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Kendrick Lamar releases 'Good Kid, M.a.a.d. City'

Album Review

By M.Thomas Lawrence
On November 6, 2012

California born Kendrick Lamar's long awaited new album, "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City", has been released following several popular singles, including "The Recipe." 

Lamar has garnered a lot of attention and hype over the last few years and has worked with several top artists in the genre, including Pharrell, Busta, E-40, Warren G, Bun B, Tech N9ne, Lil Wayne, and perhaps most importantly, legendary producer Dr. Dre.  If Kendrick's musical company is any indication of his talent and lyrical abilities, then it doesn't get any better than the aforementioned artists.

The album blends passive-aggressive lyrics, often reflective in nature, with beats that alternate between mellowing synths and modern, hard-driving drums over the top of deep basslines.  Several tracks have a classic feel to them merged with modern lyrical styles, catchy choruses and heavy 808 kickdrums.

The album is reminiscent of Outkast's "Atliens" on tracks like"The Art of Peer Pressure."  Lamar's unique mixture of introspective yet bourgeoisie swagger combines elements of thoughtfulness and arrogance in the same two bars. 

"Money Trees", "Poetic Justice" and "The Recipe" are a few highlights on the album. One thing the album doesn't provide is much party flavor and is instead a bit darker with a modern twist.  The mixing and production, as expected of the good Dr. (Dre), are exceptional. 

In the days of overhyped singles and short shelf life, the album stands out as one of the most complete, well-rounded efforts from this genre in quite some time.

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