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good kid, m.A.A.d. city

Kendrick Lamar
AFTERMATH/INTERSCOPE
Dr. Dre’s latest signing is the latest beneficiary of the Jimmy Iovine hype machine. So much ink has spilled calling this, his third album (not his debut, as so many lazy press release copy/pasters exclaim), the second coming of anywhere from Illmatic to a full-on resurrection of the West’s rap domination. good kid is a fine album, even better than fine. It’s an album that works in spite of an annoying, affected voice, or any true standout singles. The record plays like a great vibe, an easy energy with a select few poignant moments. Lamar is certainly a contender, and it’s easy to excuse some lower points of the record on youth and inexperience, until we remember Ice Cube was on his fifth classic by the same age (25). A little perspective to temper the hyperbole.