Artist: Kendrick Lamar Album: Section 80 Label: Top Dawg Entertainment Release Date: July 2, 2011 It was just last year when Compton emcee Kendrick Lamar rattled the industry with the much lauded mixtape Overly Dedicated. Although Kendrick has recorded independently several years prior under the alias K. Dot, it wasn’t until recently that he had broken into the industry on a broader scale due to the success of his aforementioned mixtape. Section 80 has already sold over 5,000 digital copies on iTunes in its first three days of sales with minimal mainstream media coverage which proves that he’s definitely an artist to look out for. However, as with any oft-anticipated debut, one question still looms in the air. Does it live up to the hype? In comparison to Overly Dedicated, Section 80 is much darker in its tone. With the laidback cut “Hol’ Up” being one of the few exceptions, listeners are often times forced to confront the harsh realities of Compton street dwellers. For a majority of the album, Kendrick raps as if he was perched on a palm tree perusing the Compton city streets with an eagle’s eye view. This is evident on tracks such as “No Make Up,” “Tammy’s Song,” and Keisha’s Song” which all chronicle the bitter plight women go through in a male dominant society. The most chilling out of all these, however, is “Keisha’s Song” which tells the tale of a young harlot struggling with her life as a prostitute. “Poe Man’s Blues,” “Kush and Corinthians,” and “Ronald Regan Era” address the problems young black males face in choosing between the street life and walking the straight and narrow path. ”Poe Man’s Blue’s” is a standout cut that is by far the brightest gem on the album. Despite it’s name, Kendrick refuses to let this track become a story of a poor man lamenting over his menial lifestyle. Although he addresses problems involving himself and his family, he still offers a slither of hope for those in much dire situations with lyrics like, “This for my n*****/ uncles/ 23 hours sending me pictures/ I want you/ to know that I’m so determined to blow that you hear the music I wrote/ hope it gets you off Death Row/ you came home to a pocket full of stones/ to match your PC phone/ then you went back in/ so when I touch the pen/ the pen is in my view/ I’ma get it right/ just so you…” On “Kush and Corinthians,” Kendrick shows the straight and narrow path can be a tight rope for many. In addition, he criticizes his hypocritical critics for their self righteousness . Indeed, he raps bluntly, “I’m dying inside/ I wonder if Zion is inside the heavens/ a condom, rollie, chain, a fat blunt and a mac 11/ is all I see in my life/ and they tell me to make it right/ but I’m right on the edge of everest and I might jump tonight/have you ever had known a saint that was taking sinner’s advice/well it’s probably you am I right/ if I’m wrong/you’re a fuckin lie.” Nonetheless, this album isn’t totally filled with viscous introspection, and for fans who want to voyage into an escapist’s haven, Kendrick gives them the opportunity on “A.D.H.D.” Here, fans are transmitted into a rap Neverland as Kendrick lays down a Krayzie Bone-esque flow over Sounwave’s trunk knocking beat. Needless to say, this is definitely a song worth bumping while cruising down the freeway, and if it wasn’t for two of the biggest speed bumps on the album,“The Spiteful Chant” and “Blow My High,”listeners still would be bobbing their head ceaselessly. While both aren’t terrible, it’s safe to say that neither is great as they both would’ve been better if treated as bonus tracks. Although one possibly could make the same argument for “Rigarmortis,” one can’t deny that he absolutely killed it past post mortem which make such shortcomings forgivable. In addition, Ab-Soul’s awe-inspiring performance on “Ab-Souls Outro” along with the revolutionary single “HiiiPower,” make certain that the master of ceremony is still in complete control. Now, some may be wondering if Section 80 surpasses the critically acclaimed mixtape Overly Dedicated, and to be perfectly honest, it does. Production wise both are virtually flawless, but in terms of concepts, Section 80 is more multi-faceted and deeper than its predecessor. In addition, it’s almost impossible to listen to this album and not be implored into an irresistible head nod. Indeed, what’s truly remarkable about this album is that he gives the listener an option of either being an escapist,as in “A.D.H.D.,” or realist, as in “HiiiPower.” This is by far one of the greatest albums to come out this year, and despite the album title, Section 80 fits in neither the lower echelon of Hip Hop or in the middle of rap’s Hooverville. Let’s face it – judging an album on a scale of 1 to 5 mics just won’t cut it — that’s more of a magazine thing. After constant office arguments regarding album ratings, we’ve decided to revise our album review process and fairly judge an artist’s work across multiple avenues. At iHipHop.com, we believe every album deserves an impartial review, taking into account both music and cultural relevance. Purchase Kendrick Lamar’s Section 80
Posts Tagged ‘Kendrick Lamar’
Update: Album Sales Week Of 6/28/11 (Beyonce, Big Sean, Curren$y, Dom Kennedy, Kendrick Lamar, Lil B + Industry News)
Despite her entire album leaking weeks before its street date, Beyonce topped the charts with her aptly titled fourth album, 4. Big Sean also made waves with his debut, Finally Famous. The G.O.O.D. Music artist moved over 85,000 units of the album featuring Wiz Khalifa, Chiddy Bang, and Lupe Fiasco. Curren$y charted with his Warner debut, Weekend At Burnie’s, the short album produced entirely by Monsta Beatz. It’s worth noting that two frontrunners of the new west movement, Dom Kennedy and Kendrick Lamar, were in contention for first week sales. What’s even more noteworthy is that Kendrick sold only 763 less copies than Dom even though his album came out four days later. Beyonce “4″ - 310,308 (23% digital) Big Sean “Finally Famous” - 87,085 (42% digital) [read review] Curren$y “Weekend At Burnie’s” – 22,506 (42% digital) [read review] Dom Kennedy “From The Westside, With Love II” – 6,016 (100% digital) [read review] Pete Rock & Smif-N-Wessun “Monumental” – 5,436 (36% digital) [read review] Kendrick Lamar “Section.80″ – 5,253 (100% digital) J. Cole “Workout” [Single] - 3,416 (100% digital) [listen] Shabazz Palaces “Black Up” – 2,917 (60% digital) [read review] Lil B “The BasedGod” “I’m Gay” - 1,674 (100% digital) Freddie Gibbs & Statik Selektah “Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away” 553 (two week total) (100% digital) [read review] As Sam reported yesterday, music sales are finally up this year. If you take a look at the sales figures above, you will notice that a substantial portion of album sales are coming at the hands of independent artists. Despite sales only rising 1% since 2004, this is excellent news and sign of prosperity for all of the ‘little guys’ out there that have been making great stride in spite of turmoil such as mergers and acquisitions among major record labels. It’s worth noting that digital sales have allowed the industry to grow, more so this year than ever. Last Sunday, Eminem’s Recovery became the first digital album to go platinum. Additionally, Beyonce’s latest album, 4, which was released on June 28th has already exceeded 70,000 copies digitally. That’s not to mention the crossover sensation Adele, who has averaged sales of 20,000 to 30,000 singles a week. Her album 21 has sold 2.4 million copies to date, 100,000 of which are digital. Margaret Brenneman has concluded that the ability to unbundle tracks has caused significant growth in the digital space. According to her, the Nielsen Soundscan report of 155.5 million albums sold thus far in 2011 fails to acknowledge the total amount of ‘track-equivalent’ albums sold. If you were to consider the standard album to be 10 individually downloaded tracks, the actual amount of albums sold so far in 2011 is 221.5 million. In the case of anti-piracy acts potentially overriding privacy, the Motion Picture Association of America along with several groups acting on behalf of independent record companies and filmmakers announced that internet service providers (ISPs) will begin enforcing new measures such as slowing load time to deter customers from illegally obtaining music and films. Among the Internet providers involved in the deal are AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner Cable. According to the announcement, the carriers involved in the agreement will begin alerting customers by email or other means as a warning for illegal activity. If such activity persists, the service provider will take greater measures to discourage piracy. However, it should be noted that “The companies took pains to say that the agreement did not oblige Internet providers to shut down a repeat offender’s account, and that the system of alerts was meant to be ’educational.’ But they noted that carriers would retain their right to cut off any user who violated their terms of service.” The New York Times went on to elaborate, “warnings escalate from simple e-mail notifications to, at levels 5 and 6, a set of ‘mitigation measures,’ like reduced connection speeds or a block on Web browsing. As the alerts progress, a customer must acknowledge that he understands the notice. Customers will also have the opportunity to contest the complaint.” What does this all mean? Most likely nothing will change as long as ISPs are unwilling to completely cut-off their customers due to piracy. It’s also unclear as to how exactly each service provider will monitor content and determine what material is pirated and what isn’t. Finally, ever thought about what goes into making an album profitable for an artist? In the video below, lawyer Martin Frascogna explain how all that glitters is not gold by breaking down How To Sell 1 Million Albums and Still Owe Your Label $500,000. This is definitely an interesting video if you have 15 minutes to set aside and watch it.
iHipHop Blog Team