The album is a concept album which means that it follows a particular storyline. The events happen when Kendrick lamar was 17 and so there’s a mix of his natural lyrical ability and the fuxkery you’d expect from a 17 year old.
SHERANE AKA MASTER SPLINTER’S DAUGHTER
It’s deep rooted, the music of being young and dumb
It’s never muted; in fact it’s much louder where I’m from
The album begins with a prayer which is going to be a recurring theme in the album. The first track talks about Kendrick meeting Sherane at a party and how he tries to get into her pants. The track ends with a cliffhanger (like the ghenghen part in movies where you’re not sure if someone is about to get shot or not) when he pulls up in front of her house and sees three hooded guys. The imagery in this song is just fuxking awesome; it takes you down to the conversational details and when Kendrick starts thinking of fuxking Sherane it gets super graphic.
BITCH DON’T KILL MY VIBE
I can say that I like a challenge and you to me is painless
You don’t know what pain is
How can I paint this picture
When the color blind is hanging with you
One thing that is admirable about Kendrick’s style is his ability to create hooks out of nothing, he doesn’t just jump on tracks and start shouting “Bitches love Sosa” or “I know that you’ve been practiciiiiiiing” just so he can have a break between verses. His hooks usually relate to the verses unlike some ignorant shii we’re forced to listen to. This track has that but apart from that, I’m not really down with this one. I’’s not like the track is that bad, I just think it has no place here. It could have been replaced with The Recipe which was surprisingly relegated to bonus in the deluxe edition.
All my life I want money and power
Respect my mind or die from lead shower
I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel tower
So I can fuck the world for 72 hours
This is basically a 17 year old freestyling and bragging about the shii that 17 year olds think about and in keeping with the theme that he was 17 at the time that the story happened, it contains some random ignorant shii. Even with that, it is still a mad ass freestyle and is way better than what The United Federation of Dreadlocked Fools (lilWayne, chief keef, wackaflocka flame, ace hood [NOTE: 2CHAINZ DOESN’T BELONG TO THIS ORGANIZATION….YET]) coulda come up with even if they sat down to write. No offence intended of course.
THE ART OF PEER PRESSURE
It’s 2:30 and the sun is beaming
Air conditioner broke and I hear my stomach screaming
Hungry for anything unhealthy
And if nutrition can help me
I’ll tell you to suck my dick then I’ll continue eating
When this song started playing, my first reaction was WTF?!!!!?
But I fought the urge to hit the skip button and thank tha Lord that I didn’t skip cos the second part of the song (we’re just going to ignore the first part and say the song starts at the 1:43 mark) was just AWESOME!!!!!!!
It’s one of those songs (we’re still ignoring the first part) that makes you start imagining you’re in a music video and that you could actually write shii like this. Sorry, you can’t.
MONEY TREES ft. JAY ROCK
That Louie’s Burger never be the same
A Louis belt will never ease the pain
Imagine Rock up in the projects where demniqqas pick your pockets
Santa Claus gon miss dem stockings
Liquor spilling pistols popping
Baking soda YOLA whipping, ain’t no turkey on Thanksgiving
The beat sounds like the kindashii you could get high to, the kindashii that gives Wiz Khalifa wet dreams. This is a DOPE beat. Get it? Dope?High?
L I’m sorry; I just had to do that.
Even though Jay Rock is arguably the least skillful rapper in the Black Hippy movement, he is waaaay better than most rappers out there and he came on this track (pause) and did his shii but his verse was still dwarfed by Kendrick’s verse (see what I did there? Dwarfed by Kendrick.L I have a problem).
POETIC JUSTICE ft. DRAKE
If I told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it
I mean I write poems in these songs,dedicated to the fun sex
To say the truth, I was expecting, hoping and praying that I’d hate this song and that it would be crap cos of Mr. Cream puffs but this track ended up being my second favorite track on the album. The song is obviously for the ladies and I’m sure it will work for dem girls. The Drake that showed up on this album wasn’t Mr. Cream puffs or Mr. I’m too emotional for you or Mr. They stole my girl, the Drake that showed up was the one that was once touted as the next savior of rap. His chemistry with Kendrick on this track just adds to the whole feel good feeling about this track.
Look inside these walls
and you see them having withdrawals
of a prisoner on his way
Trapped in your desire to fire bullets that stray
Track attire just tell you I’m tired and ran away
Even though this is a Pharell beat, it sounds nuthin like that. The drums that are usually the trademark of every Neptune beat are relegated to the background. The beat added to the verbal weapons that Kendrick wields over the track makes this sound like superhero music. You can just picture him in a cape as he raps in his trademark unconventional rap style.
MAAD CITY ft MC EIHT
A wall of bullets coming from AK’s AR’s, “Aye y’all.Duck.”
That’s what mama said when we was eating the free lunch
But yeah that’s like me, I grew up in the hood where they bang
And niqqas that rep colors is doing the same thang
There are two beats on this one, different in style. The first beat sounds Mercy-esque and the second one sounds like a real Compton beat like dem Compton’s most wanted or NWA songs. It sounds like the kinda beat you ride to in an open roof car while driving to your babe’s house cos it’s attention grabbing and pompous as fuxk. Kendrick just goes insane on the beats, it’s like someone put a gun to his head and told him to rap or he’ll get shot. It was that good.
His verse on the second beat was a nod to the hip hop heads of Cali in general and considering that he had one on the track, there was no way that it would go wrong. McEiht didn’t come on the track (pause) all laid back cos he’s already a great and all that pompous shii. He went in (pause) and put it down like only an OG can.
Some people like the way it feels
Some wanna kill their sorrows
Some people wanna fit in with the popular
I have to say that I never really liked this song like that ever since it came out as a single, it gets to me sometimes but most times I’m like “and then?”. It is more of a teen friendly song for the cup-holding, lean-drinking, peer pressured teen. It sounds like the kinda song you’d release just to please company execs (pause). The song is good but it shoulda been on someone else’s album and not on this one. It’s kinda like finding Ribena in a cellar full of Wine.
SING ABOUT ME, I’M DYING
I can’t comment about this track cos …uhm… i… uhm…slept off midway through it. it’s a 12 minute song for God’s sake!!
But taking time out to listen to is you’ll discover some really artistic dopeness to it e.g the gunshots when K.dot said ‘’and if I die before your album drop, I hope..’’
REAL ft ANNA WISE of SONNYMOON
I promise that I know you very well
Your eyes never lie even if they tell
Sweet lullabies that come with a smell
Of a dozen roses flippin down the green hill
My favorite song on this album even though it is seven minutes long. The beat is just IT. There’s no other word for it. It’s the kinda beat that when you ask anyone about it, the only reply can be “that’s that shii” I was half expecting to hear Lupe’s voice on this cos this is the sortashii he’d rap to. I LOVE THIS SONG. The track is just a couple of reasons why Kendrick Lamar is realer than you. It’s just about loving yourself. And in other news, I’m getting married to this song J
COMPTON ft DR DRE
Fix your lenses
Forensics woulda told you Kendrick had killed it
Pretend it’s a massacre and the masses upon us
And I mastered being the master at dodging your honor
It’s one thing to make a dope beat, it’s another thing to find a good chorus, hook and awesome verses and then proceed to totally fuxk the beat up the arse. This song has done just that. Dre raps over this hot beat with some Kendrick written raps and you can almost hear his lines holding the hands of the beat before Mr. Lamar proceeds to violate the beat.
IN SUMMARY, this album is not a classic and it’s not a dud. It’s above average and it’s excellent for a first effort. No album is perfect and this is proof. The album is filled with skits in an attempt to help with the telling of the story but Kendrick does such a good job that they aren’t really needed in the end. As to production, Dre took a hands-off approach to this album and didn’t produce all of the beats on the album, there are beats from Just Blaze, Dj Dahl, The Neptunes and K.Dot’s pre-aftermath producer; Ali and they didn’t disappoint. The lyrical quality of this album was superb, as was expected, and the featured artists didn’t disappoint. Also, this album wasn’t oversaturated with features and the features on it made sense in the end. I woulda loved to have seen a song with all the Black Hippies but the inclusion of Jay Rock was enough compensation. So in the end, I’ll have to give this album A-