About DAMN Time
Written by SPEAK Easy on April 22, 2017
So… the good folks of UML are back at it out at ladies and gentlemen. One of the things that we like to do is set and adhere to deadlines. I say this is because I missed a deadline for reviewing the Kendrick Lamar album. It was my task to listen to the album, dissect and review it and put it out there you know within the same week of the release. Unfortunately, I did not do that. What I did instead was riding around listening to nothing but this album for 5 days straight. If you know me you know that I am all around the Metro Atlanta area doing different things to serve the community. This allowed me a lot of time to listen to the album. I actually stopped counting how many times I listened to the album. In fact, I listen to certain songs back to back in search of different meaning, cadence, word play and more. And instead of dissecting everything going track-by-track, I want to just look at the album as a whole. On this album, Kendrick Lamar did a really good job of hitting us with the combination of boom bap, classic Hip-Hop, New Age hip-hop,
On this album, Kendrick Lamar did a really good job of hitting us with the combination of boom bap, classic Hip-Hop, New Age hip-hop, melody, and flow. He did NOT compromise his art. Another thing that I wanted to do before giving a full analysis of the album is to remove the burden that he often carries as the conscious savior of Hip Hop. I personally do not believe that Kendrick Lamar is a conscious rapper. I belie e he’s a dope MC who has subject matter that varies. This allowed me to look at him for more of who he is as an artist. While the album cover is quite simplistic, the album itself is not. The album is an in-depth picture of stories, flows, tales of lust and more. He even added the element of the DJ with the legendary Kid Capri. All in all, this album is so Hip Hop. Kendrick Lamar also gets credit for his innovative flows. He also adds different rhyme patterns from album to album. This is pretty good because nowadays since this is not happening as much. What it also does is put the Kendrick clones on notice that they have to catch up.
In typical UML fashion, it is our obligation to review The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. While I did enjoy the variety of the production, there were a few different tracks, at least the beginning of them, that I thought the beats were not as entertaining. I chalked it up to the building of the song leading to climaxes. Another thing that I considered a drawback is nothing but a personal opinion and perspective. I would have personally like to see one or two additional members of TDE on the album. I preferably I would have loved to hear Ab Soul to hear how he would have to just spit over a dope track and not some drug-induced music that he typically releases himself. I also decided not to pick any stand-out tracks. This is NOT coming from a standoffish point of view. I don’t have any stand-out tracks because I believe that 75% of the album is really good. The other 25% of the album is still good and better than what the average artist is releasing today.
I’d be negligent if I didn’t address the elephant in the room. That elephant being …..*drum roll* Is Kendrick Lamar the best rapper? The answer to that question is a little bit more complicated than it appears. Kendrick Lamar is in fact (fact, meaning my opinion) the best mainstream rapper out today. However, if we were to just add overall MC then he would be a competition with CyHi the Prince as well as Royce The 5’ 9”. Being that it seems these rappers will never have the light of day or spotlight that Kung-Fu Kenny does, it’s safe to say that the throne sits with him. With this album being a hybrid of TPAB and GKMC, I’m very intrigued and wonder that the next opus sound like. Until then, I will go back and listen to the album while I’m in the gym and see if I can find any more gems. Pun intended.