For those who are unaware, acclaimed California rapper Kendrick Lamar dropped a record that a consensus of critics is calling classic, revolutionary, groundbreaking, and numerous other generous adjectives. Lamar’s third studio LP, To Pimp a Butterfly, will certainly be at the top of most “Best Of 2015” album lists, but unlike the hip hop artist’s previous full length effort, Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, the apparent benchmark of modern rap music has few singles. Instead of producing cuts for a radio-friendly audience, Lamar crafted a dense work of contemporary art that will endure as a whole for the indefinite future.
That is not to say that there are not any catchy jams on To Pimp a Butterfly. Along with the Grammy Award-winning track “i”, the song “King Kunta” will surely live on the radio airwaves around the nation. Featuring some hypnotizing plucked electric guitar, neo-soul synthesizer beats, and anachronistically astounding bass lines, “King Kunta” showcases central themes that Lamar expounds upon throughout TPAB: struggling with fame, interacting with familiars, and proving critics wrong. The song’s melodies are reminiscent of the work of jazz rap acts like A Tribe Called Quest and The Roots, providing the listener with a take on modern day hip hop that’s both fresh and nostalgic.
“King Kunta” is a funky and soulful rap song that should not be ignored. Crank up the bass and enjoy.