To Pimp a Butterfly album cover
To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar

Top Dawg Entertainment

To Pimp a Butterfly amazes. Kendrick had been listening to Miles Davis and Parliament while recording; jazz and funk inflections hadn’t sounded so good on a rap album in forever. Lalah Hathaway guests on “Complexion (A Zulu Love),” where Kendrick and Rapsody rhapsodize about skin tone. Father of funk George Clinton helps open the entire album on “Wesley’s Theory.” The eclectic musical bed and pedigree suit the lyrical content, an equally beautiful mess of ideas ranging from self-loathing (“u”) to self-love (“i”), black power (“The Blacker the Berry”) to sex (“These Walls”) to spirituality (“Momma”). K. Dot embodies the zone of black youth in the Ferguson era all over this.

Miles Marshall Lewis

Who also suggested

If you select your preferred streamer here, we will save your preference and link to that platform if possible. This can always be changed in the Settings menu.

Apple Music

If you’d like to prioritize Bandcamp if available, tap the Bandcamp logo.

Since some albums are only available on one service, you’ll still see logos for other services if the album is only available on that service.