Monday, October 22, 2012

Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d City released

Good Kid, m.A.A.d City

Kendrick Lamar

Released: October 22, 2012

Peak: 2 US, 11 RB, 16 UK, 2 CN, 23 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.3 UK, -- world (includes US and UK)

Genre: hip-hop


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter’s Daughter
  2. Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe (3/18/13, 32 US, 9 RB, 4x platinum)
  3. Backseat Freestyle (10/22/12, 29 RB, 79 UK)
  4. The Art of Peer Pressure
  5. Money Trees (with Jay Rock)
  6. Poetic Justice (with Drake) (1/15/13, 26 US, 8 RB, 2x platinum)
  7. Good Kid
  8. M.A.A.D City (with Mc Eiht)
  9. Swimming Pools (Drank) (7/31/12, 17 US, 3 RB, 57 UK, 99 CN, 67 AU, 4x platinum)
  10. Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst
  11. Real (with Anna Wise)
  12. Compton (with Dr. Dre)

Total Running Time: 68:23


4.339 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)

Quotable: “Lamar is the James Joyce of hip-hop” – professor Adam Diehl, Georgia Regents University

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

All Music Guide’s David Jeffries called this the “biggest debut since [Nas’] Illmatic.” AMG It wasn’t really Lamar’s first outing. His Section.80 was independently released through Top Dawg Entertainment in 2011. A series of mixtapes followed which caught the attention of Aftermath and Interscope, leading to a major label record deal.

Thanks to “cool and compelling lyrics, great guests,…and attractive production” AMG Good Kid, m.A.A.d City “would be a milestone even without the back-story.” AMG The album is Kendrick’s “story of growing up in Compton, surrounded by gunfire, gang warfare, police brutality, drugs, liquor, dead friends.” RS’20 He had “a film director’s eye for narrative but the voice of a poet;” RS’20 this was “like a West Coast answer to Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets.” RS’20

“It spawns a kind of elevated gangsta rap that’s as pimp-connectable as the most vicious Eazy-E, and yet poignant enough to blow the dust off any cracked soul.” AMG Lamar “goes for emotional detail instead of gangsta bravado.” RS’20 XXL’s Jaeki Cho called the album “one of the most cohesive bodies of work in recent rap memory.” WK

It was “potent and smart enough to rise to the top of the pile” AMG both commercially and critically. It sold 242,000 copies in its first week and debuted at #2 on the Billboard album chart. It also landed four Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year and was named to many end-of-year lists, topping lists from BBC, Complex, New York, Pitchfork. WK In 2014, the album was studied as part of a Georgia Regents University composition class alongside works such as James Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man. WK

PopMatters’ David Amidon said the album offers a “sort of semi-autobiographical character arc.” WK Exclaim!’s Del F. Cowie says the album follows a transformation of Lamar’s character “from a boisterous, impressionable, girl-craving teenager to more spiritual, hard-fought adulthood, irrevocably shaped by the neighbourhood and familial bonds of his precarious environment.” WK

That environment is Lamar’s native Compton. He has a “Springsteen-sized love for the home team,” AMG but is willing to address his “city’s plagued condition” WK and “harsh realities” WK through songs about “economic disenfranchisement, retributive gang violence, and downtrodden women while analayzing their residual effects on individual and families.” WK

Swimming Pools (Drank) is a “cautionary tale” AMG about addiction which is “as hooky and hallucinatory as most Houston drank anthems.” AMG It “breaks off into one of the chilling, cassette-quality interludes that connect the album, adding to the documentary or eavesdropping quality of it all.” AMG

“Soul children will experience déjà vu when Poetic Justice slides by with its Janet Jackson sample sounding like it came off his Aunt’s VHS copy of the movie it’s named after.” AMG

The closing Compton is a “journey through the concrete jungle” AMG which “is worth taking because of the artistic richness within, plus the attraction of a whip-smart rapper flying high during his rookie season” AMG which also features Dre “in beast mode.” AMG “Any hesitation about the horror of it all is quickly wiped away by Kendrick’s mix of true talk, open heart, open mind, and extended hand.” AMG

Notes: The deluxe edition added bonus tracks “The Recipe” with Dr. Dre, “Black Boy Fly,” and “Now Or Never” with Mary J. Blige. The iTunes deluxe edition also added “Collect Calls” with Kent Jamz and the single version of “Swimming Pools (Drank).” The Target deluxe edition and UK deluxe edition each included the first three tracks plus “County Building Blues” and the Black Hippy Remix of “Swimming Pools (Drank).” The Spotify deluxe edition included the first three tracks plus a Black Hippy Remix of “The Recipe” featuring Black Hippy.

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First posted 10/13/2020; last updated 4/22/2022.

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