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

Universal acclaim- based on 504 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 32 out of 504

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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. Collapse
  9. 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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  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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!!!!
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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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  24. 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
  25. 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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  26. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    Album of the year....anyone else agree?
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. Oct 24, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 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. Expand
  30. 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
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.