If you listen to one thing this week... To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar

More than two years after his scorching breakout release 'good kid, M.A.A.D. city', Kendrick Lamar returns with an even more impressive collection

 

It was John Lydon who noted that anger was an energy, a sentiment with which Kendrick Lamar would probably agree.

To Pimp A Butterfly  is an angry record - ferociously and furiously so ‑ but this is laser-guided rage. While previous album good kid, M.A.A.D. city had the rapper exploring and observing life in his native Compton with such skill that he took you to those mean streets with every rhyme, he’s moved beyond those city limits here to outline his thoughts on black America.

That he has chosen to do so against a large, radical rash of jazz and funk is hugely telling too, Lamar taking those black protest music standards to another level. But it’s the lyrical content which resonates and rockets, Lamar throwing erudite punches and picking intellectual fights all over the shop.

In the midst of the bad-ass funk and the glorious shapeshifting  Lamar transmits the clear and present vision of someone who really has something to articulate. A record for the times we’re in.

Not one to do things quietly, Lamar debuted the video for his single King Kunta on Thursdayt on the giant Jumbtron screens in New York City's Time Square. We'll just have to make do with YouTube.

kendricklamar.com

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.