October 24, 2017

Kendrick Lamar - Section.80 (2011)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Contemporary Hip-Hop, Gangsta Rap
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© 2011 Top Dawg Entertainment
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth's proper debut album followed mixtapes dating back to 2003, when the Compton rapper was a teenager known as K-Dot. A portion of Section.80 is linked by recurring narrative threads, including a tragic story about a young woman sexually abused as a child and later slain as a sex worker. Introduced early in the album with "No Make-Up" ("Don't you know your imperfections is a wonderful blessing"), the empathically spun storyline clashes with demeaning terms the rapper frequently uses elsewhere, though he preemptively counteracts criticism by recognizing the existence of the bad and good, the "evil and spiritual" in him. Kendrick's conceptual aptitude is part of what makes him stand out, but he thrives most at relating defiance in dealing with his circumstances -- the effects of coming up in an environment with drugs and gangs as present as oxygen -- and bucking life expectancy. Another strength is the ruthless nature in which he goes after the competition, heard most potently in "Rigamortus." The "dope-ass instrumentation" of which Kendrick later boasts over Terrace Martin's tense and fiery post-bop is provided by a crew of roughly a dozen, most prominently Sounwave (on five tracks), who specializes in layering entrancing atmospheric touches with beats that alternately bump and crunch.

tags: kendrick lamar, section 80, section .80, section.80, 2011,

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