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Kendrick Lamar – Section.80 | Album Review

July 4th, 2011 | by Henry Yanney



The collective appreciation of an emerging new rapper will forever remain present. Whether the hysteria remains after their first album or if it dissolves into a pool of hate will always differ depending on material, their ego or their authenticity. Kendrick Lamar for the last few years has predominantly been a name referenced in the California regions. But since his much lauded Kendrick Lamar EP, O(verly) D(edicated) release and a co-sign by XXL Magazine, the Lamar mentions have travelled far beyond his Compton hometown and now anticipation for a new product is shared by more. Section 80 for the time being, currently remains as the rappers greatest test. Dropping an independent album which rather adds a spike to his peak rather than denting it has proven to be a task too tough for many.

Set to a continued theme of an ominous neighbourhood meeting around an open fire, Section.80 begins with a mysterious voice which bellows out ‘F*** your Ethnicity‘ – the first track of Lamar’s album. Blending rapid beats with a harmonising piano, the 24 year old goes to work early – embracing a double time, rhythmic flow punching through autobiographical verses.

Compton’s rising star takes an old school approach to spitting – cleverly arranged rhymes which are delivered with much vigour over a range of different tempos. The suave, jazz influenced ‘Hol’ Up’ and the chilled ‘Chapter Six’ leaves room for less intense performances but still display enough of Lamar’s talents. When tackling heavier productions – or in the case of the track ‘Ronald Reagan Era’ – tackling heavier issues, this is where the current hype over the starlet begins to become justified.

Painting a bleak, concrete jungle depiction of LA life during the former Presidents tenure, Kendrick’s trawl through history is a mature affair, which is something many of the ’80s born rappers lack. Conceptions of the XXL Freshman resembling previous Compton born acts have long since dispersed and Section.80 continues to put such assumptions to rest. The child like observations brought up in ‘Poe Man’s Dream’ usurps a soulful, heartfelt message which will transcend past the LA borders.

Even production, which is handled by Soundwave, THC, and Tommy Black amongst others doesn’t remain in the funkier and dirty drones and synths of typical West material. Crunk, Southern flavours are present on ‘The Spiteful Chant’ which features Schoolboy Q whereas ‘A.D.H.D’ embraces an airy atmospheric sound, which is also injected with a Midwest-like Kendrick Lamar performance with slick, talk meshing seamlessly.

The weight in Section.80 lies in numerous avenues – one of which is its storytelling. ‘Keishas Song’ intricately narrates the story of just one of many young women facing issues within a dystopian community, adding to the mature theme the album follows. To say that the songs which arguably don’t dig deep into socio-economic issues are a flaw would be incorrect as Section.80 flows seamlessly with its correct mix of stirring, amped and emotive material not to stir the ship. The poetic outro by Ab Soul and the J Cole produced ‘HiiiPoWeR’ ensure the album closes on a reflective note but Kendrick’s angst final verse on the latter ensure an edge still remains evident even in the rappers more tranquil moments.

Section.80‘s whirlwind of streetsmart poetry, socio-political themes and engulfing productions results in quite frankly, one of the best releases of 2011. Kendrick’s appetite for transcribing hood smart chronicles is carried off with enough passion, anxiety and cleverness to hold the attention span of the line for line analysers.

Only someone with the talent and confidence of Lamar could proclaim in a record to break the wrist of Dr Dre if he ever tried to provide him a handout. Even if the Good Doctor hadn’t given his blessing to the young rhymeslayer, the definitive qualities on hand on Section.80 show enough evidence that Compton has birthed the next powerhouse in Hip Hop. Kendrick Lamar breaks out of his rookie rankings and now stands in the legion of juggernauts with the potential to run riot in the next decade.

Kendrick Lamar – Section.80
Released: July 2, 2011
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment
Buy: iTunes US / iTunes UK

Comments

  1. [...] Kid in a Mad City serves as the follow up to last year’s highly-acclaimed Section.80 project and is expected to feature both the Gunplay-featuring “Cartoon & Cereal” [...]

  2. [...] since nobody wants to hear that shit they left the MCing to the professionals. K-Dot ran through Section.80‘s “A.D.H.D.” and “Hol’ Up” before Fatboy joined him to give the [...]

  3. [...] since nobody wants to hear that shit they left the MCing to the professionals. K-Dot ran through Section.80‘s “A.D.H.D.” and “Hol’ Up” before Fatboy joined him to give the [...]

  4. [...] at the Fader Fort and Vibe House looked immersed in the performance as Mr. Lamar delivered each Section .80 cut with the same passion and intensity as the last [...]

  5. [...] to Bad Boy Records; while Kendrick Lamar simply crushed the competition with his incredible Section. 80 release and the Black Hippy crew to back him up. Tweet This [...]

  6. [...] inked to Bad Boy Records; while Kendrick Lamar simply crushed the competition with his incredible Section. 80 release and the Black Hippy crew to back him [...]

  7. [...] “Cartoon & Cereal” definitely exhibits a darker resonance, dipping from the musical warmth we’ve become accustomed to from Kendrick on previous releases, like (O)verly (D)edicated and his 2011 breakout album, Section. 80. [...]

  8. [...] It’s no secret that word of mouth plays a big role in music industry dealings, and her several collaborations with Kendrick Lamar are no different. “I’ve known Kendrick Lamar’s management for a while and right before Overly Dedicated, when I hadn’t heard of him yet, we went in and started writing and we meshed so well together,” she says. “He’s amazing to me, the thing that’s crazy to me is how he keeps getting better. I’m always impressed when I hear a song – all I’ve been listening to is Section.80.” [...]

  9. [...] in the darkest days. The two frequent collaborators boast contrasting styles; whilst K Dot’s Section 80 LP explored the various woes of working class America, Habits & Contradictions jumps deep into [...]

  10. [...] be asking. While Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock flew the Top Dawg Ent. flag high last year with their Section. 80 and Follow Me Home album releases, respectively, ScHoolboy Q and Ab-Soul are next up to the plate [...]

  11. [...] anthemic “The Spiteful Chant” [produced by Sounwave and Dave Free from the impeccable Section.80 LP] that first truly caught my ear, and since then I’ve been quite the fan of West Coast [...]

  12. [...] you haven’t already, go and purchase Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 now. Check out our review to see why it got 5 out of 5 here. // Tell A [...]

  13. [...] 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards, pressure he may have experienced during the recording of his debut album Section.80, being humble and retains his beliefs and the effect touring has had on his relationships with his [...]

  14. [...] played a snippet of the official remix to ”Rigamortus,” taken from his incredible Section.80 album featuring Busta Rhymes. Since then, any news regarding the track’s official release [...]

  15. [...] to spread the word of his incredibly dope critically acclaimed independent album Section.80 [Read album review], Kendrick Lamar and his Black Hippy cohort ScHoolBoy Q made their way down to Fort Lauderdale, [...]

  16. [...] of material including “Hol’ Up” and “A.D.H.D.” from his impeccable Section.80 album, plus “P & P” and “She Needs Me” from his even more striking [if [...]

  17. [...] Lamar‘s 5 Soul Rated Section.80 is out now. Read our review and buy it now here. // Tell A [...]

  18. [...] Kendrick Lamar. “Rigamortis” is taken from the critically acclaimed Section.80 project (Read our review here) and is directed by the very dope ICU. Watch the full video [...]

  19. [...] is available now and features guest appearances from ScHoolBoy Q, Ab-Soul and BJ The Chicago Kid. Read our review here. // Tell A [...]

  20. [...] Comments // The TDE team are on one this year! After delivering the perfect score receiving Section.80 by Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q is next on deck to deliver his forthcoming album HABITS & [...]

  21. [...] Tour, J. Cole brought on stage one of my favourite rappers right now Kendrick Lamar (who’s Section.80 project hasn’t left my playlist since release) who proceeded to perform his J. Cole produced [...]

  22. vialli14 says:

    wat the fuck are you on bout??….what bout Rigamortis,hiiipower,keshas song,ronald reagan ere,fuck your ethnicity? are you just a straight up hater or suma

  23. [...] Dogg and Game, performing “A.D.H.D”, track three off his incredible album Section.80 [read our review], to a sold out crowd that knew every word of the [...]

  24. [...] Lamar‘s Section.80 is out now. Read our review here. // Tell A [...]

  25. [...] Lamar’s Section.80 is out now. Read our review here. // Tell A [...]

  26. [...] at the moment, the West Coast repping Kendrick Lamar. The video for “ADHD” from his 5 Soul awarded Section.80 project is presented by Rocksmith and directed by the very incredible Va$htie who you may remember [...]

  27. [...] one of the many stand out album tracks from Kendrick Lamar‘s incredible recently released LP, Section.80, and remix production work from the Kickdrums. See below for full tracklist and download [...]

  28. [...] say the least… Kemdrick Lamar‘s Section.80 is an incredible album [read our review]. Since its July release the LP has been lauded by practically every respected tastemaker in the [...]

  29. [...] Comments // To say the least… Kemdrick Lamar‘s Section.80 is an incredible album [read our review]. Since its July release the LP has been lauded by practically every respected tastemaker in the [...]

  30. [...] Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 is out now. Read our review here. [...]

  31. [...] Lamar’s Section.80 is out now. Read our review here. // Tell A [...]

  32. [...] rest in peace to both of ‘em spit like I’m the ghost of em” and if you slept on Kendrick’s Section.80, this will make you pay [...]

  33. [...] both of ‘em spit like I’m the ghost of em” and if you slept on Kendrick’s Section.80, this will make you pay [...]

  34. [...] here), slay radio, film a video for “Rigamortis” from Kendrick Lamar’s epic Section.80 project and lots more. The West coast repping collective took the cameras with them and now we can [...]

  35. [...] headphones if you haven’t already as they’re all dropping fierce contenders; Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80, Jay Rock’s Follow Me Home also featuring Ab-Soul and check out ScHoolboy Q’s Favourite [...]

  36. [...] you haven’t already as they’re all dropping fierce contenders; Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80, Jay Rock’s Follow Me Home also featuring Ab-Soul and check out ScHoolboy Q’s Favourite [...]

  37. [...] Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 is out now and features guest apperances from ScHoolBoy Q, GLC, Colin Monroe & Ab-Soul with production from THC, J. Cole, Sounwave and more. Read our review here. [...]

  38. [...] ScHoolBoy Q, GLC, Colin Monroe & Ab-Soul with production from THC, J. Cole, Sounwave and more. Read our review here. // Tell A [...]

  39. [...] MUSIC x DOWNLOADS Kendrick Lamar joins forces with Colin Monroe on the track “No Make-Up (Her Vice)” featuring Colin Monroe, from the West Coast emcee’s street album Section.80; available to buy HERE [and click here to read our review]. [...]

  40. [...] MUSIC x DOWNLOADS Kendrick Lamar joins forces with Colin Monroe on the track “No Make-Up (Her Vice)” featuring Colin Monroe, from the West Coast emcee’s street album Section.80; available to buy HERE [and click here to read our review]. [...]

  41. [...] you haven’t already, go and PURCHASE Kendrick Lamar‘s Section.80 album (there is a reason it got a 5 Soul review!) and then get Jay Rock’s debut album Follow Me Home on July [...]

  42. [...] producer Pharrell Williams took some time out to prise K.Dot’s recently released LP, Section.80 [read SoulCulture's album review]. As Skateboard P tells it, “Hold Up” and “Rigamortus” are among the Grammy award winning [...]

  43. [...] Pharrell Williams took some time out to prise K.Dot’s recently released LP, Section.80 [read SoulCulture's album review]. As Skateboard P tells it, “Hold Up” and “Rigamortus” are among the Grammy [...]

  44. [...] diverse hip hop coming from Cali right now is damn near ridiculous! (Check out Dom Kennedy and Kendrick Lamar‘s recent releases) Take a peek at the CALMATIC directed visuals for “Pasadena” [...]

  45. [...] Lamar’s Section.80 is out now. Read our review here and see why he received a CLASSIC rating from SC. For more on That’s Rocawear go HERE. // Tell A [...]