Kendrick Lamar May Have Just Won 2015 With His New Masterpiece
Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly is not even a week old and yet its diamond-encrusted wings have received love and support from music's biggest names, Taylor Swift and Kanye West to name but a few. The LP has also smashed Spotify’s record for Most Streams In A Day at 9.6 million listens.The Compton-born rapper has been lucky in that his latest offering's 'rush release' (March 16) hasn’t stunted or overshadowed its success, but what makes it such an instant classic?
Flashback to 2013, an ambitious Kendrick claimed he was “trying to murder” a host of big name rappers from A$AP Rocky to Drake. Fast-forward to the present day and the follow up to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and Hip-Hop’s prodigal son may have just fulfilled that ambition.
With this record, the 27-year-old may have bigger targets in his sight, namely Kanye West. Just like ‘Yeezus’, the rapper has ‘Black America’ firmly in its sight: “I picked cotton and made you rich now my d*ck ain’t free,” but be in no doubt this is not a ‘Kanye’ record.
KENDRICK IS AN INSPIRATION. THANK YOU FOR THE VIBRATIONS AND THE SPIRIT. YOUR MEANING, MESSAGE AND EXECUTION ARE GIFTS TO THE WORLD.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) March 17, 2015
Kendrick has kept the West Coast flavour of his 2012 record, keeping one of Hip-Hop’s most famous producers and his mentor Dr. Dre at the helm, as well as recruiting legends including Snoop Dogg and George Clinton.
New age LA producers and collaborators Flying Lotus and Thundercat also play a valuable part in 2015’s answer to The Chronic see opening track, ‘Wesley’s Theme’.
The fact Taylor Swift is a big fan of the 'King Kunta’ rapper and his LP is no surprise. The 'Blank Space' singer is a big supporter of ‘albums as art’, even turning on Spotify and pulling album 1989 from the service.
KENDRICK PUT HIS ALBUM OUT EARLY. NO ONE TOUCH ME. @kendricklamar
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) March 16, 2015
T-Swizzle isn’t Kendrick’s only fan either, a whole host of artists, including Sam Smith - who is currently sitting pretty at the top of the album charts - praising his work.
— SAM SMITH (@samsmithworld) March 16, 2015
The game-changing MC looks on the right path to bag his first UK album chart No.1 and capitalise on the hype surrounding this modern classic, as Dre remarks on the album on achieving success of his own proportions: “Anybody can get it, the hardest part is keeping it.”
No doubt he will.