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To Pimp a Butterfly

To Pimp a Butterfly is the third studio album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on March 15, 2015, by Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. The album was recorded in studios throughout the United States, with production from Sounwave, Terrace Martin, Taz "Tisa" Arnold, Thundercat, Rahki, LoveDragon, Flying Lotus, Pharrell Williams, Boi-1da, and several other high-profile hip hop producers, as well as executive production from Dr. Dre and Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith. The album incorporates elements of hard bop, funk, soul, spoken word, and avant-garde and explores a variety of political and personal themes concerning African-American culture, racial inequality, depression, and institutional discrimination.

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Ever since the (r)evolutionary step from vinyl to tapedecks, we entered a wonderful world of singles, the ability to easily skip from song to song. Media executives took the form of pop star phoenixes riding the glorious flame to the top of Billboard, then rising from the ashes in the form of a new star. Lamar's album boldly returns to an art piece; it forces the listener to hear it cover to cover with it's story, his poetry, and even a plot progression. Production aside, the fast paced jazzy periods remeniscent of Miles Davis, mixed with an almost Chromeo funkadelic instrumental, Lamar's concept of poem pointing out the senselessness of gang violence as a motif to tie his album together deserves recognition.

Contributed by Andis Solomon

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