good kid, m.A.A.d city

Review Roundup: Kendrick Lamar - 'good kid, m.A.A.d city'

  /  10.24.2012

good kid, m.A.A.d city

With the West Coast on his back and co-signs from everyone from Dr. Dre to Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar drops his highly-anticipated debut good kid, m.A.A.d city. Hailed by Dre and Snoop Dogg as the “new king of the West Coast,” the 25-year-old MC paints a vivid portrait of growing up in Compton on the 12 tracks, which feature appearances from Dre, Drake, and Jay Rock, plus production by Pharrell, Hit-Boy, Tha Bizness, Just Blaze, and T-Minus. Did Kendrick live up to the great expectations? Find out below.

Rolling Stone: The plush production of tracks like the Neptunes-produced centerpiece “good kid” hearkens back to Seventies blaxploitation soundtracks and Nineties gangsta-rap blaxploitation revivals, and good kid warrants a place in that storied lineage. 4/5

USA Today: But there’s a sophistication in his cool, taut delivery and deftly syncopated, soulfully textured arrangements, which make his blunt accounts as seductive as they are sobering. 3.5/4

The Washington Post: A collaboration with MC Eiht, “m.A.A.d. City” bridges the gap between old-school and new-school L.A. rap—something Lamar excels at—starting with a frantic beat that transitions into G-funk. It’s a perfect coronation for the new “King of California,” (Dr. Dre’s words), as well as a shining example of Lamar’s hyper-introspective style of SoCal hip-hop.

Pitchfork: The miracle of this album is how it ties straightforward rap thrills—dazzling lyrical virtuosity, slick quotables, pulverizing beats, star turns from guest rappers—directly to its narrative. 9.5/10

The Boston Globe: The centerpiece is the 12-minute meditation on mortality and legacy, “Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst,” which transcends mainstream hip-hop. A triumph.

Chicago Tribune: Even when Kendrick boasts, he sounds like he’s winking at the listener. On “Backstreet Freestyle” he conflates his preacher “Martin-had-a-dream” voice with his own ridiculously outsized dreams, as bawdy as he wants to be. 3.5/4

The Associated Press: Kendrick Lamar is an up-and-coming rapper hailing from Los Angeles with a reputation already built through the underground scene as one of hip-hop’s best lyricists. With the backing of Dr. Dre, the socially conscious emcee continues to enhance that stature on good kid, m.A.A.d city, a cohesive album filled with classic gems.

Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe,” “Backseat Freestyle,” “Poetic Justice,” “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst”

TRENDING

GloRilla Shows Out on Funkmaster Flex Freestyle

Glo shows she’s the real deal on her new freestyle.
12.02.2022

Drake Appeared to Troll Kanye West Over Kim Kardashian-Chris Paul Affair Rumors

An old photo of Drake wearing a CP3 jersey has the internet in a frenzy.
12.02.2022

Cardi B Says She's Struggling to Make Offset Happy After Takeoff's Death

“I have been feeling so hopeless trying to make my husband happy.”
11.28.2022

Offset Returns to the Stage for First Time Since Takeoff's Death

Cardi B joined her husband during the Art Basel event.
12.02.2022
View More

Sponsored Stories