Pimp my butterfly: Lamar funks up hip-hop with modern classic

Liam Smith, Reporter

      The self-proclaimed and widely accepted, “King of Rap” Kendrick Lamar has graced us yet again with a contemporary and poetic masterpiece that is “To Pimp a Butterfly,” released March 15. 


     Lamar, poetically and without a rhythmic falter, illustrates eloquently and poignantly the myriad of issues throughout his personal life and the modern condition. 

     “From Compton to Congress,” an all-encompassing quotation found on the album’s track “Hood Politics,” he addresses everything from Bush-era black bigotry, the resurgence of police brutality that has captured America’s need for social justice, the corruption in the current government and his own views on the Obama regime that has “failed” him.


      To heap more onto his unhealthily massive portions of social unrest with a side of cultural empowerment, Lamar sprinkles his polarizing dinner plate with his own personal troubles in love, background, depression and the “survivor’s guilt” he suffers from the horrors of gang violence engrained in his memory of his hellish hometown of Compton, Calif. 

     While making potent statements about the current state of black culture and the social disrespect it has so tragically accumulated, the backing score throughout the memoirs is the most striking decision in the direction of the album. With a return to the classic jazz and funk forms that created rap and inspired the rhythmical mathematics originally woven throughout hip-hop, Lamar conquers puzzling and intense time signatures and complex instrumentation through the utilization of classic jazz tools.


      The cast of backing musicians involved in the construction of this album range from the bass virtuoso Thundercat to the prolific band leader Kamasi Washington throughout the majority of the album’s 79 minutes. 

      This follow-up to the milestone album that Lamar released in 2013, “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” does not fail to create an outstanding modern statement about society as a whole. 


      Lamar constantly reiterates a poem beginning with the phrase, “I remember you was conflicted,” but after a full listen to this amazing poetical musing, no one will be conflicted about the crown of “King of Rap” that Kendrick Lamar dons so proudly on “To Pimp a Butterfly.” 


2015-05-22 14:03:57