Good Kid, M.A.A.D City - Kendrick Lamar
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Universal acclaim- based on 573 Ratings

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

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  1. Oct 22, 2012
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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...
  6. Oct 25, 2012
    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. Collapse
  7. Oct 24, 2012
    Album of the year....anyone else agree?
  8. Oct 28, 2012
    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
    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
    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
    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.
  12. Dec 10, 2012
    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
    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
    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
    @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
    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
    Section 80 is better............
  18. Apr 14, 2013
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
  25. Oct 24, 2012
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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

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
    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
    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
    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.