Entertainment

Albums by Kendrick Lamar in order of size

IIt’s been a little over a decade since Compton-born Kendrick Lamar first caught the music world’s attention, and he’s had a firm grip on it ever since. Today, he’s widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential rappers of all time, and has received an astounding array of awards ranging from 14 Grammys to winning the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Music as the first artist outside of classical or jazz Damned.

On May 13th, Lamar returns with his long-awaited successor, Mr. Morale and the big steppers. In anticipation, we take the opportunity to look back at how each of his four studio albums shaped his amazing artistic legacy.

4. Section.80 (2011)

(Kendrick Lamar)

Lamar’s debut studio album captured the sound of a young man who has the potential to burn when he finds his voice. The rapper, who was just 24 at the time of the record’s release, was already an impeccable singer whose percussive flow brought his deceptively simple and expressive rhymes straight to the listener’s ear. “I know some rappers who use big words / to twist their similes,” Lamar explained on Poe Mans Dreams (His Vice). “My simplest thing is more crucial.”

Besides showing Lamar’s talent as a performer and lyricist, Section.80 showed his burgeoning talent for telling stories that work on multiple levels simultaneously. The album weaves together the stories of characters Tammy and Keisha, two young women abused by men who eventually find comfort and solace in each other while also finding space for trenchant political commentary.

“You know why we crack babies? / Because we were born in the ’80s / That ADHD crazy,” Lamar raps on the standout track “ADHD,” one of several songs — including “Ronald Reagan Era” — that he uses to paint a picture of the impact of President Reagan’s policies, Allowing crack cocaine to flood into the Compton area of ​​Los Angeles had kids like Lamar growing up there. powerful and visceral, Section.80 marked Kendrick Lamar as an artist who cannot be ignored.

3. Damned (2017)

(Kendrick Lamar)

For his fourth album Damned, Lamar brought along some high-profile guests: Rihanna rapping her way through radio-friendly single “Loyalty,” and perhaps more surprisingly, venerable Irish rockers U2, making an unconventional appearance on “XXX.” Still, the limelight never really leaves Lamar, who delivers a sprawling record that combines a timeless, old-school rap sound with frequent nods to the future.

At this point in his career, Lamar could confidently say he was the greatest rapper alive, a fact he alludes to in the standout autobiographical closing track Duckworth: “It was always me versus the world / Until I found it’s me versus me.” The album produced his biggest hit, the epic “Humble,” and made history by winning the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

The Pulitzer Committee used many of its own big words to describe the album, calling it “a virtuosic collection of songs unified by their vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism, offering moving vignettes that capture the complexities of modern African-American life.”

2. Good kid, MAAD City (2012)

(Kendrick Lamar)

The record that made the whole world sit up and take notice. 2012 Good kid, MAAD City marked Lamar’s major label debut and had all the features to match, with guest appearances from the likes of Jay-Z, Drake and Dr. Dre as well as Dre, Pharrell and Hit-Boy on production assignments.

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It spawned the hit singles “Swimming Pools (Drank)” and the irresistible “B****, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” and garnered four Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year. But all of that was really beside the point of the power of the album’s central story. Dubbed “Kendrick Lamar Short Film” on the album cover, the deeply autobiographical record told the story of Lamar’s teenage years on the gang-controlled streets of Compton with profound clarity.

Lamar’s storytelling is so finely crafted that it came as no surprise when a Georgia university included the work in its curriculum alongside other coming-of-age stories like Joyce’s A portrait of the artist as a young man. “I think Kendrick Lamar is hip-hop’s James Joyce.” said Professor Adam Diehl. “In the complexity of his storytelling, in his knowledge of the canon, and in his continued focus on the city he grew up in — Compton.”

1. Pimp a butterfly (2015)

Lamar’s politically charged masterpiece. While it’s still a hilariously great rap album first and foremost, musically Lamar expanded his sonic palette to include a wide spectrum of African American music from jazz and funk to soul – including an introductory performance by Parliament and Funkadelic visionary George Clinton.

Lyrically, the record was inspired in part by Lamar’s tour of South Africa, during which he visited Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island prison cell, and the revived black right-wing movement in the United States. The album delves into the African American experience with nuance and deep, existential analysis, but it’s as personal as it is political. In an essay published in the medical journal The Lancet Psychiatry, Cambridge professors Akeem Sule and Becky Inkster described Lamar as the “street poet of mental health” and noted that the record delved deeply into issues such as addiction, anxiety, depression and resilience .

In December 2019, The Independent named Pimp a butterfly as the best album of the previous decade. “At its core, ‘Alright’ is now a civil rights anthem, but Pimp a butterfly plays less like a statement and more like a bad dream,” wrote critic Jazz Monroe. “Ambiguous introspection, angry empathy and political irreverence meet pitch-black humor that jolts you into feeling like we’d be lost without this music.”

Mr. Morale and the big steppers will be released on May 13, 2022

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/kendrick-lamar-albums-mr-morale-and-the-big-steppers-ranked-b2068071.html Albums by Kendrick Lamar in order of size

JOE HERNANDEZ

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