You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Album Review | HIP-HOP

Kendrick Lamar, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’

The cover of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’

The cover of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’

The Compton MC’s long-awaited major label debut is a breakthrough, as he both resurrects and reinvents West Coast hip-hop. Instead of fantasies of stacks and strippers, Lamar spins tales of everyday life with telling details. Over diverse beats he captures the heat of the street and the inner lives of people trying to survive these trying times. He’s preoccupied with money and power, but he recognizes that they come with responsibilities. He leaves the nihilism of classic West Coast hip-hop behind but retains much of its impact and contradictions (“m.A.A.d city”). This is very much an LA record, as “The Art of Peer Pressure” evokes the sights and feel of the city while Jay Rock, Dr. Dre (Lamar’s mentor), and veteran MC Eiht all make contributions. Lamar displays empathy as well as a sense of humor (“Backseat Freestyle”). The centerpiece is the 12-minute meditation on mortality and legacy, “Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst,” which transcends mainstream hip-hop. A triumph. (Out now)

ESSENTIAL “Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst”

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.