Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - Kendrick Lamar
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 566 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 566

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  1. Oct 22, 2012
    10
    Absolutely an instant classic. Every song has incredible production. Kendrick's lyrics are some of the best ever heard on a hip hop album, and it is amazing how his album follows a story line, often resulting in songs that have unique beat changes or skits in them. Overall this really is a 10/10 album, an instant classic, and the official crowning of a new king of hip hop. King Kendrick Lamar.
  2. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    By contemporary standards, this album was almost beyond reproach. Just a note - if you thought that (with regard to content) "Swimming Pools" was like "every other rap song," you clearly missed the point of the record. In fact, if somebody suggested that it diametrically opposed "every other rap song" about drinking, it'd be a more valid (yet still flawed) statement. If you don't see how the song coheres to the larger narrative of the album, you clearly didn't get it conceptually. Expand
  3. Oct 22, 2012
    10
    Absolutely an instant classic. Every song has incredible production. Kendrick's lyrics are some of the best ever heard on a hip hop album, and it is amazing how his album follows a story line, often resulting in songs that have unique beat changes or skits in them. Overall this really is a 10/10 album, an instant classic, and the official crowning of a new king of hip hop. King Kendrick Lamar.
  4. Oct 22, 2012
    10
    Whether it's story-telling, production, lyrics or just rapping skill, this album delivers it all. After 'section.80', its very clear that Kendrick's ability to bring together a concept over the course of an album is something he excels at. This album goes even further: every track is relevant to the story-line and thought provoking, even the skits are incredibly interesting, something rare in hip hop. Listening to this album from start to finish resembles a film, hence the 'A short film by Kendrick Lamar' on the cover. What's truly brilliant is that this album ticks all the boxes without sacrificing anything, and every feature, even the Drake one, was superbly done and fits the albums themes and story perfectly. It's difficult to find a fault in this album. A rare classic in an era where the direction of hip hop is unclear, Kendrick has definitely stamped his foot as the new king of hip hop. Its now up to the listeners to crown him. 10/10. Expand
  5. Oct 25, 2012
    10
    Dear Zeus, I don't normally write reviews, but for you I'll make an exception. You completely missed the point. I hope one day you wake up and understand the concept of a story. Till then, enjoy your ignorance. It's a blessing. To everybody else, every beat, lyric, and guest appearance is absolutely necessary to complete the "film". This is in every respect a classic hip hop album. I'm not a hip hop guy, but everyone should listen to this album. You won't regret it. But make sure you don't forget that every once in a while, a real artist makes a piece that needs to appreciated as a whole. Some of the songs stand out as odd if not appreciated as part of quite a complex plot.
    Listen with open ears...
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  6. Oct 25, 2012
    5
    I really don't understand the hype, I've listened to it all the way through twice, and nothing really jumped out at me. The lead single "Swimming Pools (Drank)" was actually quite bad with the lyrics being nothing but what we've heard in nearly every other rap song ever, and some parts (including the hook) was really annoying. Luckily this isn't the case with all the songs, such as "m.A.A.d city" and "Compton". But the album comes off as mostly boring with lyrics that are clever but mostly unoriginal. If you like it, more power to you, but it really isn't as good of an album as everyone is raging about. Section.80 was better. Expand
  7. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    Album of the year....anyone else agree?
  8. Oct 28, 2012
    7
    I'm on the same boat as Dr_Ubersexy... The production on the album is top quality, but is that a good enough reason to give it a 10/10? it seems to be... Critics are Loving this album and I honestly don't understand it at all, Is Dr. Dre threatening to have them " taken care of" if they don't be nice? ... It IS different in tone to most modern R & B albums, and there are some decent lyrics however.. but as I say, if were giving things good reviews for production now why not call Skrillex the new Elvis Presley or hey.. lets call Transformers 3 the modern Godfather, this album is no more than a 7 from me, narrowly escaping 6 because I'm digging the lyrics. Expand
  9. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    To be completely honest, this is the best rap album, possibly even any genre album, of this year. I understand that this is my opinion, however I am not alone on this. Based on the reviews I've read, every single one of the negative reviews had a blatant disregard for the concept of the album. If you listen to the story that the album tells, it all makes perfect sense. Even the braggadocios "Backseat Freestyle" fit in the context of the album and is tied in with the previous skit at the end of **** Don't Kill My Vibe." These skits do a fantastic job at making all of the songs relevant and manage to be quite humorous and entertaining at the same time. I'm not going to go over every song individually, but I will say that whether you listen to the album as a whole or if you listen to certain songs on their own, they are all still great songs. Overall, this album can be played through without skipping any tracks (even the Deluxe edition), has a nice concept, great lyrics, impeccable production (even though Dr. Dre did not actually produce any of the songs, you can still here his influence and his tweaks on the album), the album is incredibly cohesive, and finally, what I rate albums most on, I had a wonderful listening experience. Personally, I enjoyed this album just a little bit more than Section.80, however I love both projects from Kendrick. There's really not much more to say, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the album. As you may imagine, this album is a 10/10 for me. Simply an amazing album overall. I would recommend that everyone go out and support Kendrick as he and his Black Hippy conglomerates alongside with some of their other contemporaries such as Joey Bada$$'s Pro Era crew and even Odd Future and the A$AP Mob are bringing a refreshing new life to hip hop that we can really use right now. Expand
  10. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    This is the work of a true artist. This album is pieced together from one main theme: A day in the life of what seems to be 17 year old Kendrick. Kendrick does a great job of setting the tone of each songs with his unique voice. Backseat Freestyle is probably the best example of Kendrick putting himself into the mindset he once had as a kid who just graduated high school. The skits are incredibly interesting even after countless times of hearing them. The skits bring the album to the level where it could almost be considered a concept album. This is a great rap album, my favorite of the year, and probably one of my favorites of the year in general. Expand
  11. N10
    Nov 18, 2012
    10
    Surely he is the king of west coast right now and a big name in hip hop, overall just something music lovers would appreciate, and this album surely know it's roots, he did a big favor to todays hip hop, an instant classic it is with production and storytelling on-point, and as a lyricist he's great, fantastic, he's on a league that not many artists are. Kendrick has a nice flow and a really interesting, thought-provoking and a heart warming conecpt. "good kid, m.A.A.d city" is incredible, and according to me the best hip hop album this year and the year's best with Frank Ocean's "channel ORANGE". The album is a favourite, one of my favourite hip hop albums of all time's, yes I really said it, one of the best for sure, have played this over a hundred time's since the release of it!
    K. Dot, Kendrick Lamar, thanks for making this, thank you, I really appreciate this.
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  12. Dec 10, 2012
    8
    I, like so many other people, I waited a long time the release of this album and I wasn't disappointed. Kendrick Lamar will become one of the godfathers of hip-hop thanks to his talent and what he has to say. Speaking of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City you can say that is a mix of excellent production (Hit-Boy, Just Blaze) and large collaborations like Drake, Dr. Dre and MC Eiht. Kendrick Lamar in his lyrics speak a lot about economic disenfranchisement, gang violence, and downtrodden women but does so with a style so original, to be envied by Jay-Z. The West Coast Hip-Hop is reborn, Brooklyn attention. Expand
  13. Nov 18, 2012
    10
    With this album, Kendrick Lamar not only solidifies himself as a true lyricist, but he proves he can take on the difficult task of delivering a concept album and brings together the best of both worlds. The album plays like a real movie going into the life of a good kid lost in a place where violence, drugs and lust is everywhere. Showing you the highs and lows he goes through on this audio tour of Compton. Section.80 was my favorite rap album last year. And yet somehow, some way the major label debut was actually better then the indie album. A feet that as of recent I haven't seen yet especially with someone who had their hype built up as big as Kendrick's hype was. Congrats to Kendrick for the success he's been receiving. He deserves it. #HiiiPoWeR Expand
  14. Oct 31, 2012
    10
    An album to change a whole music genre. Much like Nas' Illmatic, it transcends all the influences from his favorite artists and simply creatively outdoes all of their releases in the last 10 years. By the way these rappers include, Jay-Z, Tupac, Eminem, Biggie and Nas.
  15. Jan 17, 2013
    10
    @Eminem You realize that the last statement in your review is completely flawed, besides, Tupac and Biggie haven't even made an album in the last 10 years.... But the album is fantastic, the way Kendrick tells his story is truly brilliant and original, best album of the year hands down and an instant classic.
  16. Oct 22, 2012
    10
    A instant classic hands down. Not one song should be passed over a fantastic start to Kendrick's hopefully long career. Rap album of the year so far!!!!
  17. Dec 18, 2012
    6
    Section 80 is better............
  18. Apr 14, 2013
    4
    Alright, critically over-rated. DECENT HIP-HOP. There are a few good tracks on here but many of them fall short for me. a 4 sounds pretty good. It's better than most hip-hop albums out there.
  19. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    An instant classic, Kendrick Lamar has delivered one of the finest albums to come out of 2012. Immaculate production and spectacular vision as far as contemporary rap goes. The album is nearly flawless with the exception of "Compton" and "Backseat Freestyle." Standouts include, **** don't Kill My Vibe", "The Art of Peer Pressure," "Poetic Justice," "Money Trees," and "Sing About Me I'm Dying Of Thirst." A must have! Expand
  20. Jun 14, 2013
    6
    I'm sure Kendrick Lamar has a really interesting story to tell, but to me he's just not all that compelling. I get it, it's a concept album...I just don't care for the concept
  21. Oct 14, 2013
    0
    this album is the most overrated album of all time, yes the production was good but i think people are the whole story board of the album overshadow the music itself. personally i prefer section 80. gkmc heavily influence by Andre 3000
  22. Oct 22, 2012
    8
    To give some perspective, Section.80 is easily one my 2011 favourites. I think Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is very good hip hop, but I don't think it matches or happens upon anything he didn't already conquer with his last, aside from mainstream appeal. Which is fantastic - if anyone deserves it, he does. I would say that a 10 here is irresponsible, because we've heard better from Lamar and can expect to hear much more of the same. Everybody's rushing to be the first to call this an instant classic... I'm content with calling it a great rap album by an inevitably classic artist. Expand
  23. Oct 25, 2012
    10
    Objectively I cannot give this a 10, as it needs to pass the test of time to be truly deemed a "classic". I will however do it this time, simply because we've waited for so long for a record like this in hip-hop. After years of enduring horrific trends and artists, finally we receive a concept album with great productions, stellar guest verses, an imaginative and brightly lit lyrical world of violence, religion, shame, remorse, desire and struggle. Good Kid, Maad City is not only the best debut album in the last 5 years (at least), it's not only the most polished release in the genre this year, but it just might be the spark that hip-hop needs to reinvent itself and bring the glory days back. From everyone that truly loves this music, a sincere 'Thank You' should go out to Kendrick and the crew around this album for giving us such a jewel. Expand
  24. Dec 10, 2012
    10
    if an album deserves a perfect rating, this is one of those rare occasions. good kid, maad city not only manages to transcend the rap genre through stylistic rhythm, beautiful cadence and witty lyricism, but successfully weaves a competent storyline into its narrative. each and every song is brilliant, featuring an insight into kendrick's childhood through skits and dialogue which bring realism to the sequences and actually give the impression that you are an outside viewer into his life for a brief period of time.

    the production throughout the album is brilliant in the way that it evolves throughout the songs, notably in
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  25. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    Simply put, Kendrick Lamar hit a grand slam. Although he is as an artist equipped with a style that hearkens back to the halcyon days of the Golden Age, Lamar chose to embrace rap's Zeitgeist, and not deride it. Indeed, he embedded old-school soul within the framework of new-school rap, creating a sound that is both nostalgic and progressive. To the casual consumer of hip-hop (including some contrarian users who've chosen to review this record), Lamar's album may appear to be "nothing special;" some tracks might even sound tenuously constructed. But that's missing the narrative -- of a child's evolution in the powder keg of Compton, trying to remain in a state of equilibrium as he's tugged in several directions by conflicting forces (including family, friends, a love interest and the ubiquitous presence of gang counter-culture). In fact, the songs are all interconnected; for instance, "Backstreet Freestyle" was a part of the overarching story of "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City," depicting a young Kendrick spitting "freestyles" with the same homies that push him toward a transgressive lifestyle in "The Art of Peer Pressure." As a whole, this album was a tour de force. Expand
  26. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    DOPE!! good kid, m.A.A.d city is not only one of the best rap albums of the year, but its also one of the best albums of all time in music. This album tells the story of Kendrick growing up in Compton. Lyrics were on point and the production is stellar. I love almost every track on this album. The only song I would've left off the album would be Poetic Justice ft Drake because that song, I feel like, doesn't belong on this album and I also dislike Drake. One thing I was disappointed in was that Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul wasn't on the album, though I can live with that. This is a future classic that deserves a 10. Expand
  27. Jun 19, 2013
    10
    I wasn't sold on Kendrick Lamar, however after listening to this concept album, I am not a believer. To be able to listen to an album from front to back anymore is rare. This is one of those albums. Bonus cuts could have been better, but skits were properly placed and this album worked well. Instant classic
  28. Nov 4, 2012
    10
    This is a very important album. Not many artists have the ability to blend commercial appeal and artistic vision - early Eminem, most 90's rappers, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Nas (to a degree). Otherwise, most great hip-hop stays underground and under-appreciated. Kendrick is one of the few new rappers who has managed to break this barrier, with "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" - a phenomenal album that sounds amazingly cohesive and tells a story that puts most concept albums to shame. Not only does Kendrick manage to make his music sound great, he also addresses numerous moral issues and gives some much-needed insight into the black communities inside the USA, showing us the corruption of the system that surrounds these young folk and exposing their mentality. His storytelling, rich with imagery, manages to create a link between the two parallels of society that too often stay separated. The album contains great humor, raw emotion, clever wordplay, rich production and, most importantly, soul. I urge everyone to go out and support Kendrick Lamar, along with the rest of Black Hippy (his hip-hop group). 10/10 Expand
  29. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    This is a great rap album. Artistically its a masterpiece. That's not something you can say about a rap album too often. Kendrick paints a picture of a day in his life of a young guy living in a rough city. The real story!
  30. Nov 20, 2012
    10
    Words cannot describe how amazing this album is. One of the most anticipated this year, and it delivers everything perfectly. Kendrick isn't your average rapper, he's more than that. Kendrick tells a story in this album, and boy does he do it amazingly. The lyrics are witty, beats are fantastic, and the way the songs just flow into each other is simply beautiful. I can't recommend this album enough. It's honestly on comparable to Illmatic or something of that caliber, go and grab this album! Expand
  31. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    A wonderful album, a masterpiece and work of art. Never has an album been so harmoniously synchronized. A classic to say the least. Kendrick Lamar has outdone himself.
  32. Oct 27, 2012
    10
    simply the best hip hop album I have ever listened to, extremely refined, almost a cinematic sound with a narrative that has depth, in addition to having a totally unique sound. This album raises the bar a thousandfold for future hip hop releases.
  33. Nov 15, 2012
    10
    I am going to go ahead and repeat what everyone else has been chanting--instant classic. First, his style is "west coast" at its finest, with obvious, but not overwhelming, influence from Tupac, Eminem, Snoop, Dre, Nas. Now, the ALBUM. It is, in fact, a short film by Kendrick Lamar. It has an over-arching narrative throughout the entire record, never compromising the story, spit like silk and with some of the most thoughtful and deep and complex displays of rap in recent time. Simply, it's not enough to call it a classic. Dark. Personal. Compelling. Linear. Just when I thought that Kanye West owned the "album business" and that nobody else could /create/ and compose an entire project the way he does, Kendrick Lamar proved us wrong. I was convinced the east coast ruled rap with recent legends like J Cole. But, again, Kendrick Lamar refutes all of that. It's the best album of the year--among Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt and Ready To Die as the greatest debut's (major label) in all of hip hop, and the potential to be one of the best and most important albums of the genre's lifetime. Expand
  34. Feb 17, 2013
    10
    Album of the year.... Instant classic, anyone else agree? With this album, Kendrick Lamar not only solidifies himself as a true lyricist, but he proves he can take on the difficult task of delivering a concept album and brings together the best of both worlds
  35. Feb 18, 2013
    10
    Simply the greatest rap album of this decade, if not the century.
    It isn't Illmatic, but is a different sound and incredible content, intelligence, beats etc, It was a top notch album, Puts 2 Chainz to shame
  36. Mar 23, 2013
    10
    This short film escapade, has really given Hip Hop its respect and intelligence back. Kendricks story telling are to perfection, with his rhymes and hooks giving you the front seat view of his film. The features are well chosen giving the theme to each song to suit the story. The production is incredible, giving every track a individual remembrance of gold. This masterfully constructed album has really put Kendrick on top of hip hop this year, and set the bar for rappers releasing albums soon. Expand
  37. Dec 12, 2013
    10
    The production oozes Dre, and Kendrick's flow and vocal variance (e.g. m.A.A.d city vs. Art of Peer Pressure) contribute a more complex, multi-faceted approach to gangsta rap. GKMC is like no other album out there, and how it revived and evolved 90s hip-hop makes this an instant classic.
  38. Jan 6, 2014
    0
    Literally the most overrated album of all time. The story is completely uninteresting, and most songs are so boring you'll actually find it hard to stay awake. Nothing else to say about it really, the album is an overrated snoozefest. Complete trash.
  39. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    Kendrick is about as human as possible and he has a wonderful way of expressing just that. He takes a story about family, violence, faith, religion, confessions and insecurities and lays himself bare for all to hear. And as well as delivering this story with a sense of comfortable conviction that is humble enough to make you feel as if Kendrick is talking at your level but assertive enough to make you listen, Kendrick shows his talent for a memorable hook, suitable collaborations and his talent to give the album an unexpected depth, with characters being developed and criticised as Kendrick looks within himself.

    The introspection can often become extremely intense and close to the bone, making the story easier to follow as the album progresses. Kendrick transforms from a young kid suffering from peer pressure, the urge for sex and girlfriends the family disapprove of, to a man that can move on and become "really, really real", and we're there to watch him grow from start to finish.

    Fantastic album.
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  40. Oct 25, 2012
    9
    Other than the track with ft. Drake where the ysampled Janet Jackson, I think it's a very solid album. I will have to give it a few more spins before calling it a classic. You really can't gage what's classic until at least 2 years after the original release. If it's still in rotation in your changer or iPod then it's a classic. Great story telling and unique production. I really like how he got like 10 producers all on the same page. The album just flows tegether quite well, with an exception to the Drake assisted track. Expand
  41. Apr 30, 2014
    9
    Section. 80 is proof enough that Kendrick isn't your run of the mill MC. Kendrick reaches even higher with this LP, reaches so high in fact, he's since set the bar for every single rapper, minus Kanye of course. Good Kid, M.a.a.d City is one of the best hip hop releases in the past 5 years. Dre's production is unrivaled, and Kendrick goes exceptionally hard, especially on "Backstreet Freestyle". Very refreshing to hear an actual rapper sing about growing up in the streets of Compton and not primarily acquiring large lump sums of cash from drug dealing. This isn't necessarily N.W.A type lyrics about Compton, gangsta **** but he does profess stories of him and his homies nearly getting thrown in prison, and problems with drinking, not to mention lewd comparisons between the Eiffel Tower and his penis.

    All In All, Good Kid... Is packed with great lyrics, colorfully produced beats, impressive flows and intriguing narrative throughout the entire record. A-
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  42. Nov 1, 2012
    7
    some great tracks and some really average ones. too much talk of 'sucking my d***' and fake talk of shooting guns for his lyrics to be top notch. he is very creative with his approach though. i wish i liked this more than i do.
  43. Apr 17, 2013
    10
    Few albums have stories this cohesive. Fewer hip hop albums have as much scope and precision as good kid, m.A.A.d. city. With a narrative that knocks storytelling out of the park, as well as some of the finest rap cuts in a few years, Kendrick Lamar is an artist among artists. With songs as catchy as Don't Kill My Vibe," and others as brooding as "Good Kid," while others are kind of poignant, like "Real," there is enough here to at least say that this is a fine record indeed, but still ranks as one of the best records of 2012, and one of the best hip-hop albums, period. Expand
  44. Feb 11, 2013
    10
    Instant classic. That's all I can say. Everything on this album is perfect. Great message and amazing execution. Kendrick is one of the most promising MC's in the rap game right now. There isn't much I can say about this album other than this is amazing and is a must listen for anyone who just simply enjoy's genuine music whether you are a hip-hop head or an indie fan. Get your hands on this album. All I can say. Expand
  45. Oct 29, 2012
    10
    Kendrick Lamar is a lyrical genius. He's already on a higher level than 99% of the "rappers" out there and he's just getting started, he's only getting better and better, from Overly Dedicted to the unique and genius work he did in Section.80 and now his first studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is flat out fire. Kendrick Lamar is the future of hip hop. Go buy this album, this man deserves the riches that are surely coming to him. 10/10 hands down. Expand
  46. Jan 26, 2014
    10
    A Hip Hop story that needed to be told, if only to keep other people from making the same mistakes that Kendrick did. It doesn't hurt that the album is masterfully crafted with great lyrics from Kendrick throughout its entirety, and high quality from the few guest verses as well. Every songs is great, but standouts include Money Trees, **** don't Kill my vibe, Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, Real, and the 12 minute long Think about me, I'm Dying of Thirst, the most powerful song on the album. Whether or not Kendrick spits the best verses on the reg is irrelevant when he made a much needed period piece that takes itself seriously enough to mean something, while still being a **** banger through and through. Expand
  47. JRG
    Oct 23, 2012
    10
    Truly an incredible album. Kendrick keeps pushing the genre forward. His debut major label album has the benefits of a label without the pop nonsense and without abandoning his crew. Kendrick works with his old producers and a few new ones, and the result is a sonic masterpiece. The story in this concept album is powerful, as are each of the features here. Kendrick has actually lived up to the astronomical hype, and delivered an album as cohesive as it is creative. Nobody sounds like Kendrick. You can tell who his influences are, but he does not sound like a mix of them. Kendrick is just Kendrick, and he impressively blends his dexterous flows, voices and skits tell a detailed and unforgettable story of coming of age in an unforgiving environment. Expand
  48. Dec 21, 2012
    8
    Sonically, you can't do better than Kendrick, and even though I found myself frequently confused/ angered by Lamar's constant character/style/flow changes, I was also greatly impressed with each individual track. Yes, it misses the mark on immersion as an album, but as a collection of individual songs, holy balls. It's so good.
  49. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    Kendrick is changing the game one rhyme at a time. Soulful and banging tracks blend seamlessly. It's a pleasure to listen to for hip-hop heads and audiophiles alike.
  50. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    Greatest debut I heard in a long time probably since Em's Slim Shady LP. I listened to all the tracks and it just sounds like the perfect hip-hop that we needed. Lyrics are really good, the production is also good and the little skits in the songs goes well with the album. If you have not picked up this album I suggest you do so. This album will be talked about for years
  51. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers. With his Lyrical themes and cohesive rapping abilities that is what makes "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City" one of those rare hip-hop albums that is good enough to be praised as a whole as a Classic. Collapse
  52. Oct 23, 2012
    10
    Incredible album. Kendrick's improvement is unbelievable considering the fact that Section .80 is what he's most known for which in itself is a great effort. Production is constantly on point, the hooks are catchy, and his storytelling ability is unparalleled. Probably my favourite hip hop album since My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. MAKE SURE YOU RAPGENIUS ALL THE LYRICS because you might be trippin off the sample while the brother's spittin the gospel. Expand
  53. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    I am happy to be alive when this album came out. Kendrick Lamar had so much hype behind this album and he more than delivered, he created a masterpiece that might just be the greatest concept rap album ever. Even as a proud Kendrick Lamar diehard fan, I did not expect good kid, mAAd city to bring it to this level, this is the album of the year (sorry channel ORANGE). Lyrics, production, story-telling, flow, ability, this album has a track for anyone. The highlights of this album include "mAAd city" and "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" and the only somewhat weak song on this album is "Real". And even then, it's not that bad. Expand
  54. Oct 23, 2012
    8
    I really was looking forward to this album and Kendrick had the added pressure of stepping outside Dr Dre's shadow here and for the most part has stood well on his own. Pretty dope album but time will tell if he turns out as good as Game did and can carry the west coast torch. If you are a fan of good rap music, look no further.
  55. Oct 25, 2012
    9
    Laden with skit after skit all following a common storyline, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City tells a shockingly personal story about a 17 year old boy growing up in Compton, Kendrick Lamar himself. Whether it's talking about him apparent girlfriend "Sherane", peer pressure from his neighbourhood crew or his "repentance" at the album's end, Lamar effortlessly flows throughout each track with varying styles while staying true to the trippy style he developed on his Section.80 album. Expand
  56. Nov 11, 2012
    9
    This thing was widely anticipated considering how hot K Dot has become-jumping on everyone's remixes and all the singles he was putting out. Now an entire album which is FIRE. I liked the addition of old school Spice One on the record. However the album seemed kinda limited versus his wide array of styles shown on his singles. A bit too limited at times (Yes, we get it, Pyrus are in your 'hood) and would have liked to seen more TDE contributions on this CD but it is a banger and a tribute to know hip hop isn't dying. Expand
  57. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    There is absolutely nothing that I could complain about with this album from the creativity, versatility, lyrics to the sonic qualities, it is absolute excellence. Some of the most clear and cohesive storytelling themed albums I've heard in such a long time, did not disappoint at all. I'm sure in a few years from now this will be named a classic amongst the fans who know what a classic album entails. Expand
  58. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    This one deserves all the praise it is getting. It takes a few listens, but once you get it, you get it. Album of the year and future classic right here.
  59. Apr 6, 2013
    10
    Kendrick Lamar's first major studio album is nothing short of phenomenal. This review could go on for thousands and thousands of words. Keeping it somewhat short though, Kendrick has improved on his what was already incredible lyricism, ear for production, flow, and just downright ability to spit. Each song is an absolute delight, and most can be very thought provoking if you're not too busy being captivated by the production to pay attention to the lyrics. Songs like "The Art of Peer Pressure", and "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst" are two of his most personal works to date. The concept is brilliant, and the structure is absolutely perfect, as the album ends (and kind of begins again), with the Just Blaze produced "Compton". If it was absolutely necessary to pick one song that wasn't as good as the rest, it would be "Real", simply because of the almost unbearable hook, which was a real half assed idea, but still, Kendrick's lyrics more than make up for it. The word classic is thrown around much too often nowadays, and it's much too early to throw it around for this album, regardless of how great it is. So for now, I'll call this album a masterpiece. Expand
  60. Nov 24, 2012
    9
    Grand album. Kendrick Lamar is one of the best rappers ever in the field of lyrics and proves it on his "short film". The way of his rapping is special and also if he's not every time on beat, he's a really great rapper. I love concept albums and this one is a really good one. But you can also just enjoy his flow and the great beats. 'good kid, m.A.A.d city' is one of the best albums in the year 2012 and I suggest you buying the deluxe edition, if not, you'll miss three awesome songs! Expand
  61. Nov 10, 2012
    10
    Every generation in Rap has that one album that comes along and revolutionizes the genre all over again, the 80's had NWA's 'Straight Outta Compton', the 90's had Nas's 'Illmatic' (which arguably influenced classic albums such as Biggie Smalls 'Ready To Die' and Jay-Z's 'Reasonable Doubt' amongst many others) Good Kid M.A.A.D City is another album that will no doubt in time be regarded as a 'game changer' as no album in the past 12 years (and there have been some great ones) has sounded or come close to how great this album as a whole is, from the excellent 'short film' premise, production and features to the Lyrical content, this album goes against every conventional rap album that has been released in this era, its as if it does not belong in this era at all. This album is a MUST listen to, and will hopefully inspire more artists in Rap/Hip-Hop to raise the bar as a whole; Kendrick Lamar has no doubt crafted a Classic for the 'new age'. Expand
  62. Dec 4, 2012
    10
    The listener gets a clear, thorough (and possibly relatable) story of a young kid struggling through the trials of teenage and young adulthood within the structurally crafted lyrics. Everything is neatly brought together to create not only a cohesive project but a classic to be heard for generations to come.
  63. Dec 28, 2012
    9
    Just compare this album to any other mainstream rap album released this year. GKMC is close to a masterpiece - from lyrics, concepts, beats, features, structures to skits - everything is on point. Name another rap album that have included such a thorough, well-executed and structured story. It's like a "short film" as the cover art says. It makes you imagine the songs scenes in your head. Every song is so deep and striking - even Swimming Pools, despite it's mainstream feel.

    A lot of rappers, e.g. Game, Dr. Dre, rap about the life of Compton, it's a common theme on West Coast hip hop, and Kendrick knew that, so he delivered his view of his home city in such a diverse and original way. In recent years there haven't been any hip hop albums that can be labelled as a "classic", but good kid, m.A.A.d city is almost one. This album deserves all the props that it receives, because there won't be an album like this coming again any time soon.
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  64. Oct 28, 2012
    10
    This is such a classic project lyrics, flow, production are all on point. The few people giving this album negative reviews don't understand the project as a whole. This is apparent from their reviews. For example many of these reviewers are upset about him saying how he hopes his dick becomes as big as the Eiffel Tower and him rapping about women money etc. These people are so caught up in the physical lyrics that they don't understand that when taken in context these lyrics are the exact opposite of how these people are taking it. When he says these **** things he is saying how in front of his friends they always try to be **** around each other and out do each other on things like women and money, but Kendrick isn't really like that that's just how he acts to be cool in front of his friends as noted in "The Art of Peer Pressure" By doing this Kendrick is actually doing the exact opposite of what the materialistic rappers that the negative reviewers are comparing him to. He is admitting his mistakes and how he is not really into the lifestyle of crime drugs, and drinking. (also see swimming pools where he mentions how he drank just to fit in and then drinking consumed his conscience.) Then later on in the album his life gets turned around and he strays away from the evils that peer pressure and Compton life has subjected on him. The album as a whole is an amazing story and experience. If you really want to get the most out of the album and understand it on another level I suggest you listen to the album all the way through without skipping any of the skits of voice mails this will let you understand how deep the album really is. This album is DEEP the people that think Kendrick has changed into a ****, materialistic rapper obviously are not sophisticated enough to understand all the motifs that this album touches upon. YOU NEED TO HEAR THE ALBUM ALL THE WAY THROUGH!!! Expand
  65. Oct 30, 2012
    10
    classic hippy stuff... chose him for greatness from XXL fresh men 2011 and he's living up to the billing. it's been such a long time since we heard intelligent rap like this.
  66. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    This album is the result of extensive work by Kendrick Lamar. Most of the lyrics have underlying messages and it's put together masterfully. The production and mixing is beautiful. It's a breath of fresh air in today's hip hop. Album of the year and a perfect 10/10.
  67. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    ......and the grammy award for best rap album goes tooo............ MAH **** KENDRICK LAMAR, GOOD KID,M.A.A.D CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  68. Nov 4, 2012
    10
    Let me just start by saying that I am not a huge fan of hip hop. Recently I've been turned off by the zero-substance "radio-beat" songs that the industry keeps pumping out. Since Section.80 dropped in 2011, Kendrick has been one of just a few hip hop artists I'd even listen to. I've been waiting on this album ever since, and I can assure it doesn't disappoint. This is a rare gem of its time, an album with extreme substance and storytelling matched by very few hip hop albums ever. Kendrick's lyrics dig deep into his own past and make you feel for the lifestyle of growing up in one of the most crime-riddled, broken cities in America, and how he escaped it. This is by far a collective piece, if you listen to it make sure it's in order from beginning to end. Each track feeds off the next and paints a vivid picture of Kendrick's city and the lifestyle he lived, and eventually, how he changed because of it. After each song there is a "skit" with actors playing people from his past in real situations Kendrick was in. These really tie in and give explanation for each song. I should also add that the voice acting is absolutely phenomenal, and I don't know how the actors pulled it off so magnificently. This is a prominent milestone in music of our time and it would be a crime to miss it. It offers so much to the listener as you can listen and experience his story in different ways every time. An un-paralleled achievement of our time, there is no one better in hip-hop than Kendrick Lamar. Expand
  69. Nov 4, 2012
    10
    Best Rap album THIS YEAR... (Big Sean - Detroit is the best mixtape)

    I was one of those people that was like "why is he getting all this hype???", but then I bought and listened to Meek's album and this. Haven't listened to Meek's album since hearing this masterpiece.

    For everyone not believing that this album is classic worthy, I suggest that you listen (REALLY listen) to Swimming
    Pools through Real, skits and all, while reading the lyrics on RAP GENIUS... It's like watching Boyz In the Hood in CD form. Beautiful, simply beautiful... Expand
  70. Nov 25, 2012
    10
    Simply put, the album is amazing. Kendrick delivers a story through rapping, which many rappers fail to do. Kendrick's flow and lyricism is unique. The album's story revolves around young 10th grade Kendrick in Compton from trying to get at a girl he likes to hanging out with his homies and spitting freestyles in the backseat. Every track on the album is fresh and different, you'll never get bored from the tracks. The beats are amazing and of course, so is the writing. The amount of features on the album was disappointing at first, but Kendrick is trying to deliver his own story. However, the features that do appear on the album are solid. Drake does a great job in Poetic Justice (coming from a person who doesn't like Drake), Jay Rock is excellent on Money Trees, MC Ei8ht does well in m.A.A.d city, and of course Mary J. Blige does an amazing job! As a fan of Black Hippy, I would have loved to see verses from Schoolboy Q and Ab-Soul as well, but there still is the Black Hippy The Recipe and Swimming Pools remixes as bonus tracks for the album. All in all, good kid, m.A.A.d city is an amazing album and will become a classic as time goes by. All rap fans should consider giving it a listen. Expand
  71. Nov 25, 2012
    8
    first listening to this album you may not 'get the hype' or understand it all, but ounce you go back and listen to his other albums, go and look up the history, go look up concept of the album and go look up the lyrics and listen to it again then you will not only understand the album but start loving it. This isn't just an average rap album talking about different things and seperate tracks with dumb lyrics infact this album is a masterpiece. The concept of the album is a day in the life of a teenage Kendrick Lamar as an upcoming rapper before he ever got signed and the way it is done really makes you feel like your actually there. Each track and their lyrics makes sense/fits on the album and links up with not only the others on the album but other tracks on his previous albums. It is a lyrical journey like no other. I also suggest picking up his previous albums/mixtapes. Expand
  72. Nov 26, 2012
    9
    I hesitate to give this album a 10 because it's still so new, but I think once I've had some years to sit and look back this will be one of my favorite hip hop albums ever. If you ignore the story that is being told throughout the entire album you will miss a lot and the point of songs like Swimming Pool and Backseat Freestyle will go right over your head without you even realizing it. He's a fantastic storyteller (especially on Sing About Me...) and the beats are great. Would suggest to any fan of hip hop. Expand
  73. Dec 4, 2012
    10
    Best Rap/Hip Hop Album Of 2012. Kendrick Has A Bright Future In The Music Industry. The Album Is A Mix Of The Style Of Raekwon And Andre 3000. Story Line Of The Albums Makes Me Feel As I Lived In These Events
  74. Dec 12, 2012
    10
    Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is both entertaining and poetic - proof that hip-hop can be an art form and that an album can be more than just fun music. The album unfolds like the perfectly planned script of a Quentin Tarantino movie - Kendrick Lamar switches flows as well as perspectives, and every detail within the lyrics and production seems to be important to the story. The excellent production makes you feel like you're riding along with Kendrick through Compton. "Backseat Freestyle" puts the listener in the car with Kendrick as he busts a freestyle with his friends, while songs like "The Art of Peer Pressure" puts you inside Kendrick's head to reveal his wiser lyrical efforts. The hard, trunk-banging production on "m.A.A.d. city" sets the perfect atmosphere of a dangerous city, and the MC Eiht feature on this song is bones-chilling. All of the features, including Drake, seem to be perfectly placed. Kendrick is on point & in his zone, ultimately making listeners think deep with cuts like "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst". Themes of life, death, and humanity make this album memorable. Meanwhile, chilled out, atmospheric songs like "B*%&^ Don't Kill Me Vibe" and "Money Trees" make this album fun to return to. As far as I'm concerned, after hearing this album, any rap song with Kendrick Lamar on it is worth listening to. Expand
  75. Dec 16, 2012
    10
    Album of the year. good kid brings a thematic quality that 2012 rap albums all lacked this year. Production is on point, Kendrick's raps are top notch, and all of the stories that intertwine the album come together for one beautiful Compton drama. One after another, each song carried the story into a deeper, darker place, accumulating to that climax at "Sing For Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst." Without those little stories in the middle/end of songs, this would be one of the most disjointed rap album I would ever hear. However, Lamar puts out his best verses, his best beats, and his story out there into this beautiful tapestry known as good kid, m.A.A.d. city, a rap album that will be talked about going into the next decade. Expand
  76. Dec 20, 2012
    8
    This is a good album but not instant classic (if that even exists) and one has to wonder about the motives of some of these high scores by these so-called professional reviewers. It is like they are trying to create another great or something. The album definitely has the same flaws that most mainstream rappers have. It is not like his lyrics are inspiring to a grown man. The album also is held together way too often by skits which almost becomes a crutch at times. Drake really has no business fitting into this album other than him simply wanting him on here. Also, the constant mentioning of his city or Compton is clearly not something that his creative juices are telling him to do. It is a strategy put in his head by Dr. Dre and other west coast pioneers.

    All that said, the album flows together well and has a standout song or two but I am not sure that this album really has the replay value as a entire body of work to make it strong enough to be a classic.
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  77. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    Fantastic album. Really. Most of mainstream rap has become incredibly monotonous but good kid, m.A.A.d. city revitalized by hope. A compelling album that guides your from beginning to the end with an interesting story. Each song taken in context is simply superb. The beats are brilliant and Kendrick's flow and voice carry. The only lesser moment on the album is the closer Compton which seems out of place. Dr Dre's rap is the only guest appearance seeming to drag the album down. Real the track preceding Compton tells of a real man. caring for family and responsibility. Great listen. Expand
  78. Jan 9, 2013
    10
    This album is great. Most of the time I prefer underground rap because of the high level of lyricism they always use. Kendrick Lamar isn't underground but he delivers with a totally unique flow. You can tell that he's very comfortable on the mike, and i'm very comfortable listening. Very nice album.
  79. Jan 12, 2013
    8
    Kendrick's lyricism is mind-blowing. His ability to paint vivid pictures through story-telling is unmatched since Biggie Smalls. It may be better. The production is perfect for Kendrick, and complements his unreal lyricism excellently.
    However, there are some repetitive phrases and choruses (see "Real"). The final track, "Compton", is a letdown. It finishes the album with a sense of
    arrogance, (courtesy of Dr. Dre, who is featured on the song), rather than honesty, which seems to be a trademark trait of Kendrick. It's no doubt a great album, but the final track is a letdown. Expand
  80. Jan 14, 2013
    10
    Fantastic album. Took a while to grow on me but now I feel like it's the undisputed album of the year and one of the best efforts in the past few years by any rapper. Very cohesive story, outstanding flow and lyricism, and smooth production make it one of the best debut albums ever.
  81. Jan 16, 2013
    10
    Playing this album's tracks individually results only in a sense of isolated disappointment. As a whole, this album is pure gold. Listen to this album one track after another and you, like me, will be inclined to call it a masterpiece. Instant classic. Production values that are sky high but don't eradicate the heart and soul of the artist. Lyrics that are meaningful. Beats that are memorable. This is next to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, The Marshall Mathers LP, Illmatic and Glass Swords as one of the finest albums (hip-hop or not) of all time. Expand
  82. Oct 15, 2013
    10
    All I can say is: 5-10 years from now, people will look back at this album and put it right next to the all-time hip-hop classics, right there next to "Raising Hell", "The Chronic", "Straight Outta Compton", "Illmatic"... By all means, Kendrick has proven to be one of the (if not the only) greatest lyricists of his generation.

    The whole storyline and how it's constructed in the songs
    and the skits, the climax between the end of "Swimming Pools" and "Sing About Me Dying of Thirst", like it's the master-scene of this short movie...

    I'm definitely adding that to the list of "All Time Greatest Hip-Hop albums"
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  83. Feb 10, 2013
    10
    This album really proves that rap hasn't turned into crap. With smart lyrics that tells a story about a boy growing u and facing life i found this album to be one of the best of last year.
  84. Dec 18, 2013
    9
    [9.3] This album is definitely one with a lot of things going for it. The sleek, raw, and occasionally gritty production is where this album succeeds the most; subtle, yet powerful instrumentation, an interesting narrative, and a certain dark energy are constant in this album. Kendrick's lyrics, his voice, his hooks, and his style couldn't be more consistent on this record, making it an almost flawless concept album. I can't point out any repetitive songs or any underwhelming moments. The album also has some quality that distances itself from other rap records. There are some hints of nostalgia on this record, but it never comes off as formulaic. The only problems I could point out are some issues with guests' performances, which sometimes are sometimes slightly annoying. Great record. Expand
  85. Feb 27, 2013
    9
    The way this entire album is a story and has individual meaning is absolutely stunning. A few songs fly over my head, but most stick, and the overall narrative approach is amazing. 9 from me.
  86. Mar 11, 2013
    10
    Compton and the Wests Rap Savior......Kendrick hits on every track!!!

    Don't be fooled by tha haterz and "Hip Hop Experts" on here.

    THIS ALBUM BANGZ!!!
  87. Mar 4, 2013
    10
    Instant classic. I still can't believe Kendrick Lamar made a better follow-up to 'Section.80'. Good Kid,'M.A.A.D City' is without a doubt the best hip-hop album since Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'. This guy has elevated West-Coast Gangsta Rap beyond any artist we're ever heard before. Game tried, but could not bring it this far. It has to rank among those 90's West-Coast classics we can't get enough off... This album, along with Frank Ocean's 'Channel ORANGE', have just put concept albums in hip-hop and R&B in the fore-front... Expand
  88. Mar 9, 2013
    8
    it;s the best rap album of 2012, but that's not saying much. this is a great album, but not a masterpiece. some of the beats are just not enough to call this a masterpiece
  89. Jul 22, 2013
    10
    Solid gold west coast classic. Whilst clearly drawing inspiration from 90's dominator's Dre and Snoop, Lamarr twists his slightly nasal drawl around fresh beats that dazzle, yet linger in the memory. There's a beguiling quality to the production, which often sounds dark and melancholy, suiting the tales of everyday gang violence and inner turmoil. Put simply, Kendrick Lamarr proves himself THE next rap talent, and has overtaken Kanye West as the worlds best performer of the genre. This is how I felt when I listened to Fleet Foxes début back in 2008. This, definitively, is the start of something very special Expand
  90. Apr 4, 2013
    10
    If there is such thing as a perfect album this would be it. Kendrick Lamar's debut album couldn't have been any better, the subject matter of living in a deprived neighborhood, riddled with drugs and gang violence is told greatly by Kendrick. The album as a whole is very cohesive and flows smoothly all the way through, listening to one track simply makes me want to listen to more. Kendrick's writing ability is quiet impressive, with some very introspective songs and also some songs about the harsh reality of living in the ghetto. Kendrick brings you into his life with this album and does an excellent job by doing so he puts the listener in his shoes. The production is flawless with great melodies and mixing. Overall this project is the definition of a master piece a future classic, the illmatic of the new era some would say, Kendrick again delivers another great project and has raised the bar for himself and all his hip hop peers around him. Expand
  91. Apr 7, 2013
    10
    This generations "ILLMATIC". Mr. Lamar has done it again and has finally established himself as one of the top emcees in the game. Its is one of those albums that you can play all the way through from start to finish.
  92. Apr 8, 2013
    10
    There is a lot to say about this album. Production was solid, his flow was decent (but fitting), and the features were great. However the story is what had me hooked.

    It starts out with Kendrick, a 17 year old in Compton, stealing his moms van to go to a party. To obtain the van he tells his parents that he is going to Domino's. To keep this simple I will tell the basics! He meets a
    girl named Sherane, who he has sex with even though he is skeptical of her family's tough lifestyle. Next he goes to hang out with his friends, who also have been sucked into the ignorant violent teenage stereotype. They tell him to bring his freestyles and the listener notices that Kendrick is acting different then he was in the past two songs. He is quite brag worthy and raps about and his dick. However in the next song he says he only acts stupid because he's "with the homies." In this song he also talks about robbing houses when he's with his friends. While he is chilling with his friends, he thinks about Sherane and soon realizes that he is in love. After this song (Poetic Justice), he leaves his friends to see Sherane, but gets jumped by her cousins. After getting jumped Kendrick reminisces and gets depressed. He thinks about all the violence and gangs in Compton. Through all this he ends up in a party where he wants to drink because of all he is going through. A man at the party helps him and then his conscious takes play and helps him get out of this new feeling. Simultaneously, his friends are trying to kill Sherane's cousins because they attacked Kendrick earlier. They shoot one of her cousins, but one of Kendrick's friends brothers gets killed in the rubble. This sends all of Kendrick's homies and Kendrick into another angry frenzy where Kendrick goes over all the depressing dangers and problems in Compton (Sing About Me/ I'm Dying of Thirst.) In between Sing About Me and I'm Dying of Thirst, a preacher from the church goes up to Kendrick's homies and tells them that they are dying of thirst. This means that they need to refresh their values with god. After Dying of Thirst, Kendrick's mom calls him, which she has many times in the album telling him to get Dominoes and to give back her van. By now Kendrick's mom just wants him to one day return and she hopes that he can teach lessons to the "black and brown kids of Compton." and she hopes that he will be successful in the music career. Kendrick calls his mom in the Deluxe edition and tells her he will be home soon thus ending the album.

    Album of the Year?
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  93. May 18, 2013
    10
    This album will go down as one of the best albums of all time for any genre just like Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, Ready to Die and the other rap albums that are considered the best of all time. When those albums came out we didn't understand how great they because were very young at the time. Now we have a chance to witness a classic and a legend in the making. The storytelling is amazing. It's like a movie. You can't just listen to a couple of songs or skip through. You have to listen straight through from beginning to end. Expand
  94. May 27, 2013
    10
    The production is spot on but that's not the only good thing about this album. The lyricism is amazing and the album tells a fascinating story about life in Compton. This album is simply amazing and is a must buy.
  95. Jun 10, 2013
    10
    The best Hip Hop album that has come out in last few years. Kendrick is a master of story telling and the album is more cohesive than ever. He delivers with diverse but unifying songs that make this story of the good kid in a MAAD City one for ages.
  96. Jun 15, 2013
    10
    this album is by far the best west coast album since doggystyle. storytelling is mind-blowing, production is excellent, and its only scary that he's just getting started. well done king kendrick.
  97. Jun 18, 2013
    10
    A short 'film' by Kendrick Lamar... never has an album been more appropriately titled.

    90% of rap albums are mere playlists, this is an album.. and more. ’good kid, m.A.A.d city’ has so much depth, it demands close inspection, this is the most expansive project I've ever heard, light years ahead of Section 80. The lyrics themselves are technical masterpieces, full of layered rhythms and
    meanings. The production is captivating, Kendrick’s lyrical prowess and vivid storytelling come to life like scenes from a movie.

    Minor imperfections are dwarfed by it’s excellence, insignificant in the grand scheme of things. When you hear an album you can recognise instantaneously if it's a classic or not, GKMC is unequivocally a classic. In context (the current rap climate) it’s quite possibly the greatest accomplishment in Hip Hop history. Universally critically acclaimed, even the most hardheaded critics are raving about it, case in point.. Anthony Fantano (Needledrop). This album is high art, Kendrick Lamar.. dubbed as 'raps saviour' by the wider Hip Hop community has delivered!, rejoice.
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  98. Jul 11, 2013
    10
    Don't have really anything negative to say about this album. It is perfect. His story telling and lyricism is amazing. Every track on this is amazing. The producers made amazing beats for the tracks and the artists featured in the songs have Great verses too. I love this album, this is a CLASSIC. He talks about his child hood, struggle living in compton. You have to listen to this album because this is one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.

    Overall: 10/10 PERFECT
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Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Jan 24, 2013
    89
    The quotidian problems and longings of the title track making up the real heart of the album, a rough and tumble struggle to the top.
  2. Jan 10, 2013
    90
    In another rapper's hands the concepts might have been overcooked or the messages too self-righteous, but Kendrick manages to achieve scale while remaining firmly grounded on two feet.
  3. Dec 21, 2012
    90
    This is the best rap album of 2012--not just because of champion verses and immaculate drops, but because they recognize that the most brilliant foreground only shines against a well-defined backdrop.