Release Date: Jul 2, 2011
Record label: !K7
Section.80 is a triumph for the internet-centric youth rap movement. While plenty of artists have set their sights on finally charging for their work in 2011, including west coast contemporaries like Lil’ B and Dom Kennedy, many of them seem unable to make their album work feel much different from their mixtapes. Surely some of that stems from their use of the same producers and the lack of DJ involvement that makes their free projects feel like albums anyway, but a lot of it is rooted in their inability to expand.
Kendrick Lamar :: Section.80Top Dawg EntertainmentAuthor: Mike BaberI pride myself on generally being up to date with the latest hip-hop news and album releases, both mainstream and underground, but I'll admit I had never heard of Kendrick Lamar until I stumbled across "Section.80" while browsing iTunes last week. At first I was slightly embarrassed, given that Lamar is quickly becoming a hot name in hip-hop and was named to XXL's 2011 Freshman Class, but my embarrassment quickly turned to excitement as I scrolled through the user reviews of the album. Lamar was being touted by many as the next big emcee, someone who understands and embodies the idea of real hip-hop.
Kendrick Lamar is a weird kid, and rap music could always use more weird kids. The 24-year-old is a Compton native with a budding and mysterious Dr. Dre connection, but there's little-to-no link to his hometown's gangsta-funk legacy in his music. Instead, Lamar is very much a product of the late blog-rap era-- an introverted loner type who's willing to talk tough but is more interested in taking a Mag-Lite to his own personal failings and what he sees as the flaws of his generation.
Kendrick Lamar moves differently than most rappers. He’s soft-spoken with a humble confidence that’s refreshing. He’s from Compton, but is hell-bent on giving that Los Angeles neighborhood a reputation far broader than the gang-centric one it’s earned since N.W.A. put gangsta rap on the map in the late 1980s.