Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

by Kendrick Lamar


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Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City

Hip-hop debuts don't come much more "highly anticipated" than Kendrick Lamar's. A series of killer mixtapes displayed his talent for thought-provoking street lyrics delivered with an attention-grabbing flow, and then there was his membership in the Black Hippy crew with his brethren Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock all issuing solo releases that pleased the "true hip-hop" set, setting the stage for a massive fourth and final. Top it off with a pre-release XXL Magazine cover that he shared with his label boss and all-around legend Dr. Dre, and the "biggest debut since Illmatic" stuff starts to flow, but Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City would be a milestone even without the back-story, offering cool and compelling lyrics, great guests (Drake, Dr. Dre, and MC Eiht) and attractive production (from Pharrell, Just Blaze, Tabu, and others). Here, Kendrick is living his life like status and cash were extra credit. It is what makes this kid so "good" as he navigates his "mad" city (Compton) with experience and wisdom beyond his years (25). He's shamelessly bold about the allure of the trap, contrasting the sickness of his city with the universal feeling of getting homesick, and carrying a Springsteen-sized love for the home team. Course, in his gang-ruled city, N.W.A. was the home team, but as the truly beautiful, steeped-in-soul, biographic key track "The Art of Peer Pressure" finds a reluctant young Kendrick and his friends feeding off the life-force of Young Jeezy's debut album, it's something Clash, Public Enemy, and all other rebel music fans can relate to. Still, when he realizes that hero Jeezy must have risen above the game -- because the real playas are damned and never show their faces -- 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. Equally heavy is the cautionary tale of drank dubbed "Swimming Pools," yet that highlight is as hooky and hallucinatory as most Houston drank anthems, and breaks off into one of the chilling, cassette-quality interludes that connect the album, adding to the documentary or eavesdropping quality of it all. 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 -- while the closing "Compton" is an anthem sure to make the Game jealous, featuring Dre in beast mode, acting pre-Chronic and pre-Death Row. This journey through the concrete jungle of Compton is worth taking because of the artistic richness within, plus the attraction of a whip-smart rapper flying high during his rookie season. 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. Add it all up and even without the hype, this one is still potent and smart enough to rise to the top of the pile.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/22/2012
Label: Aftermath
UPC: 0602537156535
catalogNumber: 001753402

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kendrick Lamar   Primary Artist
Marlon Williams   Guitar,Bass Guitar
Chad Hugo   Vocals
Mary Keating   Violin
ScHoolboy Q   Handwriting
JMSN   Vocals,Background Vocals
Camille "Ill Camille" Davis   Vocals
Marcy Keating   Violin
Gabriel Stevenson   Piano
Demonterious Lawrence   Bass
Anna Wise   Vocals,Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Dr. Dre   Executive Producer
P. Williams   Composer
Mauricio Iragorri   Engineer
Pharrell Williams   Producer
J. Smith   Producer
Anthony "TOPDAWG" Tiffith   Executive Producer
Willie Long   grooming
Don Robinson   Marketing
Scoop DeVille   Producer
Tha Bizness   Producer
Hit-Boy   Producer
James Hunt   Engineer
Mike Larson   Engineer
T-Minus   Producer
Dee Brown   Engineer
Terrace Martin   Producer,Additional Production
Rune Rask   Composer
Jonas Vestergaard   Composer
DJ Dahi   Producer
Archie Davis   Marketing
Ray Alba   Publicity
Tyler Williams   Composer
Skhye Hutch   Producer
Derek "MixedByAli" Ali   Engineer
Kendrick Lamar   Art Direction
Sounwave   Producer,Additional Production
Dave Free   Management
Kendrick Duckworth   Composer
Barry Williams   Marketing
Vindahl Friis   Composer
Paula Oliver   Photo Courtesy
Lykke Schmift   Composer
Dwane LaFleur   Photo Courtesy

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