I first experienced Kendrik Lamr in a free style over “Monster.” It was, to put it simply, fuckin’ ridiculous. He spit his rhymes with a ferocity I had not heard since the RZA or the Notorious B.I.G. yet his voice has his own distinct sound. His Compton roots penetrate his voice and it seems his “I ❤ New York” sweatshirt also seeps into his vocal chords, creating maybe not the most unique voice, but definitely the most defiant. Alone with that voice, I could easily listen to any album put out by this man, but Lamar builds on all that with some messages that are quite unlike most rap put out today. With tracks like “No Makeup” his positive response to women is an almost complete 180 from how women are seen as hoes and below men in most rap settings. Not only that, but his political view are pushed to the forefront on some tracks, “The president is black, but you cant vote for skin, vote for the man.” Not only is he politically aware, he is a little witty in his representation of his intelligence. “Some people ask how I can rap about money, hoes, clothes, God and history in the same sentence.” He knows how intelligent he is and pokes fun at the stereotype of rappers being unintelligent. All of this is rounded out with some of the jazziest samples since Brother Ali. The horns on “Rigamortis” are infectious and along with a flow many would kill for, he creates one of the songs of the year on one of the albums of the year. His combination of content and musicality is very seldom seen in most rappers today and it was welcome to the old ears to hear his new take on life and rap itself.