Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - Kendrick Lamar
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 573 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 573

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  1. 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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  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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
  6. Dec 10, 2012
    9
    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
  7. Oct 28, 2014
    10
    This is really a great Rap/Hip-Hop album, with no doubt!!

    Kendrick knows how to rap good and sounds like a big God of the Rap. He's one of the best Rappers actuality and it gives to him an other level on the industry. Amazing, just it.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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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  15. 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
  16. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    ......and the grammy award for best rap album goes tooo............ MAH **** KENDRICK LAMAR, GOOD KID,M.A.A.D CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  17. 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
  18. 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
  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. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. May 16, 2014
    9
    Kendrick's second studio album. and wow this thing was great ,Kendrick's smooth fast flow that changes with the topic he's rapping about. the production on this was impressive, the beats that he chose where perfect with what kendrick chose to rap about. each song on this is done really well, the lyrics throughout this album tell a story, like the skits at the end of every songs fit in well. very impressed with this album, a must get! Collapse
  26. 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
  27. May 11, 2014
    10
    Best Rap album ever released imo, so many tracks that keep on giving with every listen. He's a lyrical genius, with the flow to match. I had to listen through a few times before being rewarded, generally the sign of a great album.
    Saw kDot in a smallish show before he got super famous......best concert I've ever been to.

    Standout tracks: M.A.A.D City, **** Don't Kill My Vibe, Swimming
    Pools, The Art of Peer Pressure, Money Trees, Backstreet Freestyle Expand
  28. Jul 15, 2014
    10
    Now everybody…”serenade to the new faith of Kendrick Lamar”.
    King Kendrick Lamar has ascended to the throne of rap.

    good kid, m.a.a.d. city, the newest EP from Compton citizen and Dr. Dre protege Kendrick Lamar is an album not to be trifled with. The 25-year exploded onto the rap scene this past year with his new release, and ever since, he has almost become a household name. GKMC is
    almost more of an audio book than an album (or a “short film” for that matter), but that’s only because of Kendrick’s intensive and intriguing storytelling skills. The concept presented in this album gives the listener a front-row POV as Kendrick discusses a memoir from a self-proclaimed “good kid” turned to his hoodrat ways by the “maad city” that is Compton. Kendrick tells the tales of lust, fame, underage drinking and drug-doing, robbery, life, the presentation of death and the fear of it, the past, present, and future, money, gang violence, and the numerous ways that damn girl Sherane got him into all kinds of shenanigans. Lamar compares these topics in a way that has been rarely heard in precedent rap recordings with his incredible use of internal rhyme, and just the overall rhyme scheme in general. The production provides a smooth transition of flow across the entire album that leads you right into the next song. The structure of the songs are each differently assembled that no two songs really sound alike, attributing to the variety of issues he speaks about on the album.
    I really enjoyed the voicemail messages and outside recordings of the album’s characters. They show you a further insight into the song and help you better visualize what point Lamar is trying to get across.
    I also really found the way that Lamar switched up his voice to accentuate the different mindsets, characters, and moods he was using. You can hear the difference when he switches moods: from hyped to calm to sad to angry, and even from his regular voice to his high-pitched and low-pitched crooning, which reminded me of the psychological tripartite theory of Freud’s: the id, the ego, and the superego. Three mindsets crowd Lamar’s thoughts at times and you can hear it.
    I would have really liked to hear more about Sherane, or Lamar’s parents in the songs. Their characters intrigued me from the beginning and I was hooked instantly, especially seeing Sherane being compared to a TMNT character in the first song.
    Regardless, the production, feel, mood, lyrics, story, and flow on this album all combine to make a fantastic piece of music and create a new insight into the lives of the people in Compton.
    I definitely recommend listening to the full album straight through to get the full experience, also.
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  29. 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.
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.