From the moment I fell asleep on the Megabus and Overly Dedicated seeped into my subconscious I knew I came across something great and profound. A friend years ago played me F*** your ethnicity (Section .80 lead track) before I've ever heard of Kendrick Lamar but later when I heard his songs within the context of an album, that really made me a (super)fan. But seriously how can I pick just one Kendrick project. All of his projects are meticulously handcrafted and it would be criminal for me to choose just one.. right? Or am I'm just copping out by not picking one and shading the other projects. Probably a mix of both. I chose all his albums as number 1 because chronologically his albums show growth in confidence, style, bars (won't get you high as this), risk taking and creativity so it is difficult for me to separate his music. Just like the songs on his albums, his discography trajectory needs to be taken within context as well. The more popular he has gotten the more risk, musically, he has taken. In a sentimental way and I'm probably now just rambling now, he gives me hope that ppl don't have to blend in to be beloved and at the top of their respective game.... His music transcends. This is all hyperbole at this point and in my mind it's all justified. BUT if I had to pick one project to listen to on a loop to listen to forever (Extreme hypothetical to force me to choose) I would go with TPAB. Strictly because it is more than your standard prototypical hip-hop album. All genres of music are tapped to produce this jawn. It's ambition and scope is second to none and despite my love for his previous work, so TPAB would be my pick if I had to choose.
I felt like the bol that got his ear cut off by Peter and Jesus gave him a new one. The day I heard this, I heard things differently, I was plugged into a different frequency. Music didn't have to have words to be incredible. And music by white people can be legitimately great as well and not feel like cheap imitation (Stan take this line out if you want lol). From the day I heard this album I knew I stumbled upon an unicorn. This album stands the test of time and I still go back to listen to the greatness that is Snarky Puppy every single week. Six tracks of heat . Listen to them and Jesus will give you new ears.
Take Car....Nahhhhh I hate Drake (had to take my shot real quick). My real number 3 is Feel Good by The Internet. My number 3 spot is honestly fickle but today I'm riding with The Internet. Yes I know it's not as good as Ego Death, spare me the lecture Stan, but I don't care Feel Good is a favorite of mine. They will be big very soon so I'm hitching my wagon to these bols, but honestly they are already close to stardom. Grammy nominated and they have the ears and eyes of ALOT of big name artists. Feel Good is all vibes all the time. This album played on one of my greatest personality traits...chill. Feel Good is chill and laid back but the musicality and scope of the music will have your ears tuned in to every subtlety. I understand Ego Death is their crown jewel so far commercially but Feel Good is when they took their biggest leap and became a group to watch.
The Most Honorable of Mentions:
Bilal - Airtight's Revenge
Mick Jenkins - The Waters
The Roots - Undun
Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream
Hiatus Kaiyote - Choose Your Weapon
Lupe Fiasco - The Cool