It’s been a while since we heard from Mason Dixie, but with all of the commentary behind Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly album, you know we had to see what was his thoughts on the sophomore album.
What Mason Dixie Thinks…About ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’
Words by Mason Dixie
Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly is a monumental album. It’s a dense, complex, courageous and ultimately necessary homage to the “call and response” sounds of the black power movement (see Gil Scott Heron, James Brown and Parliament). I give fair warning to people who demand instant gratification from their music. This is an album whose epiphanies come to you through multiple play-throughs and is not easily digested. It REQUIRES your participation to reveal is brilliance to you. I harken it to The Roots Undone album (the most slept on masterpiece of the last 10 years).
The fact that Kendrick is a one man army on the project makes the accomplishment that more staggering. Dude is lightyears ahead of his contemporaries and this album proves it. Unequivocally. If a time capsule of the emotions, anger, purpose of black folk of the Civil Rights Movement was personified in music form it’d be this album. The balls it took for a guy in his position to reject the notion of taking the easy route and just cashing in on the success can not be quantified with words. Kendrick is it.
(On The Production)
Good production is subjective. It’s brilliantly constructed as songs and as music. Is it contemporary? Hell no. Is it mainstream or pop? Hell no. Easily digested by the portion of Kendrick fans who were only fans of his music for his catchy easy to digest consciousness (“Swimming Pools”, “Don’t Kill My Vibe”, “Poetic Justice”)? Hell no. If you’re a music connoisseur who doesn’t need his/her hand held and enjoy magnitude of influences from jazz gospel, live instrumentation and not just 808s and snares? Then it’s a masterpiece.
On my 3rd straight listen and it’s been growing and getting better each time. I enjoy this more than good kid m.A.A.d. city. It’s so mature, courageous, honest, and bold he should win some kinda metal for it lol. So yeah I disagree with anyone who says it’s not a classic. It’s more classic than good kid m.A.A.d. city. It’s going to be divisive for the fraudulent “hip hop heads” who listened to Kendrick only and thought they were real lol. Anyone who listened to The Roots, Dead Prez, or Mos Def type ish gone get that this is that real. This is that raw. It took balls for the young man to strip it down to the bare essentials and take it back to this time. It would have been to just cash in. He used this black power sound for a reason. It’s necessary.
Lamar uses the sound of black power on this album for a reason. This is sonically a call to arms to black youth. An attempt to manifest or indoctrinate the youth he strategically captivated on his debut Good Kid to broaden their horizons and outlook on life. Being just another hot rapper isn’t needed. Living with a purpose like black folk during the days of the Civil Rights Era is.
Purchase To Pimp A Butterfly now on iTunes.