Every now and then, an album elicits wildly different reactions from our writers. With One Album, Two Opinions, we aim to explore both perspectives, pro and con. This week, Stephen F. Kearse and Adrian Spinelli dig into Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly.
CLUMSY METAPHORS AND SELF-DOUBT
By Stephen F. Kearse
Kendrick Lamar has been busy. Between the release of his previous album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, and To Pimp a Butterfly, he has embarked on multiple world tours, headlined music festivals, opened for huge acts like Kanye West and Eminem, and has been nominated for and received multiple Grammys. This kind of hectic itinerary is expected for platinum-selling artists, and its consequences—time away from friends and family, pressure to live lavishly, homesickness, frayed relationships—are expected as well. On To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick details what he didn’t expect about this new life: his inability to live up to his own ideals.