To Pimp a Butterfly is the third studio album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on March 15, 2015, by Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. The album was recorded in studios throughout the United States, with production from Sounwave, Terrace Martin, Taz "Tisa" Arnold, Thundercat, Rahki, LoveDragon, Flying Lotus, Pharrell Williams, Boi-1da, Knxwledge, and several other high-profile hip hop producers, as well as executive production from Dr. Dre and Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith. Guest appearances include Thundercat, George Clinton, Bilal, Anna Wise, Snoop Dogg, James Fauntleroy, Ronald Isley, and Rapsody. Primarily a hip hop album, To Pimp a Butterfly incorporates numerous other musical styles spanning the history of African-American music, most prominently jazz, funk, and soul. Lyrically, it features political commentary and personal themes concerning African-American culture, racial inequality, depression, and institutional discrimination. This thematic direction was inspired by Lamar's tour of historic sites during his visit to South Africa, such as Nelson Mandela's jail cell on Robben Island. To Pimp a Butterfly sold 324,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release, earning a chart debut at number one on the US Billboard 200, while also becoming Lamar's first number-one album in the UK. It was eventually certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and sold one million copies in the United States by 2017. Five singles were released in promotion of the album, including the top 40 hit "I". Lamar also supported the album with the Kunta's Groove Sessions Tour from late 2015 to early 2016. The album has received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its musical scope and the social relevance of Lamar's lyrics. It earned Lamar seven nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards, including a win for Best Rap Album and an Album of the Year nomination. He received four additional nominations for other collaborations from that year, receiving a total of 11 Grammy nominations, which was the most nominations for any rapper in a single night. The most critically acclaimed album of 2015 as well as one of the most critically acclaimed of its entire decade, it topped The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Jop poll of American critics nationwide, and was also ranked as the best album of 2015 by many other publications. In the years following its release, several publications named To Pimp a Butterfly one of the best albums of the 2010s; in 2020, the album was ranked 19th on Rolling Stone's updated list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.Wikipedia
THIS DICK AINT FREEEE
What a combination of influences.He brings so much together here. Nothing else sounds like this. This is one of the most original/experimental hip hop albums ever. All over the place in a great way. Love his different voices throughout. Very theatrical and atmospheric all at once. Got some great people on this too - particularly Thundercat. King Kunta is my favorite track and the one that immediately drew me in to him.
I'm always complaining about how basic most hip hop and rap is, but you can't easily level that criticism at To Pimp A Butterfly. The opening track is dizzingly detailed. Thankfully, the lame and childish attempt to parody early seventies soul only lasts a few seconds before a knotty swaggering rhythm kicks in. A sinuous synth bass is interwoven with a chorus that cuts against the primary rhythm (I'm hearing the influence of George Clinton here), the main rap, seemingly arrhythmic Fender Rhodes tinkling, horn hits, and so on. It's a pity the lyric content isn't more interesting, but you can't have everything. You could listen to this track a dozen times and not catch everything. More to the point, it's tastefully arranged and its interesting. Again uncharacteristically, the music that underscores the interlude that follows isn't tossed off. It's legit modern jazz with hip hop influenced drums. The rap is the usual bitches and money whinging. Boring, but musically it's interesting.Oh, okay, I thought I was losing my mind. The next cut King Kunta takes several steps back in terms of complexity and interest. This tune has a driving rhythm and bass line, but it's pretty darned straightforward musically. Can't fault the production--lots of bells and whistles, but it isn't enough to sustain interest.The album recovers nicely with Institutionalized. Broken rhythms, choral elements which cut against the rhythms, production tricks, subtractive strategies straight out of Stockhausen, evocative use of jazz samples, and for once Kendrick Lamar has an interesting subject, although he doesn't approach it with much insight or grace or wit. A missed opportunity.And so it goes. In terms of quality, To Pimp A Butterfly is all over the map. The production is consistently first rate. Kendrick Lamar is a poor lyricist and barely an okay rapper. Sometimes, the tunes are basic and boring--at other times, they point at the complexity and interest that's possible in hip hop. Every time I started to get drawn in by a creative arrangement or an original musical idea, I'd get pulled out by Kendrick's tedious raps or by a track which tried to get by solely on production tricks.It's frustrating, but at least there's some ambition here.
The instrumental hook is instant in Wesley's Theory, and the rest of the album just goes. On a relisten, I notice the jazziness of the interludes for the first time: I think they were placing jazz and speech juxtaposed, as in a venue, deep in my brain and long before I was interested in jazz. "This convinced me that rap is good, actually." It's cliche and not a little embarrassing, but far more true than shameful.
The most important hip hop album of the decade, with hard-hitting lyricism, flow beyond compare, and incredible jazz and funk-influenced beats
"Shit don't change until you get up and wash yo' ass"... I just... c'mon man
I greatly enjoyed Mr. Lamar's treatise on the current problems facing people in urban population centres
How to follow up on a great album like Good Kid, M.A.A.D City? How about... like this? This album is absolutely perfect. It's everything I want from a project; a true "start-to-finish" album that is cohesively and thematically tied together with outstanding lyrics and music, all delivered with stunning skill and excellent storytelling. Yep, thats a 5 right there.
I admire the scope and ambition of this work. I like the diverse range of musicianship and the attempts to integrate jazz into the hip hop lexicon. Some of the word play is impressive. However, it all adds up to something akin to a complex plumbing system; a technically adroit feat that I couldn't begin to try to replicate myself, but ultimately quite boring to behold.
The guest list. The beats. Kendrick. The message.. Everything about this album is absolutely unreal and it's so hard to pick favorites. Favorite tracks: "For Free?", "Alright", "King Kunta", "The Blacker the Berry", "Wesley's Theory"
Such a good record. So many great tracks. Great listen from start to finish.
I think I just listened to art. Only album in this list so far I’ve listened to twice in a row
Genre: Conscious Hip Hop 5/5 Hip Hop has come quite a ways since its inception. The artists involved over the years have pushed the genre to its breaking point, changing the definition of hip hop year to year, and sometimes month to month. Seismic eruptions in the game, from The Chronic to Illmatic to Aquemini, are all vital pieces of art that will be respected for years to come. To Pimp a Butterfly sets itself apart from all of those. The sheer magnitude of what this album is doing throughout its playtime is some of the most marvelous music making we as humans have put to wax. This album does it all. From its unbelievable jazz-influenced production, its seamless use of nearly every theme hip hop has come to know and love (which, lyrically, Kendrick took to the umpteenth), all the way to its narrative flow, including a poem that grows throughout the album to eventually culminate in a facsimile conversation he’s having with TUPAC SHAKUR. It’s a true artist at work. This album is a perfect 5/5, 10/10, 100/100. Whichever way you slice it, there isn’t a single bump in the road here, nothing to take your mind away from the overwhelming musical explosion that’s happening in front of you. Kendrick made the perfect album. Every song is a treat and every moment is executed flawlessly. Shoutout to everyone involved in this project. They did a spectacular job.
I remember the first time I heard Wesley's Theory. I was absolutely wowed by the message and the production; I had never heard anything like it. Now that I've heard this entire album, I feel even stronger: there is nothing else quite like this album. Kendrick Lamar has a lot to say about the state of politics, inequality, and being Black in America and worldwide, and he doesn't waste a single second on these tracks talking about these topics. Even the album art makes a confronting statement, communicating a very charged, thought-provoking, detailed message, a message that makes many statements in one image. It all comes full circle with a mostly spoken world closing track explaining meaning behind the album title "To Pimp A Butterfly". As if that's not enough, Kendrick uses several Black-defined and influenced genres (funk, soul, jazz, to name just a few) and modern, fresh, audibly intriguing production across this album to create a progressive and elevated hip-hop experience. I won't say that I love every song, but damn if the production, lyrics, and style just don't keep me intrigued and curious all throughout. I wanted to keep listening, and I want to listen again. In my opinion, this is easily one of, if not THE most important hip hop albums in the past decade or more (disclaimer: I'm so incredibly white so please don't take my word for it). It's art, it's protest, it's love, it's hate, it's poetry, it's politics; it's black struggle and black power.
I want to like this album... there's clearly a lot of meaningfuly perspective and involved lyrics, but the only song that i actually wanted to listen to over again was King Kunta. Give props due to complexity, though Kendrick's voice isn't my thing... give me Chuck D or Nas.
Meh. Listen, I usually love experimental hiphop. It's generally smarter, more musical, and more pointed than your standard, run-of-the-mill gangsta rap. Every time I was like "oh, that was clever," the lyric came from a guest artist. Even the social commentary on this album was softer and less pointed than I was led to believe. I came with high expectations and I left disappointed.
I think this has been too hyped for me. Big fan of the genre but everyone always saying Kendrick is at the top of the game has let me down every time I try to do the deep dive into his work.
I once pimped a butterfly to my mate Angry Pete. He tore the fuck out of that butterfly's little bum. Talk about red admiral.
Fuck off you cunts
One of the greatest albums ever. Jazzy, inspirational, prophetic, genius
Best rap album of 2010s
Det bedste af dem alle
Top tier production with amazing guest artist and the wonderful strong Kendrick lyrics and voice
En av de bästa rap-albumen genom historien
Every time I think "there's no way it's as good as I remember," and then it's even better.
So good. Kendrick is a genius
Love this album, though Damn. may be my favourite Kendrick album, this is the first one that got me into his music. Definitely my favourite hip hop artist
Familiarity: 7/10 Notes: Having just listened to this album for the first time not even a month ago, it seems fitting for this album to be brought up at a time like this. With the era of Trump hopefully coming to an end, and our future with President Biden awakening, I believe this album is perfect for the times. With mix of funk, spoken word, and best poetry, this sophisticated rnb/hip hop effort by Kendrick Lamar is straight ear candy. This album is already a classic, and it will live on as it finds new purpose every few years, I'm sure. Real Rating: 8.5/10
Generational album. Great songs mixed with great stories. King Kunta, Alright, How Much a Dollar Cost, The Blacker the Berry, i
i kind of love this
KING KUNTA. this is one of his best. this shit beautiful and truly shows his raw lyricism and talent. funk political soul hip hop. dA gOaT. I REMEMBER YOU WAS CONFLICTED
Kendrick is one of my favorite artists and I haven’t listened to this full album in awhile. Alright and King Kunta are probably my favorite songs. I forgot about i what a great song
Own it. Love it. Saw him live perform it. Damn it. On it. Fuck it. Makes it.
Incredible concept album. Introduced me to Thundercat back in the day.
En una década en la que la mayoría de la música sonaba demasiado similar y gastada. Cuando el hip-hop estaba en un punto bajo entre mumble rap y con la idea de escuincles sin talento al máximo está este disco como un gran respiro. Kendrick Lamar es grande; es quizá de manera técnica entre los mejores raperos actuales y diría que casi seguro el mejor de los recientes. Lo que lo lleva a otro nivel es su capacidad y deseo de experimentar y llevar sus trabajos a otros niveles. A veces no funciona del todo pero en este caso termino con un disco excepcional. Musicalmente no se le puede ni comparar, es único; su capacidad de experimentar y crear mezclando todo un disco con jazz, funk, soul, breaks de saxofón con scat. Pareciera que aprendiendo e inspirado por cosas como aquel Phrenology de The Roots o la Música de Outkast o en particular de Andre 3000 está dispuesto a estirar la definición del rap y hip hop hasta que casi se truene. Música fluida, impredecible, atascada tanto de creatividad como de talento en sus colaboradores (¡Mirá es Thundercat! conocía este disco y ni idea de notarlo hasta ahora, Terrance Martin, Snoop, Dr. Dre, Pharrel). Todo el concepto musical es una celebración a atreverse a hacer algo distinto. Y si musicalmente es grande en su concepto y letras no se queda nada atrás. En un género atascado de idioteces y cosas vacías todavía hay alguien que trata de hacer un disco complejo, de poner de frente la hipocresía no solo de la sociedad en la que vive (“Oh America, you a bad bitch/ I picked the cotton that made you rich” es quizá la línea más simplona del disco y aun así no es mala) sino en especial tratando de mostrar esa hipocresía hasta en sí mismo y la cultura que representa ("So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street? / When gang bangin' make me kill a nigga blacker than me?"). Casi todas las letras se centran en esas dicotomías perder-perder que están muy presentes y que no tienen lados buenos como el rapero "consciente" contra el pandillero, el machista con postura contra la el ser lleno de culpa, la culpabilidad blanca forzada y la violencia entre negros; todo con un mensaje de reconciliación sin sentir que te está sermoneando. Esa calidad lírica es muy muy difícil de lograr. Es un disco que tiene cosas que decir y sabe cómo hacerlo. Es un disco hecho por alguien lo suficientemente inteligente como para saber terminar con una pieza de spoken word, pegando una entrevista con Tupac Shakur con poemas suyos resultando en algo que nunca existió, dándole un nuevo sentido y hacer que funcione y que no se sienta ni forzada ni como un gimmick.
Ya like jazz? 11/10, I'd sell my kidneys for another Kendrick album as good as this.
I get why white people love this dude
Beautiful Storytelling. Also a sleeper album as opposed to GKMC, but it is a mainstay of excellent hip-hop.
One of the greatest hiphop albums of all time. I don't need to saymore. Go listen to it
Awesome album, love all the features and kendrick using all the voices he can fit in there. Jazz and funk fills the album with incredible sound
One of my favorite albums of all time. My favorite track has been and always will be Momma, followed closely by King Kunta and Alright.
The beats, the bars, the themes, this album is so powerful. I have one or two criticisms but it couldn’t be anything but a 10/10
To Pimp a Butterfly (TPaB) might be one of the most important hip-hop albums of the decade, maybe even regardless of genre. It is masterfully structured, made with thoughtful social commentary and just all-around good music in general. We're exploring the best of funk, jazz, soul, and hip-hop (obviously). And it isn't just anyone on the credits, you've got Thundercat on bass, Dr. Dre producing, and a laundry list of great features worthy of admiration. I can't find much negative to say about this record, but I honestly don't want to because it is just so so good. It's simply the best at what it does.
- the beginning of wesley's theory, wow the trumpets and the 1920s sounding instruments i love it - more lovely horn instrument noises in 'for free?' and ooooh i think it's gonna be a jazz rap album this is so !!!!! - king kunta is so catchy - the story telling voices in institutionalized is amazing - my fav bit of the song is 'if these walls could talk. i can be your (purple) rain when you cry'. i love the contrast between their voices and for a second, i swore i could've heard prince - i could write a scenario for 'u'. the way he repeated loving you is complicated like he was about to cry made me feel like we were both going insane and then that bit where i thought my headphones were broken and the trumpets abruptly coming up to the surface again... yeah. that's all i have to say. - but we gon be alright yes you will yes i will - bruv that plot twist at the end of 'for sale?' when it just keeps on spinning and spinning in a different pitch yeah it scared me man well done mr kendrick - awww 'momma' is nice - i cba to review the rest but i did listen
excelente me gustó mucho lo escucharé de vez en cuando
Of fucking course this is one of my favourites of all time.
amazing fucking album.
I love this album. A modern classic, need I say more?
What do you even say? Mind-blowing, devastating, uplifting. This album is incredible.
There is a lot of more recent rap that I can't stand. The beats and the production are all too similar, following in the trap style of fast hi-hats and AutoTune and droning repetitive lyrics about drugs and girls. Kendrick Lamar is not that. And he stands out all the more amidst his peers for it. He has a voice that I feel like shouldn't work, but does (a bit of a theme lately for me with some of the recent albums). He is an amazing lyricist, writer, and rapper, with a flow that is unique and at times mind-blowing. He tells stories, he exposes raw truths. And he does it all with a seamlessly interwoven background of beats and horns. There is more soul and funk I can dig on this album than there was on Prince's "Sign 'O' The Times." Kendrick Lamar has so much to say, and it deserves and warrants repeated close listens. As an aside, with the relatively low number of hip hop albums on this list, I would expect that they are more likely to be the cream of the crop, 4 or 5 star albums. This one certainly sets the tone for that.
absolute masterpiece and milestone for hip hop / concious rap in general.
what an album, turned me on to rap after lupe
Already listened way too many times. Absolute classic right here
This album is unpredictable. The first listen is powerful experience.
What the fuck can I say, March 2015 was largely occupied in my mind by this record being listened to over and over again. The production and lyricism are both so goddamn dense and ingenious that to this day six years later relistens still reveal me new brilliant angles. This thing is a fuckin accomplishment that transcends the soft centrist praise K-Dot's next record DAMN accumulated. 💣💣💣🔥🔥🔥
De las mejores recomendaciones de esta lista. Increíble en su totalidad. Sonido, ritmo, voces...
Beautiful and possibly the best album ever made. The interstitial poem is ingrained in my head. RIP Pac
Incredible album, start to finish.
Lyrically, it feels so real and full of insights and intelligence, like I'm getting a peek inside Kendrick's life and head. Musically it's just so dense and rich, throwing samples, beats, and riffs at you. Idea after idea. It's not the kind of album I could listen to again and again as I find it too overwhelming, but I do feel I could find something new in it every time.
What a start It's already a 5
First Kendrick Lamar album I listened to in the past. Blew my mind. Changed my favourite genre of music and send me on a unforgettable musical journey. Perfection.
Una meravella que transcendeix géneres. Lamar es trobava dos esglaons per sobre de la resta, ja fossin vaques sagrades com Jay-Z, Kanye West o Eminem, o noves lluminàries com Frank Ocean o Tyler, The Creator. Aquesta obra capital és una bogeria en la seva fusió de géneres, idees, ritmes, samples... Més enllà del seu enfocament polític i racial, tot i acceptant la seva importància, que no fa més que enfortir el missatge i la seva força, és un dels millors discos dels '10
This is the first album on this list so far that I've previously listened to in its entirety. Like, dozens of times before. To Pimp a Butterfly is probably one of my favourite albums so far. Its complexity and depth really stands out compared to the three albums I've listened to so far. It's not just a collection of songs, it's a cohesive artwork (a concept album!) and there's so much to be discovered in its depths.
An innovative work of art. Protest rap over funk, jazz, traditional boom-bap beats from one of the best in the game. Hell yes. Best track: King Kunta
Good. Really really good
Aj karamba, pojawily sie murzyny prorokowane podczas sluchowiska hookwormsow, ale nie do konca, bo nie mumblowy trap, a krol wspolczesnego lozenia rymow, ktory jednak mocno jest zwiazany, jesli chodzi o inspiracje murzynami zlotej ery, co slychac zwlaszcza na tym albumie, ktory sam w sobie jest pewnego rodzaju dialogiem z 2pacem, wydaje mi sie ze juz wystarczajaco sie napisalem na temat tego albumu gloszac murzynska ewangelie w internetach, wiec zbieranie tutaj antologii na ten temat troche mijaloby sie z celem tych opiso recenzjo notesow, wiec na tym koncze, a ocena oczywista, bo przeciez to pan Kendrick Lamar
Masterpiece!!! Poetic, threaded with amazing influences, and loaded with some of Kendrick's best bars.
wow. ...what a tour de force. I had no Idea. The hip hop albums on this list have been, in general, the real slap in the face discovery for me. And this one may be the best so far and there have been great one's. In particular the Eminem album knocked me on its ass for its incredible wordplay and compelling music. To Pimp a Butterfly while not as shocking as The MM album, but my God the intricacies of the wordplay...of the poetry, is stunning in places and at the very least compelling and interesting and intelligent. This one's a KEEPER and is deserving of multiple listens 5 stars
Definitely the most important hip-hop album of the 21st century so far in my opinion. Musically, it's incredible with gorgeous, jazzy, varied production. Lyrically it's Kendrick's peak which is saying something considering how consistent he is. The recurring poem to Tupac ties it together perfectly.
Jazzy Rap. The last track alone merits the disc five stars.
Quite possibly the best album of the 21st century so far. Lyrics, flow, production, themes are all 10/10. Not only a masterpiece of the Hip-Hop genre, but up there with all time greats such as Pink Floyds Dark Side of the Moon and Nirvana's Nevermind.
Good album, have heard before
Love the genre blending in this album, great stuff.
This is a modern classic. I'm not the biggest hip hop head but I know what I like and I REALLY like this. The music, the guests, the lyrical concepts. It's just a great piece of art. 10/10 all the way.
This album is perfect. My favorite iteration of Kendrick. Easily one of my all-time favorite hip hop albums and also pretty damn high on my all-time albums list.
Oh my god … beautiful - how did I miss this album before
1001 is bringing the Christmas heat! Kendrick is easily the best rapper of our generation, although I'd argue the competition is pretty weak. GKMC is still my favorite, but this album is a masterpiece. King Kunta is a bop. Alright is infectious. How Much a Dollar Cost is reflective and beautiful. At times the album switches gears too fast and gives you whiplash. That said, Kendrick really branches out with more socio-political commentary and wide influences from classic soul to swing jazz. At times the absurdity gets in the way of the message, but I still think this is a bold and provocative statement from a rapper on top of his game. 9.5/10
The production is really inspiring, and the extensive sampling of jazz and what feels to a white guy as "black" music gives this record a feel of being rooted not only in Kendrick's creativity but in a larger context of US history.
A stunning achievement, Lamar’s insightful, searing social commentary over a jazz infused hip hop soundtrack easily towers over most artists working in any genre today. And artist is the correct description- TPAB is a work of art which will be looked back upon and studied as an artefact of these times and the position of Black Americans in US society. Nobody else comes close to offering this whilst also making listenable, ostensibly mainstream music. Poetic, inventive, dynamic, essential. A masterpiece.
Love this album. Could easily play this for older dad type crowd and they'd enjoy. KING KUNTA BABY.
we already know this one is a 5
Such a great album, lot of good moments and great messages. Love the influence Thundercat had as well as Steve Lacy but can’t understate the performance of Kendrick at all.
Discazo, sí, aunque sea muy ignorante de estos géneros... o de cualesquiera, quizá. 10/10
In contention for the best album released in my lifetime.
Wow! If I listened to this 100 times, I doubt I'd catch all of the references.
I'm not always a big hip hop fan, but I really like Kendrick Lamar. This is very experimental and interesting.
This felt like one of the few original sounding albums I have heard in a while. There are so many layers of influence but combined it feels like something that is not made often or maybe ever.
That Album Is A Ten Men 8ir Me Na7kou. Head Is Buzzing, I Shouldn't Put The People I Trust In Conditions Dra Kifech. Make Sure Of That.
Great album, Kendrick always delivers
Si heureux de retrouver cet album dans la liste. Prefs: Wesley's Theory, For Free? (Interlude), King Kunta, These Walls, Alright, Hood Politics, How Much a Dollar Cost, The Blacker The Berry, i, Mortal Man Moins pref: Momma
Very good album, good stuff, simply extravagant
I love this album. Lyrically impressive with a great flow, great samples, cool jazz influences. An instant classic.
Really good album. Went in not liking Lamar. Total 180. Incredibly interesting listen.
Best hip hop album in years
One of the greatest albums of all time and one of my personal favorites. I still listen to this one very frequently. Insanely good.
This is probably my favorite album of the last 15 years, and I don't say that lightly. Kendrick is the best lyricist working today and this is his finest work in that area by far. My favorite tracks on this are "i", "Wesley's Theory", and "How Much a Dollar Cost", but the quality is so consistent across the nearly hour and a half album that I'll probably pick a different three the next time I listen.
Love the jazziness, the flow, and the sheer all-over-the-place-ness of it. I lack historical perspective on and deep knowledge of the genre, but know full-on artistic commitment when I see (or hear) it and this is definitely that. Plus, lots of fun hooks and echoes – “we gonna be all right” indeed. Engaging and cool and a helluva lot of fun. 4.5 / 5.
Let's go Kendrick. I don't have the best ears for lyrics, but Kendrick's beat and instrumentation is a real treat for the ears. i is such a release from a lot of the heaviness inside the album.
An easy 5.
When a jazz infused, avant-garde, politically charged hip-hop album makes Kendrick one of the biggest pop stars on the planet and in the process partly restores my faith in the general music buying public.
this is an album where you know every second was so expertly planned and crafted. every song has a purpose. nothing is filler. kendrick lamar has a lot to talk about and he spends his 1 hr 18 min runtime wisely and productive. i mean, this whole album is pure art! i cannot fathom the amount of relentless work and creative energy that went into this. the album as a whole is so beautiful and thought provoking. what stands out is that this album is unapologetically created for black people. the songs that lamar chooses to sample. the interview with tupac at the end of "mortal man". the contemporary and historic artists lamar features in his songs, including george clinton of parliament funkadelic and ronald isley of the isley brothers (!). the spoken word poetry in "i". and of course all of the topics that he covers within his lyrics. also: king kunta must be one of the best songs in the universe. i will fight you on this.
I first listened to this last year. It was a hot summer's day and I spent it exploring some towns in land. I never listened to it before, but I chose To Pimp A Butterfly as one of the albums to listen on my trip because I wanted to depthen my music taste, and this was recommened a lot on music forums. Driving out past the first stop, Wesley's Theory came on and as it kicked into the main groove, it felt like the music equivalent of The Wizard Of Oz. "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore". The music production throughout is fantastic and despite not being a big fan of rap, I wasn't actually ever bored when listening to the nearly 80 minute album. Maybe it was the 40°C weather and barely any clouds in the sky that provided the positive mood, but the funky basslines and the jazz beats definitely helped the mood. Kendrick Lamar's vocal delivery was smooth for the most part and could get angry if required. I also liked the recurring poem that kept stopping throughout until it was played in full at the end of Mortal Man. That sequence including another poem named after the album title, and an edited recording of Lamar interviewing Tupac Shakur was a genuinely interesting way to end the record. While driving through some windy roads past a lake in the middle of nowhere, I felt solely in a room in the US with both rappers, listening to this intense interview with the jazz crescendo in the background. From the four albums I listened to that day, this stayed in my mind for a while. I've listened it a few times since, and everytime I do, I think of the time I was constantly sweating in the heat right in the middle of nowhere. Favourite songs were These Walls, Wesley's Theory, Alright, The Blacker The Berry, and i. Also the whole Mortal Man sequence is pretty fantastic too.
5, masta peace
5.0 + Of the 500 albums I’ve listened to so far, this one might be my favorite. It’s so dense with bars, and it rewards frequent listens. “Complexion” is my new favorite song off this.
4.5/5. I really can't say anything about this that hasn't been said, except that GKMC has more straight up bangers
A fantastic album. To pump a butterfly is probably Kendrick’s best album. It’s my second favorite behind GKMC but not far behind. This album is really a step above so many other rap albums of the decade. The jazz influences, the production, the lyricism are all observed from beginning to end. Kendrick spent an strong portion of this album talking about a single issue which is also rare for many modern rap albums. Not many do it better. 9.3/10
Honestly incredible, there's a reason this was everyone's best album of the year. It's thoughtful and angry and poignant while still having incredible beats and mixes
Amazing front to back story telling song writing musically one of the best hip hop albymss ever nade
Super album, made me have faith in modern rappers again
Obviously this one is a 5. Even though I still don't connect with it personally as much as I do with "good kid, m.a.a.d. city", it's objectively an amazing album. "I" & "the blacker the berry" are suuuch bangers. Hadn't listened to this in years and ended up having it on repeat most of the day.
So, I missed out on Kendrick Lamar when this was first out because of the age of my kids, but I've always been a big rap fan. He's an amazing lyricist and there's some great tracks on this album. Supposing you ignored the lyrics entirely, the music is also first class. I'd listen to an instrumental version of Mortal Man any day.
Quite possible THE album of the 21st century so far. Melds decades of sounds, arrangements, anger, personal stories, and oppression into one monumental (and somehow cohesive) whole. It's a bit over-long, and the highs are incredibly high but not every track is outstanding. Still a fantastic achievement.
Album intelligent, bien fait et qui a impressionné bien des gens qui ne sont pas des adeptes du genre. C'est une de ses grandes qualités de plaire autant aux adeptes du style qu'aux gens qui y sont habituellement réfractaire. Et c'est l'album qui a poussé David Bowie a engager un petit band de jazz contemporain de New York pour son magistral dernier album Blackstar. La pièce Alright est une incontournable de cet album et est devenue très importante pour le mouvement Black Lives Matter. Album très important des années 2010.
Amazing hip hop album.
Such a good album. Kendrick is a fucking genius
There is a reason Kendrick has won a Pulitzer; this is my second favorite album of his. This album defined the 2010s, and I believe it will define hip hop and music for the next century.
TPAB (To Pimp A Butterfly) literally was my first ever full album listening experience back in 2020. I mean I could talk for literal hours about this album about the details, but people have already dissected this album for years, so I want to keep this review simple. This album is hip-hop mixed with jazz, funk, neo-soul, and many more. The production on this record is pretty unique, I don't know how to describe it, but like it doesn't sound like your average hip-hop album, and it's pretty refreshing and new, even after 2 years of listening. The album only have 3 catchy songs, Wesley's Theory, Alright and King Kunta, but that doesn't mean the others are bad. Besides those 2, the songs on this album was designed to be sort of on the back, so we can focus more on what Kendrick is saying. In this album you realized why he is one of the best rappers alive, the lyrics, his flow, and his voice style changes throughout the album, his rapping skills, it's stellar. With his story combined with the incredibly lavish production on this album, you just don't listen, but you also feel the experience on this record. I think this album lives up to the definition of masterpiece and it totally deserves the title.
10/10 the perfect hip hop album
Kendrick Lamar weaves an intricate tapestry of rhymes and beats to explore being black in 21st century America. He is both knowledgeable and eloquent, joined by guests ranging from George Clinton to Snoop Dogg.
All time great album! Alright is an all time great song!
Jag har rätt rejäl nostalgi för TPAB... det var definitivt den första hiphopskivan jag föll för som helhet. Jag brukade lyssna på den om och om igen, försökte tolka vad allt betydde, fånga orden Kendrick sade. Albumet påminner mig lite om my beautiful dark twisted fantasy. Ingen annan skiva låter som någondera, och de låter inte som varann. Gemenskaperna ligger mer i att de bägge två är smakfullt maximalistiska och att alla låtar är intressanta och väldigt unika. Ännu en sak jag vill tillägga: folk gillar att tala om TPAB som om det vore den skarpaste kritiken av samhället någonsin och det känns ofta som att skivans känslomässiga kärna ignoreras. För mig är den delen det som gör TPAB bra.
Honestly thought I was losing my mind having heard the closing but never noticed it was the same
Finally got some K Dot! While TPaB isn’t my favorite Kendrick album, I can’t deny it’s a brilliantly constructed collection of hip-hop, funk, jazz, and spoken word poetry. Different songs on this record have had different meanings for me growing up, be it loud locker room music or even songs that represented negative emotions. An absolute classic of the genre. If you “can’t get into this because it’s rap” or because he mentions money and women, I hate to break it to you: you have no critical thinking skills. Phooey.
This is a rap album that could never be mistaken for another ever. Shouldn’t be possible to make a rap album this good in every way that it is
Another masterpiece from Kendrick. I personally prefer GKMC as an album but this one is perhaps more culturally significant. It contains "Alright", which was then used in the black lives matter movement which started after the killing of Trayvon Martin and others, which is also referenced on this album. The album is densly packed with ideas that will take hundreds of listens to fully un pack. There's so much to discover in here. 5/5
A damn modern classic. 6 stars.
Need I say anything
I’ve mentioned this many times before, but hip hop is one of my least familiar genres. I never really listened to it growing up, and it wasn’t really until I was in my mid-twenties that I gave it a proper chance. I’ve been meaning to listen to this album for a while, so I’m happy to listen today. Songs I already knew: none Favourites: King Kunta, Alright, i When listening to hip hop, the gold standard for me has always been Because The Internet by Childish Gambino. Everything gets compared to that in one way or another in my head because I love that album. However, Kendrick Lamar might have just taken that crown. This album was incredible from front to back. If there was no rapping at all on it, the music was still fantastic. If there was no music at all, the lyrics, rapping and poetry would still have me hooked. Putting the music together with the vocals brings it all together into something amazing. He has a very distinct voice too, which always makes for a good listen when it works, which it very much does here. I’d recommend this to anybody, but especially people who, like me in my younger years, didn’t really know or understand hip hop. This is excellence.
So many great songs on this album. Alright, King Kunta, Wesley's Theory, The Blacker the Berry to name a few. Kendrick mixes rap and jazz to create a groundbreaking album. It is a critique of society, race relations, and much more
To pimp a butterfly. I remember I was conflicted but it’s a 5/5. granted some songs work better in the context of a lp and not an individual listen. It’s kinda hard to just sprinkle some songs into a playlist lol. What kinda play list are you gonna add the blacker the berry? Alright? These walls? Hood politics? It makes you think too much. On a side note: mortal man hits harder for me given what Kanye is doing right now. “When shit hits the fan, is you still a fan?” 😞 no. Bangers: For free 🔥 King kunta These walls 🔥🔥🔥🔥 U 🔥 Alright 🔥🔥🔥 For sale 🔥 Momma🔥 Hood politics🔥🔥 How much a dollar cost 🔥🔥🔥 The blacker the berry 🔥 I (single version) 🔥🔥 Mortal man🔥
Its drags a bit, and I prefer good kid, but its still an amazing album. I love the variety of musical styles. Closer to a 4.5
Great for either having in the background while working or actively listening to. I find myself bobbing my head to the beats.
Always heard a ton of good things about this album but had never listened to it until recently. Overall, I was really impressed - such a unique blend of musical styles, it comes across as so much more than just a rap album, reminiscent of West's "Dark Twisted Fantasy"
iconic... educational.. a good time.
This reminds me how much we consume media so fast. This albulm is 5 years old which is wild to me cause it feels like it just came out. BUT anyways enjoyed again..Mortal man kind of shooked me cause like look where we are now. Blacker the Berry is also a vibe.
Cool to listen to once but I don't think I will come back to listen to again.
Just a really amazing album all around, like a discordant beautiful Miles Davis album, but with a lot of lyrical content which to me, is what Jazz is really missing. Blacker the Berry is fantastic, as is King Kunta but the b-sides aren't bad or forgettable, it flows nice and it's a great listen.
That was really good. I knew Kendrick Lamar but not well and I didn't know that album. But it was a goodun.
Powerful album with some stellar tracks
First listen. Very good.
Has a feel somewhere between "in the zone and focused" and "walking around". Really cool mix of musical styles. Compelling parallel narratives of personal struggle and Black historical struggle.
Hard for me to rate, since hip-hop is typically not my jam. In terms of genre it's prob 4-5, but there is a lot going on here that I could dive deeper into, but not my cup of tea really. Definitely some interesting things here, so 3.5 up to 4.
1. Intro beat SLAPS, great flow. Type of song to hit your body moving in some way - funky. 2. THIS DICK AINT FREE 3. Bop 4. Strange but a tuneee 5. Classic 6. SUch a good fucking song 7. classic 8. Smooth, fun interlude 9. momma bars good fucking album
Always enjoy this album
Pleasantly surprised to see something so recent on here. Good album, a bit long and rambly for me though and I like some of his other albums more. King Kunta is a hell of a song.
Maybe a 3
Not really my thing, but it was good. King Kunta was my favorite song.
Wow. A rap album I actually really enjoyed. It’s a miracle.
Really solid, on repeat listens I bet it’ll grow on me even more. This dick ain’t free
Re-listening for the generator. A beautiful storm. Kendrick always delivers. 8/10
Tyler the creator esque imo. Or maybe Tyler’s Kendrick esque😦
Didn't listen to it because I used to listen to it A LOT a while back. Excellent!
really liked it
Brilliant. Although there are some tracks that I don't LOVE, everything flows together perfectly. Special mentions to 'For Free ?' and 'i'.
7/10. Not really my style, but it does feel very well put together as an album, and was lyrically interesting enough to make me at least want to keep listening. There were only a few songs that I enjoyed listening to in their own right, and I still didn't quite love the sound, but overall a positive experience.
Definitely an important and impressive album incorporating all the jazz but it still drags in places for me
good. listened to it during war with brandon derek MJ. alright slaps. as Matthew said "Kendrick goes hard"
(already heard this a bunch before, will just rate it, 4.5)
Lotta good tracks, and a lot of fun to listen to through and through
A lot more experimental than I expected - enjoyed it. How much a dollar cost, with the Radiohead sample, was a highlight.
Good! Cool musical bits and I liked the lyrics. Loses a point for being long. 7
Rap actual, mola. Bases soul/jazz
Liked it a lot. Thought it was very insightful
My least favorite of his, but still a classic.
A Good album that cemented Kendrick Lamar as a truly mainstream rapper despite producing an original and often obscure contribution to the genre. Definitely over played but I guess that is just the sign of a great album although not my personal favourite.
Liked the third song; King Konta and Alright, the rest is not rlly my jam.