Albums to watch

To Pimp A Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar

To Pimp A Butterfly

Third studio album from the Compton rap artist with Dr. Dre as executive producer

ADM rating[?]


Polydor / Interscope
UK Release date
US Release date
  1. 10.0 |   Pretty Much Amazing

    One day, To Pimp A Butterfly could be regarded a cultural and historical document worthy of academic discussion. It most certainly should be
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  2. 10.0 |   NOW

    Lamar sounds simultaneously like a man firing on all cylinders and struggling to keep it together
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  3. 10.0 |   Time Out

    ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ makes no attempt at the charts, or even hip hop radio. Instead, it’s aimed squarely at the musical canon that inspires it
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  4. 10.0 |   Spin

    This album is mandatory listening
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  5. 10.0 |   The Observer

    As angry as Kanye, as funky as D’Angelo, more self-flagellating than Drake and as righteously cosmic as Erykah Badu, Kendrick Lamar’s latest album does not disappoint
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  6. 10.0 |   Tiny Mix Tapes

    Even the most casual attention to the lyrics can unveil the complexity of Lamar’s critique of institutional racism, consumer capitalism, hip-hop culture, justice, and his own choices as an artist, as a black man, and as a human being
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  7. 10.0 |   Consequence Of Sound

    Evidence that he’s one of the most restlessly creative artists in music today
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  8. 10.0 |   Beardfood

    From every single angle, this record is perfect
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  9. 10.0 |   The 405

    Proving that he'll keep us guessing for years to come, Kendrick has truly solidified his place in rap history with this album
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  10. 10.0 |   Art Rocker

    New nuances reveal with each listen of this vast and powerful artistic statement. It’s surely one of the most powerful in hip hop in recent years
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  11. 10.0 |   Earbuddy

    This is the first album I’ve heard, hip-hop or otherwise, that could challenge My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for the distinction of being the best album of this decade. To Pimp a Butterfly is a masterpiece in any way you want to measure its worth
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  12. 10.0 |   The Irish Times

    An angry record – ferociously and furiously so – but this is laser-guided rage
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  13. 10.0 |   No Ripcord

    That To Pimp A Butterfly forces difficult questions both sociopolitical and aesthetic is testament to its brilliance. It is an album that can be, even deserves to be annotated song-by-song, line-by-line
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  14. 10.0 |   Drowned In Sound

    This is an important – a very important – piece of work that will stand the test of time. It’s also an utter blast to listen to and live with
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  15. 10.0 |   Gig Soup

    One of those career and genre-defining records that come around once a decade
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  16. 9.4 |   Sputnik Music (staff)

    Every song possesses a distinctive identity, a different color fleshed out by its instrumentation. And the lyrical wonders Lamar works on top of all this is even more worthy of praise
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  17. 9.3 |   Pitchfork

    A celebration of the audacity to wake up each morning to try to be better, knowing it could all end in a second, for no reason at all
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  18. 9.1 |   A.V. Club

    Crowded with swollen funk grooves and scribbled jazz horns, and almost completely uninterested in anything resembling a radio single
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  19. 9.0 |   PopMatters

    It’s a rare record that gives us a call to action, something to act on after the beats drop out and we’re left in silence
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  20. 9.0 |   Slant Magazine

    Lamar is also greatly invested in the post-rap sound he's aligned himself with, which is another pointed departure from Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
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  21. 9.0 |   Rolling Stone

    A densely packed, dizzying rush of unfiltered rage and unapologetic romanticism, true-crime confessionals, come-to-Jesus sidebars, blunted-swing sophistication, scathing self-critique and rap-quotable riot acts
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  22. 9.0 |   The Line Of Best Fit

    Uncompromising, thoughtful, and with enough buried complexities to keep people arguing for years to come
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  23. 9.0 |   God Is In The TV

    It’s a dense, unsettling and challenging record; it’s also an extremely compelling one
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  24. 9.0 |   FasterLouder

    To Pimp A Butterfly is a lot of work, but there’s a lot of reward too
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  25. 9.0 |   The Music

    It’s black history. It’s black struggle. It’s album of the year
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  26. 9.0 |   All Music

    To Pimp a Butterfly is as dark, intense, complicated, and violent as Picasso's Guernica, and should hold the same importance for its genre and the same beauty for its intended audience
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  27. 9.0 |   Crack

    While To Pimp A Butterfly is densely layered, Kendrick Lamar’s core message is loud and clear
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  28. 9.0 |   Exclaim

    Will likely be one of 2015's most discussed, dissected and debated album releases, regardless of genre
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  29. 9.0 |   The Quietus

    To Pimp A Butterfly stands as a fearless and uncompromising manifestation of Lamar's desire to push the culture of rap forwards
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  30. 9.0 |   musicOMH

    To Pimp A Butterfly’s combination of expansive scope and microscopic detail may come as something of a revelation
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  31. 9.0 |   Under The Radar

    To Pimp a Butterfly is Lamar firmly embracing his place at the pulpit, looking into himself and out into the world simultaneously, and using his influence to paint a powerful, enduring picture of the black American experience
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  32. 8.0 |   Mojo

    Lamar undercuts his densely layered messages with acerbic ruminations on his newfound celebrity status that may prove polarising, but are never less than enthralling
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  33. 8.0 |   Q

    It's a challenging, ambitious combination of words and music that becomes increasingly absorbing over time. Print edition only

  34. 8.0 |   The Guardian

    Time will tell whether in decades to come, To Pimp a Butterfly is still being spoken of in the same breath as the kind of epochal albums it’s currently being compared to, but for the moment, he’s certainly achieved his aim in impressive style
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  35. 8.0 |   DIY

    Lamar’s work continues to place itself among the best
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  36. 8.0 |   State

    A record that takes chances, through both thought provoking lyrics about the state of society and genre bending music
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  37. 8.0 |   NME

    Has Lamar followed a classic with another classic? Not quite, but in laying his demons and his contradictions bare, he has stayed true to his formidable talent
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Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly

  • Download full album for just £8.49
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