Kendrick Lamar‘s album released unexpectedly on Sunday night, originally scheduled for March 23.he album follows “good kid, m. A. A. d. city” which came out in 2012.
The follow-up album titled “To Pimp A Butterfly” addresses a lot of the same issues the previous album did in a more outward approach, bringing up flaws concerning our political system, police violence and racism. The album follows “good kid, m. A. A. d. city” which came out in 2012.
In an interview with the artist for the New York Times, Joe Coscarelli described Kendrick Lamar’s transition saying, “Rather than relief, his escape from Compton has brought only more opportunities for sin and self-doubt, an internal chaos reflected not only in Mr. Lamar’s intricate stories but also in vigorous jazz- and funk-inflected production that builds on the smoother West Coast sounds of his debut.”
Recognizing that younger generations live by his music, Lamar said “I’m the closest thing to a preacher that they have”. He added that those “really living” in the streets don’t want to hear music about murder and drugs because “They want to get away from that.”
On the track “Hood Politics”, the artist compares politicians to gang members saying “Demo-Crips and Re-Blood-icans”, and therefore bridging the gap “from Compton to Congress.”
It’s this idea that is represented on the album cover. The black and white image by French photographer Denis Rouvre shows shirtless black men and boys of all ages holding 40’s and stacks of cash with the White House as the backdrop. A dead judge also lies at the front of this portrait. Lamar says the cover represents “taking the same things that people call bad and bringing them with me to the next level, whether it’s around the world or to the Grammys or the White House. You can’t change where I come from or who I care about.”
The cover artwork and even title of “To Pimp A Butterfly” could be interpreted many different ways.
Offering a forewarning to the album Kendrick Lamar says, “I want you to get angry – I want you to get happy. I want you to feel disgusted. I want you to feel uncomfortable.”