Intro / Preface / Extra Words

Slept a little late this morning so didn't get this issue finished when I wanted to. We've got a lengthy one this time. Hope it made it to your inbox as you're getting ready to head to the pool, or to the beach, or to your patio with a fresh cup of coffee (or something stronger, depending on how your Friday night went).


Heavy Rotation

Intro to Kendrick Lamar

I was talking to a couple of friends earlier this week and mentioned that I had written up a step-by-step guide to introduce yourself to the music of Kendrick Lamar. I know he's not for everybody – and neither is rap. But I like rap, and I like K-Dot. If you want to give it a go, here's how I would start.

  1. good kid, m.A.A.d city - this album is still my favorite. It's a coming of age story, told both through the lyrics and in short skits in between songs. You'll want to listen to this one several times through before moving on (something even Kendrick says about this album is that it needs repeated listens to really get a feel for how all the pieces fit together).
  2. Section.80 - it's an OK album, nowhere near as cohesive or interesting as good kid. It's got a theme, but it's a little scattered overall. Some highlights that are worth listening to (and are good segue to later albums) are: Ronald Reagan Era, Poe Mans Dreams, Rigamortus (just a badass song in general), Ab-Souls Outro, HiiPower
  3. To Pimp A Butterfly - this album is much less accessible than the first two, but it's indicative of the path his sound is taking; the latest album, DAMN, makes more sense after listening to this one. It's brutally honest and has some songs that are really intense (u, How Much A Dollar Cost) and there's a confessional-ish style poem woven throughout the entire album.
  4. untitled unmastered. - I like it, it's super weird, skip it for now. You can play this album after you've listened to all the other ones for like, a year.
  5. DAMN. - This one has the artistic integrity of Butterfly in the delivery but the beats are more accessible. I think I've listened to DNA, HUMBLE, and LOVE about a million times each. I think this album highlights his skill more than others; it's not for those with slow ears.

Alright, that's a lot. Here's a link to his artist page on Spotify.

Calvin Morris

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