Sunday, December 27, 2015

Report to the Dance Floor : Kendrick Lamar : "To Pimp a Butterfly"

If Chelsea Wolfe had not sad this was on of her favorite album's of the year then I would not have checked it out , but I figured I'd check out. While there is some trippy trappings to the opener and a synth line that recalls older West Coast rap, his voice doesn't have me convinced. George Clinton does guest on it , which is an impressive stamp of approval , but he is prolly guesting on everything so he doesn't feel like he is a dinosaur."King Kunta" has a more James Brown pump to it, but his voice still makes me think he needs to stop smoking as he could be gasping for breath at any moment. The groove to this song is stronger than the opener and the mix is interesting as this doesn't sound like everything else."Institutionalized" might have a more stoned brand of jazz like funk to it along with Bilal and Sneep, but it's not as compelling as "King Kunta" , maybe this is 2015's take on Tribe Called Quest, because I'm sure if I had never heard " the Low End Theory" this would seem like next level shit being dropped."These Walls" never reaches out to grab and hide behind a wall of bong smoke.

 Lamar tries to get more aggressive on "U" , but that fact he is always gasping for every verse takes the edge off this.He goes into some dramatic crying, that sounds kinda bitch to me.Things pick back up on "Alright". While upbeat "Momma" finds Lamar just rambling over Outkast like backing tracks .He pays more homage to Tribe Called Quest on "How Much a Dollar" cost which ponders the plight of the homeless and addicted with Ron Isley providing the vocal hooks. This album is inconsistent where where "the Blacker the Berry" excels the preceding "Complexion" begins to bore me. While this is West Coast rap they certainly touch on 90's Atl rapping with "You Ain't Gotta Lie". One of the album's best songs is the dancey "I", this is the first song that finds Lamar impressing me with his flow, up to this point the backing track were more impressive.

 "Mortal Man" finds himself pondering if his fans will still have his back when the media turns on him. At this point they obvious do, as too many people are hailing this as the best album of the year or at least the best hip-hop album of the year, which is pretty far fetched as both Dr. Dre and the Weeknd put out more innovative and impressive albums. This one is pretty good considering Tribe Called Quest isn't putting out anything new, so I'll give it a 7.


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