With East Coast rap reigning supreme in the past few years, significant West Coast triumphs have been few and far between.

As the stars of yesteryear fade into irrelevance, a small number of acts have stepped up to replace the waning legends of the scene.

Thankfully, Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut is everything Compton rap has been missing.

It’s ambitious, smart, intricate, full of sneering attitude and serves as a tribute that returns mystique and significance to the fabled streets of Compton that seem to  have become caricature in recent years.

A storyteller above all, Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city is a narrative that encompasses all the trials and tribulations associated with coming of age in an unhealthy environment.

The cohesion on Lamar’s sophomore release is so strong that many tracks’ significance will be missed outside of the context of the full album. This is truly an release that presents reward for an investment in its story.

The entire record is filled with subtle idiosyncrasies and character moments, and it is an LP with a significant amount of depth.

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For those for looking for a more substantial meal of thinking man’s hip-hop, good kid, m.A.A.d city will keep you coming back for more, unable to drag yourself away from the beautiful car crash that is Compton.

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