Today marks the one year anniversary of Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city. This time last fall, the album was all anyone could talk about, with many declaring the project an “instant classic.” Of course, that term is an oxymoron (no TDE pun intended) and, at the time, it was far too early to decide whether or not it was a seminal work of the genre.
But now, one calendar year later, it just may be an appropriate time to crown it with the deserving accolades. It has everything a “classic” album needs. A binding concept to unify the individual records (his path from darkness to light). Some tracks that stand out from the rest (“Money Trees,” and “Sing About Me”). Even songs that found radio success in “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe”, “Poetic Justice” and “Swimming Pools” without compromise.
But most importantly, there has yet to be a better album released since October 22, 2012. The greats like Kanye and Jay-Z couldn’t release a stronger body of work, and Eminem likely won’t either. Drake and Pusha T came close, but when push comes to shove, GKMC still comes out on top.
So with that, we turn it over to you. Where does good kid, m.A.A.d city stand in your rotation after 365 days? Has it gotten better over time? And most of all, does it belong on the mantle with Illmatic, Life After Death, Doggystyle, and rest of the bona fide groundbreaking albums that Hip-Hop’s produced since its inception?