Kendrick Lamar seems to not only be the most critically applauded rapper of his generation, but of all time. Due to his fiery wordplay, immaculate storytelling, and sociopolitical commentary, the rapper has garnered a considerable amount of respect for his work.
Lamar’s most recent offering DAMN. continues a tradition set by his previous studio albums – Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City and To Pimp A Butterfly – by achieving a rare 90+ score on the esteemed review aggregating site Metacritic. In fact, DAMN. (which is still accumulating reviews as we speak) has so far tied To Pimp A Butterfly in being the highest-rated hip-hop albums ever in Metacritic history. His indie debut Section.80 did not fare as highly but still achieved an impressive average score of 80. Even untitled unmastered. – a compilation album comprised of Lamar’s unreleased demos – earned glowing reviews and an 86 on Metacritic.
The only other rappers to come remotely close to Kendrick’s level of industry praise (according to Metacritic) are Outkast and Kanye West. Outkast’s otherworldy Stankonia and certified diamond Speakerboxx/The Love Below achieved scores of 95 and 91 respectively while My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy surprisingly marks Kanye’s only 90+ rated album with a score of 94. Each of the aforementioned albums are considered to be the some of the greatest rap albums (or greatest albums of any genre for that matter); yet, Kendrick seemingly usurps them and every other rapper in levels of acclaim.
Sure, this claim is based from only one review aggregator but it’s not too far-fetched to declare that Kendrick is slowly but surely entering the “greatest of all-time” conversation in terms of rappers.
What are your thoughts?