In the spirit of Spring Weekend performers and unintended surprise releases (#FLOCKAGATE?), Kendrick Lamar unexpectedly dropped his new album, To Pimp A Butterfly, today. After the monumental good kid, m.A.A.d. city, an instant classic, Kendrick set the bar for his next album exceedingly high. But, the new album goes above and beyond. Mind-blowingly experimental, To Pimp A Butterfly is unequivocally a masterpiece.
Crossovers of funk, hip-hop, R&B and jazz permeate the instrumental aspects of the album–which is no surprise, given To Pimp A Butterfly‘s list of collaborators, featured artists, and producers. Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Bilal, Terrace Martin–the list goes on–can all be heard both on their own tracks and as distinctive voices in shaping the album as a whole. The arrangements are unbelievably tight–smooth, dystopian, euphonious, all at once.
While the lyrical power of To Pimp A Butterfly will continue to grow with the listens, even after a day, there’s no questioning that Kendrick’s raps are emotional, intense, dark, and powerful. Juxtaposed with the sometimes-ethereal, sometimes-chaotic, sometimes-both production, Kendrick as an artist and expresser soars to completely new heights.
It’s been over a year since Drake’s junior album Nothing Was The Same dropped. Vibrant and poppy, yet remaining quintessentially Drake, NWTS marked a shift from being just another rapper to a musical auteur. Whether shouting at the top of his lungs or whispering sweet nothings, Drake has maintained a persona both in his music and public image of a hard-core (dare I say gangster?) rapper, as well as an R&B crooner, thus appealing to both hip-hop heads and romantics everywhere. If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late (released without any official announcements, much like Beyonce’s Beyonce last year) signals the singer’s commitment to mining the intricacies of his dual identities, while also highlighting his desire to experiment and expand his sound.
In many ways, If You’re Reading This remains true to Drake’s proven strategy of success. Songs fall into one of two categories: “I go hard in the motherfuckin’ paint” and “I can’t hold you too close because I’m afraid of loving you.” These two modes—boisterous, triumphant tirades or quiet love songs—sometimes compete against each other on the same track with Drake spending the first two minutes of a song shrugging off the haters, only to switch up the music tempo and cocoon within a gloomy dialogue of inner thoughts.
Ah February, the month of love. BlogDH is here to let you know about all the newly released baby-making albums and steamy live shows to take your boo to. Fair warning, by the time it’s too late to make a dinner reservation, tickets are probably sold out.
As far as the 14th goes, you have two options for shows in the area. You could go to Boston’s Brighton Hall and see Phox, or you could stay local and see Michael Franti at the Met. Phox played Newport Folk Fest this summer and they’re basicallyNPR’sfolkdarlings. They’ve just wrapped up a tour opening for the Head and the Heart, which stopped in Providence. I had the pleasure of going, and the displeasure of almost constantly being sandwiched between couples in the crowd. Despite the friendly, “They’re like my brothers!” vibe the lead singer gives off, this is not a concert you want to bring your friend to. Bring anyone you want to Michael Franti, though; this song is too catchy for things to ever get awkward.
We miss you all. Though it might feel like half of Brown is in New York or Boston, summer sends Brunonians all over the world. Which got us thinking: If Brown’s students were off globetrotting, maybe their well-worn BlogDailyHerald tanks were along for the ride. With that in mind, we want to see pictures of you reppin’ BlogDH hard.
The concept is simple: Have someone snap a picture of you in your Blog swag. Send that picture to blog(at)browndailyherald.com with your name, class, and location. Check BlogDH (and our Facebook page) for your pictures. Whether you sport these tanks in the U.S. or abroad, we still want to see them. It’s like Humans of Brown University and Find Your Graduate, except with scowling bears.