Five Reasons Why Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ Deserves’ Best Album of The Year

Kendrick Lamar has been making heavy strides since the beginning of his music career but 2015 may be his biggest year. His third studio album To Pimp A Butterfly broke the record for most streamed on Spotify with 9.6 millions hits before its official release. Black Lives Matter protesters chanted the lyrics to “Alright” as if it was published in the book of hymnals. Six tracks from To Pimp A Butterfly including “The Blacker The Berry” and “King Kunta” made the Billboard Hot 100 and reached Gold sales after just a few weeks of debuting the album. The 16 track revolutionary album has most recently received the Best Album of The Year spot by Rolling Stone. Here are five reasons Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly is the best album of the year:

1. Kendrick & his producer Sounwave bring live instruments back into music by mixing funk, jazz, neo-soul and of course hip hop into their own flavor. (“Wesley’s Theory”, For Free?”, “For Sale”)

2. Kendrick Lamar gives us a very personal view of his life and career charging a revolution in all of us. (On “The Blacker The Berry” he says, “Why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street/ When gang-banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me? Hypocrite!”)

3. To Pimp A Butterfly exposes us the many roles we all have to play in society through his own spiritual journey. (Loving “u” is complicated…I believe he may be talking about accepting himself while everyone is pulling him in different directions. A suicide letter in between tears and gulps of liquor. Then we see him overcome and begin to love himself more on “i”.)

4. To Pimp A Butterfly is unpacking the idea of “overwhelming blackness” in America and every nation the album has reached. (“Every nigga is a star” is the first thing we hear as the album begins, a voice from 1973 Blaxploitation film, forcing the listener to accept what is to come.)

5. Kendrick Lamar used his intellect and creativity to tell us all that we are all more than cynical caterpillars. Everybody has their cocoon time when they need to be alone and regroup to become the beautiful butterfly. The evils of Lucy and society will try to pimp the butterfly for all its worth. But we have to stay strong & unify. (His conversation with Tupac on the final song “Mortal Man” talked about how the ground is going to up and swallow the evils. The ground being the lower and middle class.)

Kendrick Lamar earned the Best Album of the Year with just being genuine and talking to the people. The message on To Pimp A Butterfly will live on way past this generation and the ones to come. Kendrick stated on his Kunta’s Groove tour that it will be his first and last time performing TPAB. His producer Terrace Martin elaborated with Complex:

We didn’t do the album for pop culture. We did that album for people who have no way out. We did that album for people who can’t afford to go to the shows. We did an album for people who need hope. You don’t prostitute that.”

If you haven’t already, give To Pimp A Butterfly a serious listen and you too will understand why it earned the spot for Best Album of the Year.






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