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.