Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

On the surface, Kendrick Lamar is a swift, gifted rapper. In “For Free?,” the second track off his newest release, To Pimp a Butterfly, he rhymes like Ella Fitzgerald scatting over the hard-swing jazz arrangement. At the core, he is a sharp, skilled lyricist. Using the pimping metaphor, Lamar turns his dick on America: “You’re bad bitch / I picked cotton that made you rich / Now my dick ain’t free.” From the funkified groove (“Wesley’s Theory”) to the Compton’s big bass (“Hood Politics”) to the Latin-inspired rhythm (“I”), Lamar has crafted an outstanding album rich in sonics and affluent in lyrics. Lamar should get the creds he deserved for this joint.