And just like that Kendrick Lamar is back ladies and gentlemen. Sometime during the black night of Sunday Kendrick dropped his new album To Pimp A Butterfly. I awoke to my Twitter, Facebook, and the rooster telling me that the day that we were anticipating snuck up on us. What a good morning to be a hip hop fan.
In fact what a good time to be a hip hop fan, within a 3 month period we got new music from possibly 3 of the biggest names in rap, J. Cole, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar. To these young cats that is probably equivalent to Jay-Z, Nas, and Em dropping surprise albums within a short time span. You have to love hip hop.
This will not be a review of To Pimp a Butterfly because frankly this piece of work needs repeat listens. It is not your basic cookie-cutter album that can be dissected and tossed away before the high from the session fades away. This is some next shit, similar to another surprise album that dropped not too long ago, Black Messiah.
One thing I have noticed is that we seem to be on the cusp of another Black Movement, all we need to make this cipher complete is Flav’s clock, and X-Clan’s nose rings. From the album art that dropped a week or so ago for the new Kendrick album you can tell this was not going to be your 2000’s everyday rap album. How often do you see albums that have the Boyz In The Hood standing on the White House lawn? Nowadays rappers seemingly want some type of acceptance. Since the Jay-Zs, Diddys, and Dr. Dres have made corporate moves rappers have caught the rash of trying to downplay anything that may make the masses uncomfortable. I’m not speaking about the dime a dozen ignorant rappers that you can purchase 120 of them at the dollar store. Nope, not those types. I’m speaking of the ones who are actually making waves out there pushing that Brady Bunch rap with no bite.
When you glance at the names of the tracks on Butterfly you can almost smell the yams, TCB aroma, and red beans oozing off the screen.
The Blacker The Berry
Once again this ain’t your average rap album. And how can it be? Why should it be? Last time I checked there seems to be a war going on outside no Black man is safe from. So since hip hop has always been a reflection of society, shouldn’t the music mirror that? For some reason songs about the rich life, parties in the Hamptons, and leer jets just won’t cut it anymore. We need that substance rappers like KRS-One, X-Clan, Public Enemy, and Poor Righteous Teachers brought to the game.
So with all of this being said, as I continue to decipher the opus that is To Pimp A Butterfly regardless to where it ends up ranking, I will celebrate the fact that a rapper had enough courage to make an album that is unmistakenly Black.
The Chairman of the Board * Spanish Jose taught him how to get the money cats owed him * He also loves to write, create fly tshirts, and smoke cigars * When he is not in the UML office he can be seen being Cool @ ClassiclyCool.Tumblr.com *