This is the single most important album that has been released in my lifetime. I am not exaggerating nor am I trying to provoke any sort of reaction or even argument, I so strongly believe this that there is literally nothing anyone could say to sway my opinion. Frankly, any time I saw this album lower than number one on anybody’s list I was personally offended. No one has released an album of this magnitude, of this musical brilliance in the time that I have been breathing this precious air on this earth. No one has had more to say or had more awareness of the true evils of this world. No one has gathered the caliber of musicians to create one of the most eclectic albums like Kendrick Lamar did. What he did changed music for me. I don’t look at albums the same way anymore. I still love fleeting works and I still guiltily enjoy albums that have nothing to say, but when I see someone try and talk about the best album or best artist and its not Kendrick Lamar, I don’t understand. And I really don’t know where to begin. Part of the story starts with Trayvon Martin I think. Part with Michael Brown. But really it all boils down to the fact I have been living my life blind to the horrors that still exist in our “amazing” country and if for nothing else, this album finally opened my eyes.
I think if there was one artistic statement in 2015 that fully embodies the battle that is starting to happen in America and this world, it is To Pimp A Butterfly. I have learned so much and realized even more in 2015 and every time I had another internal debate or read more about white privilege and the issues in this country, this album was my anthem that guided me. I just started looking at the world in such a different way after I heard this album that to not look at it as the most important album would be silly. Times are changing and we in America need to start making changes and for Kendrick Lamar to capture that idea so purely with this album was beyond important. I will say without any sort of hesitation this is a more important album than MBDTF simply because Kendrick has more to say and has said more than Kanye really ever has. I love Kanye, but now that Kendrick has finally arrived I think I finally have a new idol.
It really comes down to what I expect from music. Before this album I don’t think I really expected or frankly desired anything truly substantial. It was always kind of important to me to have people in the spot light of the world to speak on social issues but no one had really succeeded like this before so I didn’t understand how powerful music could be. I am sure some time in the past an album has been released like this for people but I know that no album released in my life has had this kind of impact. What is so cool is that, the majority of the world believes it too, at least to a certain extent. Kendrick Lamar got 11 Grammy nominations. Are people actually starting to listen or is everyone still guilty Macklemore beat Kendrick last time around? Regardless, to see such a powerful album get so much wide spread love is amazing and gives me a grain of hope, even if few people love this album as much as me.
I listened to this album probably four or five times the first week it was released. I got goose bumps every time. I had never been affected by music like this before. I cried the first couple of times I heard “u.” I just can’t understand the genius of Lamar and every time I listen I hear something new, I am affected in some new way. In the end, if there is one thing I will take from 2015 with me into the rest of my life it is the way I look at the world. I have realized some terrible things about the world and as a white male, they are things I need to be fully aware of for the rest of my life. I thank Kendrick and I owe him but above all, the world owes him. He made a statement that needed to be made and did something no one had done yet and we are humbly in his debt.