Kendrick Lamar Pitchfork Reviews "d---." (9.2/10)

Started by Mike Tyson, Apr 18, 2017, in Kendrick Lamar Add to Reading List

  1. Mike Tyson
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    Mike Tyson big cuntry's alias

    Apr 18, 2017
    Life is one funny MFer, it’s true. “DUCKWORTH.,” the last song on Kendrick Lamar's fourth studio album d---., tells a winding story about Anthony from Compton and Ducky from Chicago, whose paths cross first over KFC biscuits, and again, 20 years later, when Ducky’s son records a song about the encounter for Anthony’s record label. It’s a precious origin story, the stuff of rock docs and hood DVDs, and it’s delivered with such precision, vivid detail, and masterful pacing that it can’t possibly be true. But it’s a tale too strange to be fiction, and too powerful not to believe in—just like its author. Kendrick Lamar has proven he’s a master storyteller, but he’s been saving his best plot twist this whole time, waiting until he was ready, or able, to pull it off.

    Storytelling has been Lamar’s greatest skill and most primary mission, to put into (lots of) words what it's like to grow up as he did—to articulate, in human terms, the intimate specifics of daily self-defense from your surroundings. Somehow, he’s gotten better. The raps on his fourth studio album d---. jab mercilessly like a sewing machine. His boyish nasal instrument is distinct and inimitable as it slithers up and down in pitch on “PRIDE.” Even when Lamar sounds like Eminem, or Drake, or OutKast, he sounds like himself, and he arguably outpaces them all as a writer. On “FEAR.,” he relays daily threats from his mom (“I’ll beat your a---, keep talking back/I’ll beat your a---, who bought you that? You stole it”) and from his neighbors (“I’ll probably die because I ain’t know Demarcus was snitching/I’ll probably die at these house parties f---ing with b------s”) over low-slung blues stirred by The Alchemist. Lamar’s recitation is so effortless you wonder where he breathes, or if he does at all.

    Kendrick is a relic of the mid-aughts rap blog era, where bedroom WordPress pages would post .zips of albums by amateurs. After years of such releases, Kendrick dropped a self-titled EP in 2009 that featured Big Pooh from Little Brother and elicited such Nah Right comments as “I like the beats on this” and “who da fuk?” Accolades swelled with each project; by 2011, he was considering signing with Dr. Dre; by 2013, he was playing SNL and touring with Kanye West. He came of age with his fans, and by 2015’s To p---- a Butterfly, he put to music their chest-clenched frustrations. Ever the curtain-puller, he released an album of untitled and unmastered drafts and grew his hair out. His short absence, even after lending Taylor Swift a verse, has been made to feel longer by his media shyness and a surging tide of new rappers shuttled out daily.

    Throughout it all, he’s avoided the boxed-in fates of predecessors like Nas and peers like J. Cole through an electric originality and curiosity. He mastered rap not for mastery’s sake, but to use it as a form, undeterred by slow-eared fans who’ll only highlight his “simplest lines.” His best new trick is repetition; it offsets his density and drills his ideas, as enthralling as a Sunday sermon or pre-fight chirp session. There have been few threats committed to record as sincere as, “Let somebody touch my mama, touch my sister, touch my woman/Touch my daddy, touch my niece, touch my nephew, touch my brother”—you tick down the list along with him, slot in your own lifelong bonds with loved ones. Such internal processing plays out through the album’s Greek chorus, via the singer Bēkon, who speaks in riddles of balance throughout: “Is it wickedness, is it weakness;” “Love’s gonna get you killed, but pride’s gonna be the death of you;” “It was always me versus the world/Until I found it’s me versus me.”

    d---. is best in these philosophical spaces. It lags slightly around the center, where the concept loosens: “LOYALTY.,” with Rihanna, has all the makings of a radio mainstay this summer, and is as low-stakes as the platform demands; it’s always fun to hear Rih rap, and her presence is its most interesting aspect. “LUST.” would sound better if it weren’t next to an ear-worm as tender as “LOVE.,” which slow-dances between Zacari falsettos and Lamar’s sheepish read of the girl who fills him up. Between the two tracks, it’s easy to tell which force is tugging at him harder.

    The record’s few lulls succumb to what surrounds them. The springboard bounce of “HUMBLE.,” the war chant of “DNA.,” and hot steel of “---.” show Kendrick in his element, fast and lucid, like Eazy-E with college credits and Mike WiLL beats. The production is taut and clean, but schizophrenic, often splicing two or three loops into a track and swaying between tempos, closer in kin to good kid’s siren-synths than Butterfly’s brass solos. If he was “black as the moon” on his last album, he’s an “Israelite” here, refusing to identify himself by the shade of his skin but fluent in the contents of his D.N.A. Butterfly floated along to soften its scathing stance—”We hate po-po” sounds better over a smooth saxophone—but with so many “wack artists” in play, what’s the reward for upliftment? Kendrick is so alone at his altitude that when he acknowledges Fox News, let alone Donald Trump, it feels like a favor to them both.

    Still, the album exists for “DUCKWORTH.” It’s the final piece of the TDE puzzle, a homegrown label of Compton natives that happened to deliver the best rapper of his generation. If we’re to believe the song’s last gunshot—and its seamless loop back to track one—much of d---. is written from the perspective of a Kendrick Lamar who grew up without a father to guide him away from the sinful temptations outside his home. He bobs in and out of this perspective, but the repeated pledges to loyalty and martyrdom evoke the life and mind of a young g--- member who carries his neighborhood flag because no one’s proved to him that he shouldn’t. These choices, Lamar suggests, aren’t pre-determined or innate, but in constant dialogue with and in reaction to their surrounding circumstances. They aren’t above or beneath anyone who can hear his voice. Success and failure choose their subjects at their whim; we’re as grateful as Kendrick for his fate.


    http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/23147-d---/?mbid=social_twitter
     
    May 17, 2022
  2. Juan Pablo
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    Apr 18, 2017
    d---. Still no second album.
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. mow
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    mow Red Panda Nation

    Apr 18, 2017
    d---
     
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  4. Mike Tyson
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    Mike Tyson big cuntry's alias

    Apr 18, 2017
    sups @Poohdini

    double standards lmao
     
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  5. Koolo
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    Koolo SAS IS THE NEW KANYE

    Apr 18, 2017
    Too low
     
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  6. Koolo
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    Koolo SAS IS THE NEW KANYE

    Apr 18, 2017
    But they have good point. Tho love sounds like Drake song it has a clear Kendrick sound
     
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  7. Final
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    Final

    Apr 18, 2017
    Just today I said LOVE was Kendrick version of Drake music
    I said that he does it better and I got shat on
    I guess if Pitchfork says it you have no choice but to s--- my d-ck :loya:
    f---ing Drake stans make me sick :legend:
    I don't like talking about music cause I get disregarded by the bandwagoners on this site :wormmm:
    You all know who you are :dp:
    I'm not gonna name any names :fa----:
    d--- is better than More Life:loyaaa:
    Accept it and move on :final:
     
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  8. Fitzy
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    Fitzy New Era

    Apr 18, 2017
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Brno
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    Apr 18, 2017
    It looks like p4k doesn't hold much weight anymore

    the metacritic score is still 99/100 with the p4k 9.2 added.
     
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  10. Jakey
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    Jakey You Reckon

    Apr 18, 2017
    krazy
     
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  11. Brno
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    Apr 18, 2017
     
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  12. Mike Tyson
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    Mike Tyson big cuntry's alias

    Apr 18, 2017
    no doubt but when drake delves in to other sounds, it's still always drake too.

    i think kendrick is a superior artist (and i agree with the review that he's a better writer than drake, eminem, and maybe andre as well) but i just feel like this is a baseless criticism. kendrick doesn't lose points for making a drake-inspired song with LOVE., drake doesn't lose points for making a chief keef-inspired song with still here to me.

    the only time it bothers me is when it's used for a song like tory lanez - LA confidential



    this is so blatantly a miguel song that if it was played for me in chipmunk, i would 100% say it's miguel singing (and i'm a miguel stan).

    tl;dr - kendrick gets a pass for borrowing from other artists on this because it's still always kendrick. but the same is true for drake. at least for me.
     
    May 17, 2022
  13. Mike Tyson
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    Mike Tyson big cuntry's alias

    Apr 18, 2017
    i don't think he does better, but he does very, very good. LOVE. is my favourite song on the album, i wonder why lol

    but if we're saying he does better than drake at this, that's a stretch. i'd accept that he does as good as drake (although it's not a great discussion to have based on just one song), but thing is drake does drake the best (obviously). teenage fever is a comparable imo.

    both are 10/10 songs to me. hats off to kendrick for showing he has this type of range in him. love this song.
     
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  14. Brno
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    Apr 18, 2017
    Pride is my favorite on the album, but Love is close 2nd for me.
     
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  15. Mike Tyson
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    Mike Tyson big cuntry's alias

    Apr 18, 2017
    GOD. is really good too, but i'm just lite skin so i gotta go with any simp anthem as a favourite lmao

    and duckworth. is biggie re-incarnated

    this album is wild. man took inspiration from all his favourite artists and crafted a kendrick album.
     
    May 17, 2022
  16. Brno
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    Apr 18, 2017
    This album is like an Aquemini - Love The Below all mixed in one project :sweatt:
     
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  17. Mike Tyson
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    Mike Tyson big cuntry's alias

    Apr 18, 2017
    my only criticism for d---. is that he doesn't really take any artistic risks on this jawn. which isn't a bad thing, rappers don't need to re-invent the wheel to make a good project. but that's literally the only thing i can complain about.

    TPAB, as much as I hate it, was a complete departure from what we expected from kendrick. on d---. he builds off the lead single, and delves in to a variety of sounds throughout, but there is nothing on here we haven't already heard from kendrick (or his peers) already.

    but the execution is just astounding.

    9.2 is a fair score. i would personally rate this album a 9/10, exactly what I give hndrxx.

    however hndrxx still gets the edge as AOTY for me, but only by a hair. it's hndrxx and d---. fighting for top spot in 2017 right now, and i'm not mad at anyone who chooses either.
     
    May 17, 2022
  18. Final
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    Final

    Apr 18, 2017
    Yea Drake has mastered his own sound.. he can spit out hits like that as if it's nothing. It's just crazy that Kendrick can do something so good and similar and do it with such finesse. Like imagine a whole album of Drake-type Kendrick tunes. I feel like he would top the charts more than Drake does because it's a "new" sound from him. Every time I hear LOVE all I can picture is it being played in a strip club nightly
     
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  19. Fitzy
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    Fitzy New Era

    Apr 18, 2017
    but can i get an explanation on how people are supposed to "articulate in human terms" as opposed to other terms?

    @Mike Tyson
     
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  20. Mike Tyson
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    Mike Tyson big cuntry's alias

    Apr 18, 2017
    such a fantastic song.

    if he found a balance between songs like b---- don't k--- my vibe (which have a pop element, but in a way only kendrick and andre 3k can do) and more radio friendly s--- like love., it would be the best album of all time to me.

    either way, kendrick has a (future) classic.

    so impressed with this album and i haven't even had time to really digest it the way i want with finals looming.
     
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