To Pimp a Butterfly
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.