The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Kendrick Lamar finds the perfect recipe

good kid, m.A.A.d city”,  Kenderick Lamar’s latest album under Dr. Dre’s record label Aftermath, proves to be an album that cannot go unheard. Kendrick has found a way to tell a story with his template of speedy bars and off tempo rhyming schemes. The substance of the stories he tells, and how he tells them, backed by the incredible beats, allows the audience to relate on an individual level to his art.


Kendrick’s style plays an important role in hip-hop because we can see the birth of a middle ground since hip-hop’s death from the late 90’s. Hip-hop was initially the contemporary socio-economic story of blacks after the 70’s and 80’s. It was a medium through which blacks could practice freedom of speech, from the account of those subjected to marginalization, and institutional frustrations (especially against the police). Does the so-called, “War on drugs” ring a bell?


Today, the story of hip-hop has changed to a means of accessing money and attaining success for some rap artists. As a result, rap has become more of a commodity for monetization and not valued as art. With the rise in commercial rap, underground rap continues to tell stories of the marginalized, which has translated today to low-income minority groups. On the flip side, artists like The Roots, Common, Mos Def (now called Yassiin Bay ), Mayday, Nas, Blu, etc. have devoted their careers to providing a source of conscious music in the mainstream. Kendrick Lamar fits into the equation by providing something more than just a hit and less than the so-called conscious rapper.


In “Section.80”, Kendrick’s previous album, the song “Ab Souls Outro,” Kendrick says, “I’m not the next pop star. I’m not the next socially aware rapper. I am a human mother… being over dope-ass instrumentals.” This very concept has translated into this album, “good kid, m.A.A.d city.” Songs like, “Backseat Freestyle” and “Art of Peer Pressure” exemplify this concept.


 In the “Art of Peer Pressure”, Kendrick gives a first-hand account to the influence that drugs and friends have. “Usually I’m drug-free, but shit I’m with the homies.” In the beat-intensive  “Backseat Freestyle”, Kendrick makes his ambitious goals obvious, and the song’s instrumental serves as a perfect example as to how rap artists gain short-lived success in the music industry, by not placing emphasis on the content of their lyrics.


This album is the perfect recipe because m.A.A.d city” gives you a bit of social awareness along with some style within its powerful yet sometimes jazzy sound (e.g. the track: “Sing about me, I’m Dying of Thirst,” “Good kid”, and how can I forget “The Recipe” featuring Dr. Dre). Kendrick’s contributions to a middle ground may serve to reinforce rap’s longevity, and a future to a new age of M.C. More importantly, perhaps hip-hop music can now be regarded as more than just money, sex, drugs, and black music, but rather, money, sex, and drugs within an art form. Kendrick Lamar brings a good story, great instrumentals, and a dash of humor, and so I ask you now, was hip-hop ever dead? And what is the status of hip-hop today?

Other Artists to check out:

Ab-Soul, Curren$y, Oddisee, Apollo Brown, Mayday


Courtesy of Aftermath Records
Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Sebastian Rene, Photographer
Videographer/photographer fall 2012.

Comments (0)

By commenting, you give The Inquirer permission to quote, reprint or edit your words. Comments should be brief, have a positive or constructive tone, and stay on topic. If the commenter wants to bring something to The Inquirer’s attention, it should be relevant to the DVC community. Posts can politely disagree with The Inquirer or other commenters. Comments should not use abusive, threatening, offensive or vulgar language. They should not be personal attacks or celebrations of other people’s tragedies. They should not overtly or covertly contain commercial advertising. And they should not disrupt the forum. Editors may warn commenters or delete comments that violate this policy. Repeated violations may lead to a commenter being blocked. Public comments should not be anonymous or come from obviously fictitious accounts. To privately or anonymously bring something to the editors’ attention, contact them.
All The Inquirer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Activate Search
Kendrick Lamar finds the perfect recipe