CURRENTLY sitting atop the album chart having been unleashed a week early, Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar’s third studio album is already being hailed in many quarters as a stone-cold classic.
It’s a big claim - especially since he’s already delivered one in the shape of 2012’s Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - but even the harshest skeptic would struggle to deny the weight and scale that’s been lent to his follow-up.
Amid a stunning, eclectic production job, the 27-year-old’s lyrics and flow offer a scathing account of race relations, capitalism and various other ills of modern society, yet equally never shy from offering introverted bouts of self-examination.
It’s exhausting, uncompromising and implicitly brilliant - so much so that the sprawling 79-minute run-time barely even registers.
Provocative and by no means commercial, To Pimp a Butterfly’s success thus far has been quite remarkable; though even without sales this cathartic record would be a landmark worth celebrating. 9/10. AW