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4.7 out of 5 stars
good kid, m.A.A.d city [Explicit][New Version]
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
It takes me several listens to really digest music. Initially, I thought some Cali reviewers were hyping the album up by calling it a classic. I got off work and after the 2nd listen all the way through, I was sold. This has everything you look for in an album with very limited recognized artists.

I appreciate this album because it brings real, everyday life experiences to wax. Kendrick brings a cool story line without compromising lyrics to concept and without forcing himself on beats. The lyrics, beats, and flow combine to make great music. You can tell he had fun making this album. It defintely has an unique 90s feel mixed with today's hip hop. You can play this album straight through. This is my favorite album of 2012, and 2012 has been a great year for Rap and Hip Hop.

This is great music.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Kendrick Lamar's debut effort Good Kid: M.A.A.D City [Deluxe Edition] materializes just at the right time to give West Coast rap some renewed notability. Kendrick Lamar is one today's most unique rappers. Left of center, he joins the likes of Drake and KiD CuDi, paving his own pathway. Good Kid m.A.A.d City is not only one of 2012's best rap albums but also one of the year's `crowning achievements.' Conceptually structured around its title - Kendrick is ultimately a good kid trapped in Compton, which is chucked full of vices within the sins/demons of a bad, rough city - Lamar details his early life experience.

"Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter's Daughter" opens with a prayer that ultimately alludes to the title of the album. Featuring soulful, old-school production by Tha Bizness, "Sherane a.k.a. Master Splinter's Daughter" finds Kendrick narratively lusting for a 'no-good' girl. Lamar's rhymes are agile and well conceived, eliminating need for a hook (there is none). As customary throughout the effort, an interlude (skit) foreshadows successive tracks, much like a novel.

On "B*tch, Don't Kill My Vibe," producer Sounwave's production incorporates a Boom Clap Bachelors sample ("Tiden Flyver"). Over a lush, west coast characteristic sound, Lamar is on autopilot, admitting his improprieties while also admonishing anyone to attempt to block his individuality as a person and artist. Lamar's vocal inflections and athletic flow help to make this cut another brilliant contribution.

"Backseat Freestyle" sports some of Hit-Boy's best production work. The Intro/outro is particularly notable by Lamar: "Martin had a dream, Martin had a dream, Kendrick have a dream..." Lamar's hook is equally confident, where he desires 'money,' 'power' and 'respect,' with more colorful terminology of course. Lamar remains relevant and uncompromising, managing themes of childish fodder (desiring material things like money) yet also lofty self-esteem and aspiration ('I can be the greatest').

"The Art of Peer Pressure" begins with production yielding a 'stoner' vibe. It changes upon the first verse, accelerating the tempo and opting for a less lush/lazy sound. Playing like the `tone poem' it is, unpredictability here parallels `unpredictability' of peer pressure. The outgoing interlude, confirms this notion, referencing drug-use. "Money Trees," produced by DJ Dahi, samples indie-pop band Beach House ("Silver Soul"). The cut continues to possess a characteristic west coast vibe. Jay Rock guests on verse three ("Dreams of me getting shaded under a money tree...") while Kendrick holds it down with numerous clever lines ("I f___ Sherane then went to tell my bros/then Usher Raymond "Let it Burn" came on...")

"Poetic Justice" eclipses the former two cuts, featuring Drake in top-notch form. Lushly shaped by Janet Jackson's "Any Time Any Place," Scoop's production is terrific. Anchored by a simple, though effective hook ("You can get it...and I know just, know just...what you want/poetic justice, put it in a song"), "Poetic Justice" is one of the album's strongest moments.

"good Kid" is produced by Pharrell Williams and features Chad Hugo (The Neptunes) on the hook. Soulful yet mysterious, as always, Kendrick continues to compel and lure in the audience. Companion track "m.A.A.d City" contrasts "good kid's" soulfulness in favor of harder production. Kendrick's rhymes are incredibly emotional while fellow Compton rapper MC Eiht delivers a compelling verse. Both "good Kid" and "m.A.A.d City" are `A' cuts, like the majority of good Kid m.A.A.d. City.

Breakthrough single "Swimming Pools (Drank)" finally appears, featuring exceptional production work from standout T-Minus. Kendrick Lamar manages to tie swimming pools and alcohol together incredibly, most notably on one of 2012's most memorable rap hooks: "...why you babysittin' only two or three shots? I'mma show you how to turn it up a notch/first you get a swimming pool full of liquor, then you dive in it/pool full of liquor, then you dive in it..." Despite its reprised greatness on the album, "Swimming Pools" may not even be the album's best song!

"Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" clocks in at an incredible twelve-plus minutes. The first portion ("Sing About Me") samples jazz guitarist Grant Green. "When the lights shut off/and it's my turn to settle down/my main concern, promise that you will sing about me..." Lamar sings on the hook, matching the mysterious, somber vibe of the cut. The next portion, "I'm Dying of Thirst," contrasts the production and opts for quicker tempo. Quite mysterious though captivating, "I'm Dying of Thirst" loses no momentum A notable skit closes the cut, in which Kendrick's grandmother urges Kendrick and friends they are `dying of thirst' in relation to their `faith.' Cleverly, the opening prayer from "Sherane" is placed in context.

"Real" proceeds, featuring lush and soulful production. Not the cream of the crop, "Real" is above average. Closing cut (standard edition) is third single "Compton," featuring Dr. Dre. Produced by Just Blaze, "Compton" samples Formula IV ("What's This World Coming To"). Kendrick and Dre cleverly split verses, ultimately summing up the sentiment of "Compton" via its hook: "Compton, Compton, ain't no city quite like mine..." The Deluxe Version includes additional cuts, most notably single "The Recipe," also featuring Dr. Dre.

As previously stated, Good Kid: M.A.A.D City [Deluxe Edition] as it is one of the year's very best albums, easily. Lamar ultimately conceives the next great concept album, which is no easy task. With no misses of note, good Kid m.A.A.d City is even better than advertised.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
i am a person of the age where i never expected in a million years to buy a 'rap' album. however, i watched the grammies this year and was totally blown away by the imagine dragons/kendrick lamar performance. to the extent that i purchased the cd's of each. since one must know the lyrics to appreciate in entirety, i'm in the process of so doing. an interesting aside is that as one living in the heart of chicago, i noted that mr. lamar is appearing at our "pitchfork" festival this very weekend. for one 3 times his age, to be impressed upon 1st listen, is really something.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Flawless top to bottom. I get the feeling 5-10 years from now this will be looked at as a Hip Hop Classic and will leave a footprint that will stand the test of time for years to come. This is a brilliant masterpiece. Any fan of Hip Hop should own this whether digital or physical.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I normally don't write reviews, and Amazon can vouch for that lol. This album however deserves my praise. This is what we think when we are listening to hip-hop. Not that 2 Chainz B.S. not to knock his hustle though. I know a lot of people who loves the swimming pool song but it doesn't stop there. This is a new classic. I love concept music and Kendrick has bars to fill every concept. I was hoping for some Dre music but it definitely wasn't needed at all. Do your self and buy this album and listen to each song in order and you will be hooked like me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2014
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Now, I am not the biggest hip-hop/rap aficionado, as I have only listened to the more mainstreamed artists such as Eminem, Jay-Z, and Kanye, however I have to say this is perhaps one of my favorite albums in that genre. Kendrick just takes the game to another level with both his lyrics and flow. It also helps that the samples and beats that are being used in the album just flow so well with Kendrick's verses. My personal favorite song the album would have to be "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst", partly because it is an lyrically impressive 12 minute song which builds up from beginning to end. I would totally recommend buying this item at full price if the sale price is not there anymore (at the time of purchase, the album was $3.99).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2014
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
seriously get it and listen to it. really deep album. however, this album focuses on Kendrick's violence-impregnated youth in Compton so if you're sensitive to the sounds of gunshots or discussions of gang activity be aware of that.

But it's a really inspired and good album with a lot of variety.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I am a huge hip-hop fan and I can't express enough how amazing this cd is. I tend to listen to Wu-Tang and Outkast most often but Kendrick is playing all day everyday in my car. His lyrics give me chills (literally) and his beats are second to none.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 23, 2012
Format: Audio CD
Just the album cover alone makes this a classic (so real he has a mini van on the deluxe cover to represent the struggle how deep is that not a phantom or lambo like most of deez wack mc's represent while they steady cover up no rap skills in exchange for fashion smh) Kendrick is true to his lyrics all the way down to his appearance. He's like the west coast version of j.cole both artist have more to offer to this hip hop game. Whole album is nice!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2014
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
The mark of an amazing album is when you can still listen to it straight through months later and not be tired of it but instead find something new to love about it each time.

I'll admit I was kind of iffy about buying this at first because I was never much of a Rap person before last year when my friend finally got me into the genre. And even after getting into the genre, I was still worried I may not really enjoy a full album of it. But as soon as I listened to the 1st single and a few other tracks from it, I decided I'd take the risk. And I never would want it any other way. This album is the ultimate workout album, as well as the ultimate "we're gonna be in this car for at least an hour" album.

It really tells a story of peer pressure/growing up in/rising from "a dark place of violence" as his mom puts it. You can't understand/appreciate the whole thing based on the 1st listen, or even the 50th listen. Each time you listen to it there's something new to discover/appreciate about it. Definitely one of the best albums in a long time. I recommend it to anyone.
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