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REVIEW: Kendrick Lamar changes hip hop with conscious

Amon Hale Jr. 

Kendrick Lamar released his second album "Good Kid M.A.A.D City," which set off his tenure for the 2010s. "Good Kid M.A.A.D City" is a collection of journeys Lamar lived through during his teenage years and the battles he fought every day in the inner city of Compton. Moving into 2021, Lamar is looking to make his return and leaves all his fans anxious and excited. The questions we’re asking ourselves now are what will he talk about? As he’s left a game-changing influence with everything he’s dropped so far. We await the return of Lamar.

The opening song “Sherane A.K.A Master Splinter’s Daughter” reflects on Lamar’s love life with a woman who belonged to a rival gang. He proceeded with advances toward her. This eventually led to by the end of his song Lamar being set up and trying to retaliate, causing one of his friend’s death. This alone represents how hard it was for Lamar to have a normal lifestyle as a teenager as he already dealt with a near-death experience and the death of a close friend. 

“Backseat Freestyle” and “The Art of Peer Pressure” are songs that represent the difference in Lamar’s outer being and inner being and his struggle to fit in with the enigma of the Compton lifestyle. In “Backseat Freestyle,” Lamar shows a different version of himself to his friends, the laid-back lifestyle he once lived turned into one of rebellion and dangerous activities. “The Art of Peer Pressure” picks up and brings a new light to the songs prior to it as Lamar goes into depth about the lifestyle he lives. 

“Rush somebody quick and laugh about it later. Really, I’m a peacemaker but I’m with the homies right now.” 

These lyrics alone show how he gives into the peer pressure of being with his friends. 

With "To Pimp A Butterfly," Lamar blossoms and shows an entirely different version of himself. I believe Lamar reflects on his past lifestyle in album "Good Kid M.A.A.D City" and brings an entirely new perspective. A constant message throughout this album was the black struggle in America, and this brings me back to "Good Kid M.A.A.D City" as he shares his experiences as a young Black man in America. This album resonates with the Black Lives Movement and multiple other African Americans organizations. A recent showcase of this was multiple songs and the album itself charting the Billboard Top 100. 


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