Kendrick Lamar’s album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” was released recently — a week early, in fact, after an iTunes error.

 

The album managed to meet all of the hype that it generated during the months before its release, largely due to the success of Lamar’s previous platinum-certified album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.”

 

“To Pimp a Butterfly” was met with raving reviews on all fronts:

Kendrick Lamar's “To Pimp a Butterfly” has received great reviews from artists like Kanye West (@kanyewest)

Praise for Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” from Kanye West on twitter (@kanyewest) March 17, 2015

 

Praise for Kendrick Lamar's “To Pimp a Butterfly” from Mac Miller on twitter (@macmiller) March 17, 2015

Praise for Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” from Mac Miller on twitter (@macmiller) March 17, 2015

 

Pitchfork rated the album a 9.3; reviewer Craig Jenkins wrote, “The mood is wry, theatrical, chaotic, ironic, and mournful, often all at once.” Indeed, with his latest album, Lamar took himself in many new directions.

 

“To Pimp a Butterfly,” for instance, features Lamar’s vampires — a recently introduced jazzy and soulful band featuring bass, percussion, vocals, and saxophone. Lamar’s vampires lend his tunes a smooth groove that persists throughout the album.

 

Lamar’s stylist choices have been bold and gripping in the album, but the content itself also has been responsible for drawing a lot of the excitement around the release.

 

Lamar's album artwork also explore race relations in the United States. (http://thesixthirty.com/)

Lamar’s album artwork also explore race relations in the United States. (http://thesixthirty.com/)

With lines like, “So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?” Lamar opens his album to a discussion of race relations in the United States. Salon describes the album as Lamar’s “unapologetic black American dream.”

 

It should come as no surprise that “To Pimp a Butterfly” shattered Spotify streaming records, with 9.6 million streams on the day of its release.

 

Pull on a pair of headphones, and check out the excitement for yourself. Lamar’s voice matters; he raises questions that are crucial to consider for member’s of today’s society.

 

What did you think of Lamar’s latest album? Share your thoughts below or on Twitter @ryanlawlessness