Album Review: Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp A Butterfly,' Why 'Section.80' Fans Should Rejoice

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

If you're going into Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly" album hoping for "g.o.o.d.

Kid, m.A.A.d City" you should reconsider the notion by listening to his first album "Section.80." Only then will you understand and appreciate the poetic nature of "TPAB."

(Album Stream Below)

"To Pimp A Butterfly" is so far from Lamar's second album due to his funkadelic beats and his "Hiiipower" style of rap. Rather than solely telling a story on a boy growing up in Compton, Lamar speaks to "hoods" all the while taking his views straight to Washington D.C. The albums opening offering "Wesley's Theory" is a declaration that every "n**** is a star," while breaking into funky verses of a first love and a political song that addresses the stereotypes of what typical individuals from the hood would spend their money on. The idea that as soon as an urban artist get's on, the money will be splurged and wasted is addressed and demolished.

Much like "Section.80" Lamar also includes a slew of interlude's, the first being "For Free?" a wise-cracking poem about a gold digger who expects everything from the man who brought success as if she was the one who rapped every verse. Yes, it's stereotypical, but it is yet another harsh reality. The follow up is the recently leaked "King Kunta" that was built up to be one of the highlight tracks of the album and that it is.

Lamar is now past trying to go at any artist claiming that they all destroyed themselves. The mix of Funk and Jazz across the entire album is downright enlightening and gives fans of "Section.80" a treat.

This album transcends decades of music, so much so that it even invokes a feel good nature from songs like "These Walls," a sexually driven love song with one of the most psychedelic beats on the album.

For those who waiver on whether or not Lamar is the revolutionary rapper that goes against the grain, look to "u," "Alright" and "Hood Politics" for your direct answer. Pharrell Williams' addition to this album seems almost invisible but he does appear on "Alright" and the overall production quality of "To Pimp A Butterfly" points towards skills that Skateboard P is known for.

"To Pimp A Butterflys'" closing tracks are so smooth that it doesn't prepare you for what "Mortal Man" has in store for fans. (Spoiler Ahead.)

At the end of "Mortal Man" Kendrick Lamar has a conversation with 2Pac. Yes, you read correctly, 2Pac. Obviously, Tupac Shakur is no longer with us, however, the insight shared between the two artists in a conversation that may have happened in present day if Shakur was still alive is on another level.

2Pac explains that rappers are just telling the stories of their dead homies, while Lamar offers a sentiment of peace and understanding. His personal poem speaks of a butterfly who gives a caterpillar a new perspective on life; those struggling to help the rich understand those struggles.

Overall the album is a statement of empowerment, in which Lamar seems to preach the importance of self empowerment and being the change when no one else seems to be making an effort.

He highlights flaws, encourages those to love themselves and finally to be the change they want to see and show those who look down on a community that a beauty can come from a place of confinement and struggle.

The album doesn't contain any major features by rappers other than Snoop Dogg, however, it does have appearances from Pharrell and Dr.

Dre, with major features from Bilal, George Clinton, Thundercat, Anna Wise, James Fauntleroy, Ronald Isley and Rapsody.

From the tweets above artists like Taylor Swift, TDE's Punch and Ab-Soul are all pumped for the release of Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp A Butterfly."

"To Pimp A Butterfly" Album Stream