By Krista DeJulio – Features Editor
Kendrick Lamar’s much-anticipated third album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” was leaked more than a week before its initial
release on March 23, but you won’t hear fans complaining. With the recent trend of surprise releases between Beyoncé and Drake, it actually was not that much of a surprise to wake up and read that Lamar’s newest album had been added to both iTunes and Spotify.
It had been nearly two years since fans had heard anything new from Lamar when he released single, “i,” in September of last year. The song has catchy lyrics, verses, and hooks and soon caught mainstream success when Lamar performed it on “Saturday Night Live” in November.
After waiting for new music, fans will not be disappointed by what they hear. The leak of the album was not intentional, like his other albums, but the accident has paid off for Lamar and his record label.
According to “The New York Times,” “Spotify announced on Tuesday afternoon that ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ racked up more streams on Monday — its first full day out— than any album has in a single day in the history of the service.”
“Butterfly” features a new style for Lamar. Between experimenting with more soulful background music and spoken-word poetry, it makes him more exposed than ever before. This album is more self-aware, political and spiritual than past albums.
The album features artists George Clinton, Snoop Dog and Rapsody, among others. Lamar owns West Coast rap and hip-hop and nothing can stand in his way. “To Pimp a Butterfly” is a 79-minute example of what rap represents. The album is personal and politically fused at the same time with the elements balancing each other out.
A day after the album was leaked, Kanye West tweeted, “Kendrick is an inspiration. Thank you for the vibrations and the spirit. Your meaning, message and execution are gifts to the world.”
“Butterfly” is fearless, angry, something we have not heard before. This album does not disappoint and will be listened to for generations.
As African-Americans continue to fight for their rights and political-fairness this album could not have been released
at a better time. In an interview with “The New York Times,” Lamar said, “It’s a record full of strength and courage and honesty,” but also “growth and acknowledgment and denial.” Lamar’s sophomore album, “good kid, m.A.A.d. city,” was certified platinum and it would be surprising if the same did not happen for “Butterfly.”
Standout tracks: “King Kunta,” “Hood Politics,” “You Ain’t Gonna Lie (Momma Said),” “Mortal Man.”