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.