Album Review: Section.80 by Kendrick Lamar

Posted: July 2, 2011 by eptarheels23 in Album Review, Music
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It’s finally here!!!!! Section.80 by Kendrick Lamar has been one of my most anticipated releases ever as evident by my preview of it and it being number one on my Top 10 Albums of the Summer article. I don’t want to ramble on about how much I’m looking forward to it (if you want to read that, check out my preview) so let’s just get into it. The question everyone has been asking: did it live up to the hype or not? Check it out below!

1: F**k Your Ethnicity 5/5
Kendrick gathers everyone around the campfire (a theme he continues throughout the album), as he brings Keisha and Tammy to the front. Over a mellow, soulful beat Kendrick drops insight and wisdom on who is and why he is what he is. His flow on here is great and soulful singing really brings the track to life. This is a great intro to Section.80 and it really gets me pumped for what is in store for the rest of the project.

2: Hol’ Up 5/5
Over a smooth, laid back beat Kendrick really starts off the song with a “bang!” as he raps “I wrote this record while 30,000 feet in the air, stewardess complementing me on my nappy hair, if I could f**k her in front of all these passengers, they would probably think I’m a terrorist”. That line made me laugh as Kendrick really isn’t scared to say anything in his records and that makes him head and shoulders above the competition. His flow on this song is top notch as he almost seems to rap off-beat at points, but still manages to body the beat. It shocks how amazing Kendrick Lamar sounds rapping off beat. The one downside to this songs is that it clocks in at under three minutes, it should have been longer. All that being said, this a great overall listen.

3: A.D.H.D. 4.5/5
This track is a slowed down cut that has that California daze vibe to it. It deals with everything from video games to sex to drugs. It seems like a track that glorifies these things, but really it just explains the daily things that go on throughout Kendrick Lamar’s neighborhood. His flow on here is slow but he picks it up every now and then. This tracks starts off slow but slowly picks up speed as it progresses. It also reminds me of H.O.C. from OD, but in a good way.

4: No Makeup (His Vice) [feat. Colin Munroe] 5/5
This track has one simple message, but it is a very powerful one at that. In a world today that focuses on insecurities, everyone tries to cover up their imperfections. Kendrick finds that the imperfections of a certain person reveal their true character. And when someone tries to cover up their imperfections they lose their true character and become a “blur”. This just shows how great of a lyricist and socially conscience Kendrick Lamar is as an emcee and a musician. Colin Munroe assists Kendrick flow perfectly on here, almost like the pick and roll run to perfection. It is a great thing to listen to in action.

5: Tammy’s Song (Her Evils) 4/5
Right off the bat the first thing that hits you is the beat. And it is a weird pop/futuristic one. While I really don’t like it, this track again has Kendrick at his storytelling finest. The first verse speaks on the story of girl who fed up with her man and she suspects him of cheating. After going through his phone, she finds the number of another young woman. She then confronts her boyfriend who then confesses, so she leaves him. The second verse is a similar story of a woman who is approached by Kendrick but refuses him because she has a man at home. But when she gets home, she finds evidence of him cheating. So following an argument with him, she leaves to meet up with Kendrick. The last verse explores how these vulnerable girls become sick of men and take each other as companions, after failed relationships. It really puts Kendrick’s lyricism on display.

6: Chapter Six 3.5/5
Back to the jazzy instrumentals for this short interlude. It really just is a short distraction from the full album. It also continues the sitting around the fire scene. Despite that, it will probably get your head nodding to the beat.

7: Ronald Reagan Era (His Evils) [feat. RZA] 5/5
Let me start this off by saying this is my favorite song of the entire year up to this point. The bridge into the song is absolutely perfect as it sets the tone for the rest of the song. Kendrick absolutely rips this song to shreds as his first verse is crazy, dropping lines such as “you n****s Marcus Camby, washed up”. His vocabulary on here is above and beyond 98% of other rappers today and he seems to do it so easily. Tae Beast really brought his A-game when it came down to the production, as it is one of the best beats I’ve heard recently. The hook on here is insanely catchy as Kendrick just chants “whoopty woop” and it really adds to the overall feel of the song. The weird thing about Ronald Reagan Era is that it was supposed to have an RZA feature and it even says it does, but he doesn’t even get a verse. His contribution on this song is almost none, a verse from RZA would have taken this song to a whole nother level.

8: Poe Mans Dream (His Vice) [feat. GLC] 4/5
When I fist saw this track, I was really confused by the random GLC feature. He never gets a full verse on the track, just kinda a bridge after the hook and spoken word at the end. His deep voice does contrast well with Kendrick’s higher pitched voice. The beat on here has a very smooth baseline and it is perfect to just cruise down the street to. The hook on here is also very laid back, creating a great sound. All in all, a very good listen.

9: The Spiteful Chant (feat. Schoolboy Q) 5/5
Every album needs that street anthem/banger, and this song is that for Kendrick Lamar. The beat on here straight bangs and really sets the tone for the entire track. To me, this track is the equivalent of Michael Jordan from OD as they both have a Schoolboy Q feature and are bangers. But this track is a level above Michael Jordan in my mind. Schoolboy Q once again kills his verse and makes the song that much better. I really wish Kendrick had a full verse on here where he went rapid fire flow as he just does it in spurts throughout the song. But hey, you can’t have everything.

10: Chapter Ten 3.5/5
The beat on here is downright strange as it seems to be a combination of a video game theme song and a soulful cut. Another interlude here where Kendrick continues the camp fire theme. Oh and that rapid fire flow I wanted earlier, Kendrick drops a verse with it on here.

11: Keisha’s Song (Her Pain) [feat. Astro Bot] 5/5
This record has Kendrick Lamar at his finest. It is touching, deep and still has that replay-able value to it. Astro Bot really adds a lot to it with the hook and Kendrick’s flow on here is once again killer. I’m not normally a huge fan of music videos but I have a felling one for this track would be incredible. This record will be on repeat for some time to come.

12: Rigamortis 5/5
Remember that quick, rapid flow I asked for back on The Spiteful Chant? Well Kendrick brings it here. Over a jazzy, laid back beat he spazzes out with his lyrical wordplay. This is the best example of what Kendrick is capable of when it comes down to his ability to just straight up rap. He just goes so fast on here and keeps it up someone needs to tell him to just take a breathe at points. Must listen.

13: Kush & Corinthians (His Pain) [feat. BJ The Chicago Kid] 4.5/5
Over another smooth, soulful beat Kendrick once again returns to his lyrically impressive raps. He speaks on everything from drugs to the Bible and it really shows the range of topics he is capable of speaking on. When it was all done with, this record really reminded me of R.O.T.C. (Interlude) from OD. On my review of OD, I said that R.O.T.C. (Interlude) should have been longer. Well, this is that longer track I was looking for. BJ The Chicago Kid once again kills the smooth outro with his vocals.

14: Blow My High (Members Only) 5/5
Who ever knew Kendrick was a fan of the chopped ‘n’ screwed Texas style. Well on this track Kendrick uses that on the UGK-like chorus and it turns out being undeniably catchy song. His flow again on here is insane, as it’s starting to become the norm for all Kendrick Lamar tracks. This cut also serves as ode to the late R&B singer Aaliyah. And a great ode it is at that.

15: Outro (feat. Ab-Soul) 5/5
I realize that it says outro, but this cut clocks in at just under six minutes. Over a classic jazz beat that seems like something A Tribe Called Quest would rap over, Kendrick and Ab-Soul tear it apart. They really switch it up on here and use the spoken word to preach the values of honor, heart and respect. Ab-Soul really steals the show on here with his performance, as it is one of the best on all of Section.80. It needs to be said again, Terrace Martin really lays down a killer jazz beat. It makes the song one of the best on the tape. At the end of the record Kendrick once again continues the camp fire scene and he closes it out this time. It flows perfectly into the next cut, HiiiPoWeR.

16: HiiiPoWeR 5/5
The first official single, titled HiiiPoWeR. Over a J. Cole produced beat, Kendrick absolutely rips it apart, both with his flow and lyrically. The beat on HiiPoWeR is crazy and it really shows how good J. Cole is behind the boards, but the real star of the show is Kendrick Lamar. I would consider this song a Kendrick Lamar classic, as he showcases how much of a lyrical monster he is. There aren’t any topics he is scared to go at, and that’s a great thing. When you look at it, all the great emcees had their share of controversial songs. He mentions things such as Illuminati, Civil Rights activists like Huey Newton, Martin Luther King Jr., Marcus Garvey, Fred Hampton, and renowned musician Lauryn Hill. This is a great way to close out the album.

Well, did it live up to the hype? Absolutely. Is it better than O(verly) D(edicated)? At the moment I’m gonna say it’s a tie and let me remind you that O(verly) D(edicated) is my favorite album of all time. Will it be the best album of the year? Only time will tell, but I have no doubt it will be. I think it goes without being said, but this is the best album of the year up to this point. It has amazing cuts front to back, with a few great features thrown in there. I was actually disappointed when I saw the final tracklist and I thought Section.80 might actually let me down. But how could I ever doubt Kendrick Lamar? It lived up to and exceeded it’s expectations. This album will put Kendrick Lamar as the number one emcee out of the west coast right now, and up there with the likes of Kanye West and Jay-Z. There I said it. He won’t quite be on their level, as he will have to release a couple more classics such as O(verly) D(edicated) and Section.80, but I have no doubt that is well within Kendrick Lamar’s talents. So support true hip-hop and download Section.80 from iTunes below!

Download and stream Section.80 on iTunes! (it’s only $7.99)

  1. Biqq Pete says:

    it better be as good as you always say it is for me to actually buy it

    • thatrealshit says:

      this album is incredible. by the fourth or fifth listen, by the time you’ve found the time to take in all the subtleties of the lyrics and the music, you will realize this album is an instant classic. absolutely perfect

  2. eptarheels23 says:

    don’t worry, it is

  3. […] date. If he does, two of my three favorite artist (Kendrick Lamar is missing, but he just released Section.80 so he’s all good) will release albums on the same day. There isn’t much information so […]

  4. […] Also check out: Artist You Need to Know: Kendrick Lamar Album Review: O(verly) D(edicated) by Kendrick Lamar Album Review: Section.80 by Kendrick Lamar […]

  5. […] west coast is on the revival lead by artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Pac Div, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Fashawn, Dom Kennedy and many more, but it’s time someone […]

  6. […] to the game. Individually he has released two of my favorite albums ever, O(verly) D(edicated) and Section.80, and made some monster guest appearances. Kendrick Lamar brings raw emotion, lyricism, and dope […]

  7. […] Kendrick Lamar – Section.80 (review) Released: July 2nd Features: Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, RZA, Colin Munroe, GLC, BJ The Chicago Kid, […]

  8. […] Martin – Thirsty (feat. Kendrick Lamar & CyHi Da Prynce) The genius behind the beat on Ab-Soul’s Outro off Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 gets behind the mic and boards on this one. Oh yeah and did I mention he also gets Kendrick and […]

  9. […] And the question that I was asking myself right after finishing my first listen through was, “Section.80 or Cole World?” After a lot of arguing back and forth with myself, I came to this conclusion: […]

  10. […] And the question that I was asking myself right after finishing my first listen through was, “Section.80 or Cole World?” After a lot of arguing back and forth with myself, I came to this conclusion: […]

  11. […] west coast is on the revival lead by artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Pac Div, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Fashawn, Dom Kennedy and many more, but it’s time someone […]

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