Kendrick: Good Kid Maad City or TPAB?

  • Which is the better album in your opinion? My argument is that music at its best is not an intellectual exercise; it's an experience of the Artist's truth. It can make you think, but more importantly it should move you.

    For that reason I think Good Kid Maad City is a better album. It presents Kendrick's world as he experienced it without agenda. I respect TPAB and it's obviously a great album, but I think it was more cerebral and less raw than GKMC. There were a lot of times throughout listening to the album where I thought the music & lyrics were crowded and hard to listen to. I think TPAB is an example of where great technical ability - both in the lyricism and production - can get in the way of pure creative expression and partly drown out the life of a song. Overall though, 2 of the best Hip Hop Albums of this generation. What do you think?



  • I much prefer To Pimp A Butterfly,

    good. kid mAAd city for me feels forced, all the tracks with catchy hooks don't really say anything of substance between each chorus for the most part, the better known songs are essentially lounge music with vague wide appealing themes. While Sing About Me, I'm Dying From Thirst is in my opinion his best track in his career, a lot of the rest of the album never comes close to it in terms of form and substance.

    I've never felt that Kendrick has spit something so complex that it completely went over my head, in fact, I think that's his thing and why his bars are so long winded.

    The more TPAB-esque tracks on good kid fall flat as the instrumentals don't support the long winded narrative Kendrick is presenting to us, which he knows, in the decision to put a hard beat at the beginning half of m.A.A.d city and more times than not people turn the track off after the beat switch. The soul beats on TPAB are far more dynamic and give the tracks a new type of dynamic throughout.

    Look at the decision to put the tracks Complexion and Blacker The Berry next to each other with themes of hypocrisy and schizophrenia running throughout them, this alone makes TPAB a better album to me, focused in its agenda.

  • This is a tough debate for me because I love both albums for completely different reasons. GKMC never feels "forced" to me - on the contrary, it feels extraordinarily genuine and concise. Every record fits tightly into the narrative, even singles like "Poetic Justice" and "Swimming Pools (Drank)" which still rides smoothly within the theme of the album. It plays like an early 90s West Coast movie, taking time out for parties and women as a natural part of growing up in that environment.

    TPAB is a crazy experiment in blending acid jazz with hip hop and it works brilliantly. At times it's a more challenging listen, but it's success can't be denied. It feels like the chaotic black experience in America. It's a far bigger undertaking than GKMC, which feels more intimate and personal. TPAB is Kendrick's grand statement.

    Personally, although I love them both, I've gotta go with GKMC. It feels like a day in the life of young Kendrick and the whole album is a smooth ride from start to finish.

  • @Kenny "It plays like an early 90's west coast movie" Ya definitely felt more like a movie where TPAB sounded more like a stage play.

    I thought TPAB got a little preachy too, like on "How Much a Dollar Cost." And the voice and cadences on tracks like "For Free" and "U" were almost unlistenable to me.

    @Vmmon That's interesting that you say GKMC sounded forced, because that's exactly what I thought about parts of TPAB. It sounded like TPAB was written to try and be "poetry," which made it come off wordy and academic, where GKMC was more comfortable just bein what it was and speakin on what it saw, which made it poetic.

    It would be sick to see Kendrick find a middle ground between the two albums; I think if he did that he could make something that would eclipse both GKMC and TPAB.

  • To Pimp A Butterfly is a full realization of what he hinted at with the production and songwriting on Maad City. Both amazing releases. I can't even imagine what the next fully fleshed out release will be like.

  • Easily GKMC. Not even remotely close. GKMC is top 5 OAT. TPAB was so sonically displeasing, I couldnt even get through the whole record.

  • good kid easy to me but idk

  • @OvOarab @WackoWizard Ya I go back and listen to GKMC all the time; after listening to TPAB enough times to try and understand it the only songs I really go back to are King Kunta and Alright, every ooonnnce in awhile Blacker the Berry

  • @Sol_EQ Assassin (the dancehall guy) was unbelievable on The Blacker The Berry. He made that shit semi-listenable. But the only song I really ever listen to from TPAB is You Aint Gotta Lie.

    Whole album was made for forums. No one listen to that shit irl.

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