Kendrick Lamar – Section.80 (Review)

Kendrick Lamar is building something cult-like. He’s attempting to breed this current generation to ensure they are aware of the world around them as well as spreading the message that they should be doing exactly what they want to do.

He doesn’t rap just to rap. He took his time to release Section.80, and for the impatient fans out there, it was for a good reason.

While addressing several of his sociological viewpoints, the project is really about awareness. Kendrick Lamar is about raising a collective and a group of many individuals who understand what and who runs the world. Along with Odd Future, I can tell you one thing: the new west coast is currently winning.

With Section.80, he did all things right within his control from the small details to big aspects. With cover art that dropped a few days before the release of the project, it was reminiscent of the viral bank of images on Tumblr.

As far as the music goes, the tape takes a natural progression and every song is its own entity. It’s not like most albums that some other musicians release where they hope that two or three singles would carry the project. All of the songs play an integral part on Section.80.

A comparison that could be drawn is that Section.80 is an updated version of those protests in America’s past, except a lot more intimate and more intellectual than present day music is accustomed to. Kendrick Lamar has strong values and views on the world and they bleed through the speakers and into your brain synapses.

Also, the beat selection is wildly original, as he kept his in-house production team — it keeps the listener’s attention throughout. The instrumentation is accompanied by Lamar’s often scatty rapping with either choppy lines that go with the slower drums or spitting bar-after-bar without taking a single breath. The hooks really help the songs as well. Colin Munroe and Ab-Soul really come through for this project.

If certain songs absolutely needed to be highlighted they would be “HiiiPower,” “Fuck Your Ethnicity,” and “Rigamortus.” When HiiiPower was released, it hit the internet pretty hard showing that it was more than a song but rather a lifestyle. That’s his motto, lifestyle and the anchor to Section.80. “Fuck Your Ethnicity” immediately sets the mood right off of the bat for the entire album. “Rigamortus” might be the song that steals the show from a “rap standpoint” with its stripped down and jazzy beat to its lyricism.

But choosing a few songs to sample the album doesn’t give it justice whatsoever. Listening to this album several times over the weekend, there’s still much more to soak in. The songs “No Make-Up (Her Vice),” “Tammy’s Song (Her Evils),” “Poe Mans Dreams (His Vice),” and “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain)” make me ask more and more questions. Only more listens around will clear up the picture of whether he’s making bigger assumptions of the connection of men and women growing up in society or other small scale relationships correlating to the big picture. Those are just conjecture but all I know is that not too many hip-hop albums have that kind of power to make me think about things of that depth.

Although I personally don’t stand behind some of his viewpoints, I can support that he has an overarching message that’s bigger than himself.

The whole album should be listened in order in its entirety. It’s easily the best album of the year from the standpoint of production, lyricism, message, honesty and passion. In 2011, no one in rap’s elite has come close to what Section.80 offers.

Kendrick Lamar: Section.80 rating – 9.1/10.0

- John Liwag

Posted by zwalkk

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