My Gripe With “To Pimp A Butterfly”
So let’s get right to it. Yesterday, March 24th, I listened to “To Pimp A Butterfly“, from start to finish, for the 4th time. It was a struggle. Matter of fact, by the end of that super believable and intriguing exchange between he and 2Pac, I had to force myself to get through the rest of the album.
So, as I browsed my Facebook timeline, I couldn’t help but notice everyone taking a particular stance on how they felt about K Dot’s new project. Mostly negative, but the few that praised it, I couldn’t seem to sympathize with or even understand for that matter. So I joined the party. As I proceeded to post this as my status. “C’mon y’all…this Kendrick album is trash. This is coming from a Kendrick supporter since the Kendrick Lamar EP.” Harsh? somewhat, insensitive? Yeah, maybe, but genuine? Most definitely.
“Jiggy” as “A played out slang term from the mid to late 90’s meaning getting loose.” it seemed fitting to describe why this album just didn’t quite do it for me.
Being an avid Kendrick Lamar supporter for 6 years now, when his first EP released, I genuinely rooted for him to hit a home run with his sophomore project. On the “Kendrick Lamar EP” he provided us with absolute bangers like “P&P,” as well as “I Do This,” both tracks provide a form of jiggy. Now when I say jiggy, I don’t necessarily mean some wild turn up music you party to at the club, but music that gets you vibing, your soul moving, that head nodding. Nothing on “To Pimp A Butterfly” resembles that in the slightest.
As you would imagine, such a blunt statement about one of hip hop’s most sought after artist generated quite the response. The comments seemed about 50/50, in regards to 50% in compliance with my brash statement, and 50% in disagreement. One even took a shot at my “shitty ass articles,” and how I post about way worse rappers than Kendrick. Glad he got that one out.
Any-who, for the nay-sayers, they brought up some reasonable points. One mentioned that the content that Kendrick puts out is conceptually driven with intellectual overtones, and that it is all in all healthy for the culture. Extremely valid points with which I am in total agreement.
My tiff is that many artist’s such as Lupe Fiasco, have constantly produced songs that delivered strong messages on social issues WITHOUT sacrificing (in this case) the jiggy. “The Cool,” “The Instrumental,” and “American Terrorist” all integrated strong messages at the same time providing an essence of musicality that we can groove to. Of course you’re not going to make every one happy but these were just my two cents from a genuine (and disappointed) Kendrick Lamar fan.