Kendrick Lamar - "MAAD City"
(Good Kid, MAAD City; 2012)
Remember when Gza told a brief story on the back sleeve of Liquid Swords using the record's tracklisting sixteen years ago? Kendrick Lamar stitched together his debut album together in a similar fashion. Instead of prepositional phrases he employs interludes to the bridge songs that would otherwise bear absolutely no connection. The approach is closer to Masta Ace's Disposable Arts, than say, the Prince Paul's A Prince Among Thieves. It's context-driven rather than an all out narrative.

Unlike the aforementioned projects, Good Kid, MADD City doesn't offer much beyond its commendable attempt to deliver what's being praised as a complete body of work. Not that it matters. Reformed J Cole enthusiasts will hail it as the second coming of the Voynich manuscript, and it will probably stand as the most enticing piece of critbait until GBE figures out how to merge domestic violence, unlawful gun play, and sexual deviancy into a single mega-scandal. The better half of the better half of the title track is one of the few peaks featured on the convoluted album. Kendrick's grating yelps actually compliment the urgency in Soundwave's barbaric production.