. LOL at saying someone's opinion sucks at least I have one.
This was even more unnecessary.
JimmyJazz wrote:Go off to fucking 4chan while you're at it, piece of shit.
This was extremely unnecessary.

Everyone is allowed to have their opinions, guys, but whether we are attacking someone verbally or defending someone verbally, there's no need to go on like this. You may all do what you want in the private messages, it seems like some people have pent up problems here that they need to sort out. But please don't drag a whole thread down with back and forth. That should be the last thing we go for.

If the next couple topics could be about TPAB, please. Regardless of subject, I haven't seen a group of posters "discussing" this passionately about something in a long time. While we're all online and here, why not have a livened conversation about music? It would be a joy.
Well at least there is a voice of reason on this board. I agree with everything you said.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Setherex » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:53 pm

bootsy wrote:Well at least there is a voice of reason on this board. I agree with everything you said.
Thanks bootsy. I'd like to think there are a few reasonable voices, though. We just have to remember to not let them be overshadowed when we turn it up to 11 ;)

On the topic of TPAB, an album I've listened to far too many times now (I feel like it's below 20, but I'm not exactly keeping track anymore) I will say this: whether it's better or worse than GKMC should be left for time to tell. Maybe in a couple months we can look back and have a definitive answer.

At the very least, it's exceeded whatever expectations I had with flying colors and did something that I would have thought impossible weeks ago: TPAB makes GKMC feel small. For something so brilliant to look so unambitious in the present day, only three years after already having been declared a seminal piece of art, is absolutely astonishing to me.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by notbrianeno » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:14 pm

Setherex wrote:
On the topic of TPAB, an album I've listened to far too many times now (I feel like it's below 20, but I'm not exactly keeping track anymore) I will say this: whether it's better or worse than GKMC should be left for time to tell. Maybe in a couple months we can look back and have a definitive answer.

At the very least, it's exceeded whatever expectations I had with flying colors and did something that I would have thought impossible weeks ago: TPAB makes GKMC feel small. For something so brilliant to look so unambitious in the present day, only three years after already having been declared a seminal piece of art, is absolutely astonishing to me.
For me, this album doesn't just reach for greatness, it demands greatness. I agree with you totally that it makes GKMC seem small in comparison, heck, it makes every rap album in the last decade not made by Kanye West feel small. At the moment, it seems very difficult to imagine another artist this year taking my AOTY.
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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by BleuPanda » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:25 pm

It's weird how everyone I know in person who really likes GKMC doesn't seem to care as much for TPAB. I currently like GKMC more, but even that took many listens before it finally clicked (and it's now in my all-time top 100). So I'm still waiting to have a few more listens before casting judgment.

As far as AOTY goes, I fully expect it to be released this month, with the rest of the year being a battle between Lamar and Stevens.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:43 pm

I love both albums. I've only heard TPAB once so far and love the direction it went. Of course GKMC is better for me right now but that could change over time. It's just going to take me more time to disgust TPAB but it's still going to go down as a great album over time.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Setherex » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:49 pm

BleuPanda wrote:It's weird how everyone I know in person who really likes GKMC doesn't seem to care as much for TPAB.
Really? That's interesting to me, I don't really have any friends who've disliked one or the other.

It's shocking to me how many people I've run into that have listened to TPAB. I get the whole Spotify-streaming-record thing. But still, it's caught me completely off guard.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Jirin » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:41 pm

I like the album. I'm not a fan of these kinds of lyrics, and there are some shifts in tone that don't completely work for me. I don't get all the hyperbole, but it's a good album. Will probably factor in my year end lists.

I like it better than GKMC.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Mattceinicram » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:23 pm

I've come to the conclusion after a few listens that this makes my top 5 all time list.
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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Nick » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:43 am

I really want to hear the album a couple more times before I post any lengthy review on the album, but here are some scattered thoughts I've had...

1. How amazing is it that Kendrick was able to follow up GKMC with yet another masterpiece? How many times in the past 15 years has an artist been able to release back to back masterpieces? Kanye's done it. Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem too. Who else though? Swans? The point is, the list is very, very short, and I'm overjoyed to see Kendrick on it as well.

2. Initially I like GKMC better than this album, but I'm a bit biased as I've heard GKMC literally a hundred times over the last 2.5 years and I barely have any relationship with TPAB compared to that. After a good amount of spins I'll probably be able to determine which is definitely the better album. But while I do prefer GKMC for the moment, I will remark on how amazing it is that TPAB was able to make the cinematic GKMC feel small in comparison.

3. There aren't really as many "standout" songs on TPAB as there were on GKMC. On GKMC "Swimming Pools" and "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" felt like the real stand outs, it's much harder for me to pick a song on TPAB that feels like the BIG song on the album. "The Blacker the Berry" is a good candidate though, but I'll have to listen more in order to make up my mind if a stand out song (or songs) is there.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by GucciLittlePiggy » Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:44 pm

Like others have mentioned, I too have not listened to TPAB enough to make my full assessment quite yet, but personally I don't think between this album and GKMC one has to be better than the other. As Zorg stated, these albums thematically are covering different subjects and I think both albums do that incredibly well. TPAB is more conceptual and metaphorical than GKMC, which covers real events from Kendrick's past. The relationship with Lucy is a metaphor whereas the one with Sherane is real. TPAB has a wider scope but I still greatly appreciate the more personal GKMC, which is in my all time top ten. As for the music, TPAB is more daring but GKMC has many of my favorite beats of the last decade.

And as for artists with back-to-back masterpieces, I'd put The National on that list as well, with potentially four straight gems depending on your opinion of them. For me High Violet and TWFM are the two great works.
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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by bootsy » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:07 pm

GucciLittlePiggy wrote:Like others have mentioned, I too have not listened to TPAB enough to make my full assessment quite yet, but personally I don't think between this album and GKMC one has to be better than the other. As Zorg stated, these albums thematically are covering different subjects and I think both albums do that incredibly well. TPAB is more conceptual and metaphorical than GKMC, which covers real events from Kendrick's past. The relationship with Lucy is a metaphor whereas the one with Sherane is real. TPAB has a wider scope but I still greatly appreciate the more personal GKMC, which is in my all time top ten. As for the music, TPAB is more daring but GKMC has many of my favorite beats of the last decade.

And as for artists with back-to-back masterpieces, I'd put The National on that list as well, with potentially four straight gems depending on your opinion of them. For me High Violet and TWFM are the two great works.
Yeah I was getting ready to say The National for sure. D'Angelo(I know it's a stretch but his last two releases are within the 15 year window), St. Vincent, James Blake would be some others.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by notbrianeno » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:40 pm

Illinois and Age of Adz would be possible contenders for that list IMO.
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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by jamieW » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:12 pm

Two words regarding Kendrick’s new album: LOVE IT! After last year, I was beginning to worry that, at 44, I was now a grumpy old man who could no longer appreciate great rap/R&B (especially since I was underwhelmed by both Run the Jewels and D’Angelo, which deep down I knew were great—meaning it was a matter of personal taste). However, since my two favorite albums so far this year are from Lupe Fiasco and Kendrick, that’s (thankfully) not yet the case. I still might like the personal feel of GKMC more, but what an incredibly ambitious work his latest is. Kendrick deserves a lot of credit for creating such a great follow up album with so much pressure on him and many expecting a letdown. Maybe I was one of them—and he couldn’t have proven me any more wrong.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Zorg » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:45 pm

P.S. I love the lazy lazy lazy cameo of Snoop Dogg in Institutionalized, delivered like no one else could:

And once upon a time in a city so divine
Called West Side Compton, there stood a little nigga
He was 5 foot something, God bless the kid
Took his homie to the show and this is what they said

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Zorg » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:55 pm

Also, linked to the funkiness is the way this album deals with sex!

Thinking through GKMC, most of the sex references in GKMC just aren't sexy at all - Kendrick wanting to fuck on Sherane just before Money Trees, the teenage braggadocio of Backseat Freestyle ("pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower"), the harsh reality of the life of Keisha's sister in Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst (getting paid in E's, three niggas in a room etc).

In TPAB, at the beginning of These Walls, I think it must be Bilal who pulls off the most Prince-esque bridge ("If these walls could talk, I love it when I'm in it" etc) I think I've ever heard in my life. Though of course, most of the references to sex are much more nuanced than your average rappers - e.g. in the first song -

At first, I did love you
But now I just wanna fuck
Late night thinkin' of you
Until I got my nut
Tossed and turned, lesson learned
You was my first girlfriend
Bridges burned, all across the board
Destroyed, but what for?

could be seen in the same light as Bitch, Don't Kill My Vibe as talking about fame, success and the hip-hop industry. But maybe it's just Sherane.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Kingoftonga » Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:37 pm

After 2 listens, I'm still processing it. It's definitely a Big Event Album, the kind of which comes along very rarely. After hearing about the Spotify record, I was expecting something much easier to digest, but this is some dense, difficult music. I'm impressed that Kendrick has become so popular while still making music this weird.

Part of me thinks the 2Pac "interview" at the end pushes things a little too far, but I'm also impressed at how Kendrick gets these concepts that sound horribly pretentious on paper to work so well in the context of the album. That poem that keeps popping up? A live concert recording where Kendrick breaks up a fight and then criticizes Oprah? God making a cameo appearance as a homeless drug addict begging for a dollar? None of this should work, but somehow it all does.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Zorg » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:17 pm

And another thing I like about To Pimp A Butterfly is how "mature" it is.

Listening to GKMC, Kendrick takes the place of a storyteller, going around Compton and observing other people, observing himself. He's relatively non-judgemental, non-opinionated. Not that he doesn't have them - he just doesn't show them to us because his main purpose is to tell us the story of his childhood and the observations and experiences he's had.

On TPAB, the lyrics are much less about him, which gives him more scope to be opinionated, to make way stronger social commentary as he pleases, to be ANGRY. A song like The Blacker The Berry couldn't possibly be on GKMC, because, with the small exception of a bit of Good Kid, GKMC takes place in Compton from behind the eyes of a black teenager. Not so in TPAB. There aren't that many stories in TPAB - just life as it is.

And it's great for it. I used the word "mature" not because the earlier Kendrick isn't mature, but because the later Kendrick seems so much more BIG, as if he knows and thinks about more things. TPAB makes GKMC seems like a little parable set in Compton with a few characters in a desperate situation, with one character finding realisation and salvation at the end. TPAB sets that one character on the world.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by Zorg » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:19 pm

Setherex wrote: At the very least, it's exceeded whatever expectations I had with flying colors and did something that I would have thought impossible weeks ago: TPAB makes GKMC feel small. For something so brilliant to look so unambitious in the present day, only three years after already having been declared a seminal piece of art, is absolutely astonishing to me.
This is what I was trying to say, but less eloquently.

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Re: Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly"

Post by PlasticRam » Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:28 pm

Where is that 2pac interview from?
I feel like that

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