July 02, 2019

Kendrick Lamar "Section.80" (July 2, 2011)

Compton emcee, Kendrick Lamar, had been fighting the good fight on the mixtape scene for a while, but it wasn’t until he got an unofficial endorsement from Dr. Dre on Big Boy’s radio show in L.A., that the rest of the industry began to take notice. From there, Lamar’s career would be built upon more than just critical acclaim, adding work on Dre’s Detox to his resume, as well as nabbing a spot on XXL‘s Freshman ’11 list. Section.80 is the “aftermath” of the events of the last six months. But Kendrick’s imminent celebrity has not distracted him from his craft, as Section.80 is an incredibly focused, heavy release. Comparable to albums like Outkast’s ATLiens, early releases from 2Pac, and more recently Drake’s Thank Me Later, the tone of the album is super mellowed out, with weighty backdrops for Kendrick’s words. Unapologetically Compton, Kendrick is the antithesis of Game, less concerned with name-dropping, more concerned with providing an accurate, honest representation of growing up in the hood, something that’s been missing from hip-hop for years. Fixated on the sociopolitical aspects of life in Compton during the 80′s, Kendrick is a product of his environment, with songs like “A.D.H.D.”, “Ab-Souls Outro”, and “Ronald Reagan Era” exploring the effect the crack era had on his generation. There’s a series of conflicting emotions here; the youthful “I-don’t-give-a-fuck” attitude and the more grounded, conscious aspects of his personality, both which manifest themselves equally throughout the album. Kendrick has a certain sensitivity to women, with many of his song’s providing Jungian explanations for their behaviors... (Listen below ... and keep reading).

Tracks like “Hol’ Up” and “Rigamortus” find him simply exercising numerous styles from his arsenal, despite any bitches or hoes that might get in the way of his mind-spray. Other times we catch some clear influence from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (as discovered by his hometown hero, Eazy E) on songs like “The Spiteful Chant”, with a spotlit verse from Schoolboy Q. It should also be noted that much of the success of this LP is owed to the production of Soundwave and THC, who handle the majority of the album’s heavy beats. But perhaps the best beat on the whole thing is owed to J. Cole, with his hypnotic sample on the project’s first single, “Hiiipower”. There’s no explanation or reasoning behind Kendrick’s duality, other than that he’s human – and fallible – just like the rest of us. As on “Ab-Soul’s Outro”, he puts it best, “So the next time I talk about money, hoes, clothes, god, and history in the same sentence/ just know I meant it, and you felt it / cause you too are searching for answers / I’m not the next pop star / I’m not the next socially aware rapper / I’m a human motherf#cking being, over dope ass instrumentation… Kendrick Lamar.” - HipHopSite.