Kendrick Lamar will certainly be remembered as one of the decade’s most important artists of any genre, barely putting a foot wrong since achieving mainstream success with 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. The crown jewel in King Kendrick’s crown is indisputably To Pimp a Butterfly. A jazz-infused odyssey on race and fame in America, Lamar uses this as a prism through which to explore topics usually the preserve of classic literature – marginalisation, self-determinism, and materialism.
Carefully curating samples and feature spots, Butterfly‘s central strength is its production. Wearing its jazz influence on its sleeve, the album’s engrossing soundscapes build with momentum until resolving into Lamar’s title poem, continually adding new stanzas. This is undoubtedly genius as a method of structure, culminating with the stunning epilogue where Kendrick seemingly converses with the late Tupac Shakur. Butterfly is quite simply a masterwork, worthy of every plaudit and its almost mythic status.
Watch the video for ‘King Kunta’ from the album here: