Last updateWed, 18 Sep 2019 12pm


Kendrick Lamar Releases a Winning Third Album

kendrick lamar reebok promo 1According to the Huffington Post, the word “pimp” has not been used in an album title since 2006, and the word “butterfly” has not been used since 1997. And as graceful as the butterfly in his album title, Kendrick Lamar has done both—all while his new album hit number one on the hip-hop charts this past week. Better yet, Lamar has made history by including the word “pimp” on a chart-topping album, which has never been done until he came into the picture. 

If you aren’t familiar with Compton, CA native rapper Kendrick Lamar, you should get used to hearing the name. Lamar’s new album, To Pimp A Butterfly, dropped March 16, gives a glimpse into Lamar’s personal life. Between the track “For Sale? –Interlude” and the following song, “Momma,” fans and new listeners alike are let into Lamar’s childhood and early adolescence. With its mixture of sentimental tracks and traditional hip-hop songs like the single, “I,” Lamar has taken his talent to the next level. 

Even if rap isn’t the first thing you’d turn on when you get into your car, To Pimp a Butterfly is worth at least a listen. Even the fan of hardest rock will enjoy Lamar’s style. He mixes traditional elements of rap and hip-hop with a slight edge. Hints of jazz and R&B also play a role in Butterfly, as seen on the opening track, “Wesley’s Theory.” 

Lamar’s new record is a game changer. Taking the original rap origin of poetry, the title of the album is actually a metaphor. In the last track, “Mortal Men,” he explains the meaning behind the history making, off-beat, and endearing title: 

“The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it/ Its only job is to eat or consume everything around it, in order to protect itself from this mad city/While consuming its environment the caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive/One thing it noticed is how much the world shuns him, but praises the butterfly/The butterfly represents the talent, the thoughtfulness, and the beauty within the caterpillar/But having a harsh outlook on life the caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak and figures out a way to pimp it to his own benefits.” 

With his talent, Lamar is ready to break rapping stereotypes. Learning from rap legends like Tupac and the influences of Biggie, he combines personal, original stories and reflects on himself. In fact, he appreciates all of his influences throughout the album. “Mortal Men” shows his creative talent and almost acts as an ode to Tupac through a dialogue between the two, reflecting Tupac’s influence on how Lamar is the way that he is today. 

The album is almost like a roller coaster—it has everything a rap album should have, and more. The highlight is that it goes to every end of the emotional spectrum. It tests limits with Lamar’s traditional “hardcore rap” sound and also gets in touch with his sentimental side, which is something that is hard to find in the rap genre these days. The album is cleverly written and its collaborations are top notch, as seen in “Institutionalized,” featuring Snoop Dogg, Anna Wise, and Bilal. 

Snoop Dogg, amongst other rappers, has gone to accept Lamar and his originality, considering him a trendsetter and perhaps (some would say) the new king of hip hop; he has gained the respect of his fellow rappers through keeping a good head on his shoulders. Lamar knows where he came from and he knows where he’s been. And he may not know where he’s going exactly, but it will most likely be in the direction of moving forward. 

That being said, get used to Kendrick Lamar—because he’s going to be a household name. 


Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151