Section.80 - Kendrick Lamar
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 132

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  1. Jul 1, 2012
    This album will most probably be considered a classic, at least on an underground scale, in ten years or so from now. This is probably the best album I've heard since Blu & Exile's "Below The Heavens". Kendrick displays his lyrical fitness, his flows and his delivery in an extremely polished way. Sure, some of the hooks are corny, some of the lyrics too, but overall he gets his point across without being pretentious or trying to squeeze in as many multi-syllable rhymes as possible and it all sounds natural and unforced.

    I have to give credit to the production too, it's very cohesive, the beats sound sonically alike, yet different, and they fit the themes. Very few hip-hop albums sound like ALBUMS, but instead come of as just mixtapes with the best songs they recorded put on the album, but Section.80 is clearly thought-out and planned out and none of the songs really feel forced on there (Blow My High might be one, but I think it serves as a breather seeing as the album is so dark most of the time).

    Kendrick deals with a lot of subject matters, from racism, to Reaganomics and what it's supposedly done to his generation, to backstabbers, to the life of a prostitute, to the backside of success, to cheating. It's all tied together by great interludes and the overall theme of the Reagan Era. Overall, I think this album is a masterpiece from young Kendrick. I think it might take a few listens to really understand his points, to get used to the kind of unusual types of beats he has on there, and maybe even his voice a bit. I didn't enjoy it as much as I do now when I first heard it, I thought it was good but I didn't really "get it" so to speak until I listened three or four times and really tried to understand what he was saying. If you want to get into Kendrick Lamar, I'd suggest listening to O.D. first, it's much more accessible but Section.80 reaches new heights. Standout tracks: Rigamortis, Keisha's Song, HiiiPower, Ronald Reagan Era & Poe Mans Dreams.
    Standout production: Rigamortis, Ab-Soul's Outro, A.D.H.D., The Spiteful Chant, HiiiPower.
  2. Jul 18, 2012
    Since the release of this album, I have heard/seen multiple people call Kendrick Lamar, "the next 2pac". This is a false statement, because Kendrick Lamar is the next Kendrick Lamar, and the only one at that. The only comparison I would make, is that he too gives a voice to his generation. His ear for production is quite astounding, and his lyricism and flow are both jaw dropping. Lamar dwells on a variety of subjects, most notably the Reagan Era, and the crack epidemic that occurred in his decade. There is no denying that in the matter of a few short years, this will be looked back upon as a classic, and I will surely have no arguments towards that. Collapse
  3. Oct 27, 2012
    Section.80 was easily the best hip-hop album of 2011. Kendrick Lamar's lyricism, usage of word play, and overall delivery were practically perfected. Adding to the rapping aspect, the production on "Section.80" is for the most part great. With minor flaws, "Section.80" will be looked back on as one of the instrumental albums in representing the generation and time period during which it was released. Expand
  4. Mar 21, 2012
    A fantastic and gripping rap album. Probably my favorite rap album of 2011 and definitely in top 3 of my favs for the year. In this album, Kendrick relays intelligent verses that serve a purpose. "HiiiPower" is a fantastic track and is amazingly produced by J. Cole. "Ronald Reagen Era" also has a few great hooks. Great album and I cannot wait to hear more from this promising, young rapper.
  5. Nov 12, 2013
    Look back at it, it was easily the best rap album of 2011 in my opinion. Production, lyrics, and everything about it is solid. Kendrick did a great job with this album.
  6. Aug 7, 2011
    without any exaggeration, in ten years, this could be viewed as an album that defines a generation. from beginning to end this album weaves a story of the ills and influences of a society manipulated by drugs, sex, technology, and media. a truly inspiring piece of hip hop that i can honestly say is one of the best albums I've heard in the past five years. it continues to astonish me over a month later and after countless listens front to back. the genius of kendrick lamar on this piece is that he not only paints a thought provoking and heart wrenching image of his growth in the unforgiving city of Compton, but he allows all of America, all creeds and ethnicities, to empathize with that situation. It is his raw connection with contemporary society as a whole that makes kendrick lamar a once in a generation musical talent. Expand
  7. JRG
    Aug 27, 2011
    Section.80 is a fantastic album. Overlooked by many, it is the third studio album by Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, and his technical "Debut," as the previous two have been labeled as mixtapes. Kendrick steps up his game from his previous works, crafting a coherent album that is tied together by the themes, sound, the interludes, and even the cover. The album's subject matter focuses on the plight of the "80s babies" and simultaneously plays on the term "Section 80" used to label certain types of project housing. Kendrick's raps span multiple scenarios, using both first person and third person to detail struggles pertaining to sex, drugs, and the twisted realities of the world and culture these 80s babies are living in.

    The production, though not necessarily groundbreaking, is fitting for the direction of the album. From the anthemic Spiteful Chant horns to the slick, choppy HiiiPower synths, the beats are all memorable and relatively dark. More lighthearted production is displayed on tracks such as Hol Up and Rigamortus, as Lamar interjects humor and wit to provide a break from the heavier subject matter. The tracks mesh well regardless, as Lamar is able to insert deep and insightful lines into the most laid back songs (His line "Look at my life and look at yours, get some ambition." from Blow My High).

    I'd talk about more songs but I'm lazy, and you should hear them all anyway. My favorite release of 2011, tied with Big KRIT's Return of 4eva.
  8. Jul 14, 2012
    this is a fantastic release. hip hops lies on people like kendrick lamar big k.r.i.t. and J. cole. it takes two or three listens but you get lamar's message. Cant wait to see what he does with his first major release produced by dr. dre.
  9. Oct 28, 2011
    Claiming Tupac Shakur came to him in his dream as his inspiration to make this album, lets hope more of these "dreams" happen more often. An amazing album with substance to last.
  10. Nov 17, 2011
    Tremendous job by Kendrick Lamar. For sure in the Top 3 hip-hop releases in 2011. Standouts were "Blow My High", "The Spiteful Chant", "ADHD", "Keisha's Song" and "Ronald Reagan Era".
  11. Feb 8, 2012
    Wow! TDE is taking over right now! Kendrick is just more intellectual than anything in rap currently. This defines a generation. Tammy's Song, The Spiteful Chant and Rigamortus are my favorite!
  12. Feb 17, 2012
    Kendrick came out to be one of the most flowing artists lyrically. He chooses his words wisely enough to appeal all kinds of people. He captures the young and gives our future something to look forward to.
  13. Apr 21, 2012
    The best rap album of this millennium in terms of overall awesomeness. There's not a single bad song on this album. This album will define a generation and Kendrick Lamar is the usher of the new era of rap. This album is ridiculously good and I can't wait for Kendrick to come out with his first studio album. This album is a must-buy. Now go buy it.
  14. Feb 16, 2013
    The first time I heard Kendrick was on Overly Dedicated, and while at first I had a hard time getting into it because of his weird flow. Looking back, I realized just how good it was. Maybe I needed something like Section.80 to come along and help me with that. Section.80 is not only a very well executed project, it is more brave in its subject matter than most MC's who claim they're from the hood. Kendrick takes jabs at society on songs like Your Ethnicity, A.D.H.D., Ronald Reagan Era and HiiiPoWeR. And each song brings up topics that are so intriguing you want to hear more. Both Tammy's Song and Keisha's Song are tales of women who are caught in hard situations such as unfaithful relationships to getting involved in prostitution in order to survive. And yet for an independent release, this album sounds very expensive. Most of the production comes from Digi+Phonics but there's a few other contributions from THC, Terrace Martin and even J. Cole (who's beat on HiiiPoWeR is the best one on the album). If I were to have a single solitary gripe it's that the choruses are a bit weak. Kendrick needs to improve on that in future releases. But overall, this album was fantastic and my favorite release of 2011. Expand
  15. Nov 14, 2012
    some dope **** kendrick is surely the next big thing to come out from compton!!!1 this dude is legendary! he has his own flow and original!!!! it's about time someone can come and save rap!!!
  16. Mar 1, 2013
    Not joking, but this is one of the greatest things I've heard in my life, and I've heard a lot of great things. Grabs you right from the first track F*** Your Ethnicity, and follows up so strongly with Hol Up, and it never loses momentum. Damn epic!
  17. Apr 2, 2013
    This album is better than average. The beats are just sometimes boring. But Kendrick is never a bad rapper. His flow here is also his best especially on chapter ten.
  18. Nov 12, 2013
    This album will most likely be considered a classic in times to come, and it will be one because this album is simply amazing. My favorite tracks are your Ethnicity", "Ronald Reagan Era", and "HiiPower".
  19. Mar 23, 2013
    Section.80 is a self explanatory show of self brilliance and intelligence from the young mastermind. Each track with carefully constructed rhymes and beats to make this a wonderful ecstatic listen. From the pop electro sounding A.D.H.D to the jazzy classic upbeat Rigamortus, this album gives a lot of diversity, especially in the raps. This is a great example of what this young unique Kendrick has to offer hip hop, and we should all be looking forward to his upcoming material. Expand
  20. Oct 7, 2013
    This album or mixtape or whatever you want to call it really shows off Kendricks skills as a rapper. His lyrical ability is insane and his flow is so good. He is definitely the best rapper around today. I hope he carries on like this because hip hop needs someone like him,
  21. May 11, 2014
    The album that started it all, almost as good as Good Kid M.a.a.d City but it's hard to beat perfection.
    Probably less hooks than GKMC, more an underground type vibe. Just like GKMC this takes a few listens before becoming the beast that it is.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Just when you're thinking not bad at all, come some songs.
  2. Dec 6, 2011
    The record crams a ton of sonic and thematic ideas into a small space and yet show almost no visible stitches. [Oct 2011, p.66]
  3. Oct 27, 2011
    He doesn't quite sell the thesis that that's the point.