On October 22nd, Compton native Kendrick Lamar released his highly anticipated debut album ‘Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City’ and I can’t get enough of it. This is the quality of music and creativity that I have been waiting for. Before I talk about the music, I must say that the skits of his mother and father were brilliant for this album. The skits also make a woman like me want to meet his parents. Not only do I want to meet them now, I also want to turn on some nice stepping music and chill with the family. After listening to the album for almost a week, I still can not pick ONE favorite song, so I will just talk about my top favorites.
“Sharane A.K.A. Master Splinter’s Daughter” This is the album opener and I see why because it has great use of imagery. It really sets the tone for the story this entire album tells. So many young men can relate to this story of meeting that girl in the summer that you like. They can also relate to the backlash young men experience from messing with the ‘neighborhood’ girl. Now the skit at the end is the best skit on a hip hop album ever! I can not tell you how many times in my family one of the boys got in trouble for taking their parents vehicle and staying gone longer than they were supposed to. My brother, uncles, and cousins all kept the women in my family calling looking for their car. When my husband and I first listened to this skit, my husband loved it. He told me stories about his teenage years and getting caught by his father when he stole the car at night.
“Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” I can not play this song just once. I always have to bring it back again. The way he flows on this beat does it for me. The chorus is perfect. When you got your cup poured up and your music blasting, the last thing you want is a person to disrupt your vibe.
“Money Trees (Feat. Jay Rock)” Ya Bish!!!!!!!!! Man this is the jam of all jams! I “It go Halle Berry or hallelujah, pick your poison tell me what you do. Everybody gone respect the shooter, but the one in front of the gun lives forever.” His word play is on point. For a woman like me, that is the only way I can really feel rap. I almost want to say this is my favorite on the album. The skit at the end…..”Girl, I want your body cause of that big ole fat ass. Did somebody say domino’s?” Classic!!!!!!
“Poetic Justice (Feat. Drake)” Let me get this out the way…..I can do without Drake on this one. Maybe because I don’t really get down with dude like that. No hate, he is just not my cup of tea. With that being said, the song is a major hit. The Janet Jackson ‘Anytime, Anyplace’ sample has to be one of the best hip hop samples in the last 10 years. Yeah I said it! The best! Kudos to Scoop DeVille, the producer. Now this song made me think about Kendrick Lamar in a more intimate way. I thought about, what type of man is he to a woman in a relationship? You know, the kind of things women think about.
“m.A.A.d City (Feat. MC Eiht)” I will go ahead and say this is my favorite song on the entire album. Lyrically, this is my favorite. The fact that he made it two songs in one is a plus. It starts with a fire beat that he gives a uptempo flow then the second half of the song gives us classic west coast. He picks the best person to match that, MC Eiht. Let me just say right now from me and my husband, thank you Kendrick for putting MC Eiht on this song. I can not imagine any other than him. Perfect. This song was imagery at its best. The story about the first time he smoked was told in this song.
“Real (Feat. Anna Wise of Sonnymoon)” This is a song about being who you are and what makes you real. He also talks about love and loving yourself. I love this song because it doesn’t sound like anything else in hip hop right now. While being a new sound, it explores very important personal topics. It also has the skit on it that made me want to go put on some stepping music with his parents and chill. The part at the end jams hard. I will be blasting this in the living room on the surround sound while I do the house cleaning and I will be cutting a rug and singing the chorus loudly. Ha!
In all this is a complete album of quality creativeness. You can listen from beginning to end without skipping any songs. Being a woman that grew up in the projects, this is the album that speaks for the young generation of children growing up in the “hood”. When I was growing up, this is the album that everyone would have been playing. Every car that passed by would have had this blasting. All the guys with speakers in their car/truck would bump this album. All of the girls would have admired the rapper as the good kid with a great story. As a parent of a young son that is very into hip hop music, I want my son to listen to Kendrick Lamar. He gives us reality with substance. That is very important in life period, not just music. I am a fan. I would recommend the Deluxe Version of the album because the bonus songs are great. Go get this album! Don’t just digitally download, get up off your butt and go to the store and get the hard copy. This album is collection worthy.