hip-hop/rap/experimental jazz trap|
A companion album of material assembled from the "To Pimp A Butterfly" sessions. Still very jazzy, maybe even more overt about it. Lyrically, dwells a bit more on the dark stuff and the money/power as a drug stuff, but much more obliquely, and with more detachment and calm (and way more vocal experimentation). Musically, more focused on the dark stuff, though there are a couple brighter songs. And don't let the title fool you: this album sounds great, and it's cohesive and well sequenced and rewards repeat listening even if it's presented as a casually released set of outtakes.
RIYL: TPAB, Shabazz Palaces,Organized Noize/OutKast
FCC clean (edited)
1. nervy bass and drums can't settle, lascivious but radio safe come ons. just after 1:15 vocals come in and it settles into propulsive bass and drums groove, funky, jazzy piano/strings/guitar. hectic raps keep running forward, ills of the world piling on. a breather at the end as it slows, a little light comes through, backup vox take over. 4:07
2. churning electronic bass rises, free jazzy sax is low-key but mournful, shows up throughout. half-sung rap, forlorn and cracking a bit. drums crash in, slow rolling 808s. verses come in, bits of multi-tracking and self-chorusing. verses are more confident, not exactly happy, but they have a wicked smirk. vocal delivery keeps switching up, beat feints and hiccups, drums drop out every so often, ghostly piano fragments float in and smear to drone. keeps its momentum despite all that, till it dissolves into a tumbling piano line and a few seconds of studio banter. 4:18
3. a more upbeat bounce, slightly glassy bass, not as dark musically, shuffling quick acoustic drums, flute sweeps and trills. higher synth tones start sparse and bloom around the low end later. cooler/calmer delivery, but lyrics are all barbed. 2:35
4. blues/gospel choral vox (mostly female) trade off with whispers, sparse guitar plucks and snaps and piano at first, then bits of deep rippling bass, and fuzzed echo on the male vocals. tongue in cheek ambient vocal interlude (prob doesn't quite make sense unedited, but pleasant sound design). 1:50
5. driving drums, acoustic but heavy, lots of crashing, bits of dissonant trumpet and background shimmering piano. soft female backup vocals give a bit of calm. eventually male backup vocals join, a bit nervier, then kendrick jumps in shouting, charging but nimble as usual, till a home invasion for no money. jay rock comes in with something more reflective, and a much calmer kendrick trades off with him for the rest of the track. 5:38
6. funky upbeat acoustic drums with woodblock syncopation, background electric piano, mellow string sweeps, everyone doing their best p-funk on the chorus, uncredited guest appearance from cee-lo on hook and first verse, breezy quick verses from kendrick after that. most fun carefree thing on here. 3:28
7a. irregular sub bass pulses, ghostly pitch bent synth, sparse trappy electronic snares shuffle in, then big 808 slow kicks and something else skittery. kendrick delivers something like a continually expanding impressionistic free jazz chorus on the joys of money and power and forgetting all that anxiety stuff, delivery goes all over the place but stays funky. distorted choral breakdown and switch up to heavy stuttering shimmering harpsichord beat. could fade out at 4:27...
7b. (second half of track 7 picks right up after the first part fades down) studio banter turns into acoustic expansion of #4's joke, kendrick and the band playing around doing a slightly bluesy lecherous rap/R&B thing. second part is 3:49, track 7 is 8:16 total
8. real funky, and upbeat, but shot through with blues/malaise. electronic and acoustic drums, claps, rubbery synth bass, shinier synths on the high end, breezy LA elctro-funk with a bit of distance. rapid low key vocals, day to day dissatisfactions, looking for hard-to-get and not-quite-satisfying material security. 3:56
recommended: 7a, 2, 8, any/all