First four tracks up for review today: "Wesley's Theory (ft George Clinton & Thundercat)," "For Free (Interlude)," "King Kunta," "Institutionalized (ft Bilal, Anna Wise & Snoop Dogg)."
"Wesley's Theory" is the definition of a solid opener. The gradual fade in on the "every nigga is a star" (praise) intro sets everything up perfectly. The groove that drops for the track is all kinds of funky, and how appropriate when you have the master of funk himself, George Clinton, on the track! How dope is that though, how many rappers are having George Clinton on their song, versus just sampling him?? Love it. Thundercat is straight killin on the bass (surprise, surprise), really bringing the funk alive on this. Kendrick comes out swinging on this, I can't wait to give this record a listen while looking at the lyrics. I get distracted by how sick his flow is that it takes a couple of listens for me to really absorb the lyrics. So, so solid.
Ok, so first we got a good taste a funk, and now this dude drops some straight JAZZ on us with "For Free (Interlude)!" I love the spoken word element to this track, it solidifies that Kendrick is more than just a rapper, he's a poet. Love how he says "this dick ain't freeeee," such great emphasis on the pimping of artists for their artistry. Not to mention the players are going in in the back, making Kendrick's words that much more prominent. Yes, Kendrick, yaaaaaaaas!
Keeping the funk alive with "King Kunta," and I'm lovin it. This whole album keeps your head boppin the entire time, and it's such a great feeling. This groove has that I'm-walking-down-the-street-and-I-know-I'm-the-shit kinda feel to it, that good stankiness! "Bitch, where were you when I was walkin? Now I run the game, got the whole world talkin" - tell em, Kendrick! He really is running the game though, and rightfully so when he's putting out bangers like this! I want the funk, Kendrick, I want it.
Kendrick keeps the flow going right along with "Institutionalized," there's no stopping it. It's a little bit of a more relaxed groove, but it still gets your head moving. And what a great cast of features on this one! Bilal, Anna Wise (hey girrrrrl), AND Snoop - hell yes! "Shit don't change until you get up and wash yo ass, nigga," you better sing it, Bilal! There's so much musicality to this track, and it makes you pay attention. That and how obviously concious Kendrick is make for a really great track. "Remember stealin from the rich and givin back to the poor? Well that's me at these awards." You certainly do, Kendrick, you certainly do.