Photo Chic gives it 4.5 out of 5 sneaks
I was anticipating Section.80 as soon as I heard "HiiPower." I knew after listening to that song, that this album was going to be a major problem in a good way. I'm still listening to it at this moment trying to let everything soak in, because it is truly some thought provoking fire.
Right off the jump, the album opens with "F*ck Your Ethnicity." The musical composition is beautiful on the first track and complements the depth of the lyrics accompanying it. We call it hip hop, he calls it hypnotize and that is exactly what he is doing with his delivery...hypnotizing the listener into hearing what he has to say with this album. "Hol' Up" comes in with that mellow 'head bob' beat as Kendrick Lamar gives us a look into how he views himself. This song reminds me of the Real World phrase "you think you know, but you have no idea." Next up is "A.D.H.D.," and if you think it's just about drugs, you definitely need to take a few more listens and attempt to DECODE what's really being discussed here. "...never no pancakes in the kitchen." As many topics as this song touches, that one stood out to me because of my immense pet peeve of parents not cooking home-cooked meals for their children in this generation. No wonder kids are off doing foolishness when there is nothing special that their parents do to keep them at home. "No Make-Up (Her Vice)" is great and continues on the thought-provoking trend that Section.80 stirs up. Just when you think that KL is just encouraging women to just "at-ease" on the cover up every now and then, he catches you completely off guard at the end when we hear the female's perspective. POW. Wasn't expecting that, huh? "Tammy's Song (Her Evils)" touches on the classic scenario of what can happen when a woman loses trust in a man with an urban storybook type of delivery.
"Chapter Six," an interlude, transitions us into the next part of Section.80. Introducing us to the fatherless young men of this era (the "young bastards"). Now it's time for the "Ronald Reagan Era," the generation of haters, essentially. The actual song takes a look at the dysfunctional lifestyle that these young men have accepted and made their own...and they love it! And I love the song. Production is on point once again. Now we get into "Poe Man's Dream (His Vice)," where we hear Kendrick's story. Making something of himself with his music. I love this line..."I know some rapper's using big words to make their similes heard, mine simple as sh*t, be more pivotal." "The Spiteful Chant" is a great play on haters. He tells everyone what they can do with themselves. It is true (in the words of 9th Wonder during last nights' ustream), most hatin' dudes lack some "good p*ssy" and pre-occupy themselves with "actin like hoes."
"Chapter Ten" is an interlude that takes us into the darker side of Section.80. "Keisha's Song (Her Pain)" was FELT. I actually felt Keisha's pain. KL's story-telling is ridiculous. This song almost made me cry for real and I'm not an emotional person.
I really could analyze the whys and reasons why I love every single song, but I think you all already get the point after reading above. So instead of reading this, get your mind right and sit down with Section.80. It's not just an album, it's like the dopest audio novel you've never read, but lived (especially if you're a child of the late 80s). :-)
Mixtape Chic (4.5 out of 5 sneaks)
Kendrick Lamar put together one of the best albums I have heard in a while. Brilliant would not be an overstatement in this case. The album is cohesive, yet each track has its own identity. Something I can’t say for other albums I have come across. His dynamic delivery combined with the jazz/soul feel of the production makes this an easy listen.
The album starts off strong with “F*** Your Ethnicity” and it’s what I think is the best track he could have started with out of the contenders on the album. He sees things as they are not looking at the color of the person(s) skin, which brings you into the premise of the album well. The album is a book of situations (stories) that need to be told that any ethnic group can relate to. “Hol Up” & “A.D.H.D.” are tracks that force your mind to go to work. Your mind wonders to decipher each aspect of the song. “A.D.H.D.” especially does this. As you know, when someone has ADHD their mind wonders and goes from one subject to the next in a matter of seconds. Basically, their brain can’t sit still. “No Makeup (Her Vice)” is a refreshing track. Yeah, we all have heard the rappers love songs to their woman (not a lot but some). This song shows Kendrick’s appreciation for the real you including every imperfection you may think you have. Each is a gift you should be proud of. I appreciate this track. “The Spiteful Chant” features Schoolboy Q and shows us that even though we think Kendrick has made it, he knows that he has a ways to go.
“Everybody heard that I f*** with Dre, and they wanna tell me I made it. N**** I ain’t made s***. If he gave me a handout, Imma take his wrist and break it…”
All Dr. Dre did was co-sign. As far as Kendrick is concerned that’s all it was. His humility shows through. Moving next to “Keisha’s Song (Her Pain)” which is a continuance of “No Makeup”:
“But what he don’t see is that I had a black –bleep-. To be continued…11”
This track reminds me of a modern day “Brenda’s Got A Baby.” It’s intense in nature. Pushing up issues that you do not want to talk about, let alone think about. The way the story is told, detail by detail, you are able to envision each “scene” of the song. This is by far my favorite track on the album.
“Ab-Souls Outro” comes before the J. Cole produced “HiiiPower.” The outro is meant to wake you up and enlighten you just as the album did. It brings all aspects of the album together. Kendrick tells you why/how he can flow about so many of life’s factors that some may feel are unrelated to one another.
“See a lot of y’all don’t understand Kendrick Lamar because you wonder how I could talk about money, hoes, clothes, God, history all in the same sentence. You know what all the things have in common. Only half of the truth, if you tell it. See I’ve spent twenty-three years on the earth searching for answers. Till one day I realized I had to come up with my own.”
That’s his story and I am not mad at it. This album makes you say hmmm…more than once. Each track worked well with the next. Not quite genius but pretty close if you ask me. APPROVED!!!