If you don't know Kendrick you're not a music fan, this man right here is already a legend in hip hop, his debut studio album Section 80 wasn't commercially successful but then Good Kid, M.a.a.D. City went platinum in absolutely no time at all and it's only been upwards since then, with To Pimp A Butterfly recently winning rap album of the year at the grammys and deservedly so aswell. Whether you like Kendrick or not you can't deny that he is killing the game right now (We all remember THAT control verse). Anyway, in this list I will only include studio albums, as per, so that involves listing Section 80, Good Kid, M.a.a.d. City and To Pimp A Butterfly, this test was awful to make because I love all three of these equally in their own way. So without further ado, at number 20:
20. How Much A Dollar Cost
This song, like many of Kendricks, has such a strong message that it really makes for a powerful listen. The story of Kendrick at a gas station when a homeless man approaches him and then the difference between the spite of the rich and the needs of the poor. The culmination of this story climaxes with the revelation that the homeless man is actually God and that the rich and ignorant Kendrick needs to be more giving, such a powerful tale.
19. The Art of Peer Pressure
I love the idea of this song, it's that this boy in the hood who really isn't capable of any sort of strong crime which could earn him serious jail time. Kendrick is forced into robbing this house with his homies, they then have to dart when they find someone in the house and it makes the song all that more exhilirating because it is almost a tense thriller of a film, I wish this album was made into a film.
18. Tammy's Song
This song is catchy as hell in my opinion, the matter being a girl who is constantly being wronged by guys, and she starts to play around herself. It's basically just the story of how trust being broken can actually break some girls and then they become the very thing that they hate. Not to mention the fact that in the final chorus of the song she gets so sick of men she turns to women...
It's quite mainstream to hate 'the man' in the day and age of hipsters, and many rappers are so against the big man at the top of every organisation that it's become quite a part of most rappers 'introspective' subject matter. However, Kendrick is so good at songwriting that in a way this song is exactly the same as the others but it is so different at the same time. The play on wordds of Institutionalised and Institutional Lies is one that I've certainly never heard before but it's so obvious. Great subject matter Kendrick.
16. The Recipe
Arguably, one of the worst subject matters on the album and it is honestly a great song which just shows how incredible this album really is. Not only does make for a brilliant album track but it is arguably one of the best bonus tracks ever. An incredible beat with some great spitting by Kendrick builds this track up to great heights.
15. Poetic Justice
First and foremost, Drake is excellent on this track i think his verse absolutely brilliant on this song. But Kendrick outshines him, this song doesn't really fit in with the concept of the album but it actually is so harmonic and it really feels heartfelt for a Kendrick song as he never really talks about this kind of thing but he executes this perfectly and is an absolutely fantastic song.
The flow, Kendrick has arguably my favourite flow ever and this song has to be the best example of this ever, it has one of the most fast paced verses in songs ever and this mainly isn't because of Kendrick but is because of the beat that is this hard hitting, over-bearing bass that just keeps rumbling on and it never stops until thhe end of the song. Amazing song.
I loved this song mainly because it was so sweet hearing Dr. Dre rap again, and really go at it. Not to mention that Kendrick was really spitting on this song. This bonus track really uplifted the album for me and could have actually worked if tapered into the album as part of the story somehow. The beat on this song is so hard aswell, this fast pace boom that's only really recognisable within Backseat Freestyle and M.a.a.D. City. This song was really great, it truly is a shame that Kendrick has so many amazing songs that this sits in at 13 becaus it would be top 5 among most peoples discography.
12. M.a.A.d. City
When this song first came out I couldn't stop listening to it and if I had made this list in 2012 it would have undoubtedly been sitting pretty at number 1. But it's had 4 years to grind on me and it really has done just that, I listened to it so much that I've ruined it for myself and can't quite listen to it as much anymore. However, When I saw Kendrick live this song was absolutely mental, the whole floor made a circle and the mosh after it dropped was just mental. If you haven't heard this song then you need to listen to it as loud as you can for the first time and get ready to be blown away. Just don't ruin it for yourself, like I did.
11. The Blacker the Berry
This song being released got me so hyped for To Pimp A Butterfly, the first time you listen to it you get this pounding beat that fades out then hits you back again until you can't help but nod your head along to this. But then you listen deeper and you find that it's all about this hypocrisy and stereotypes. It truly is a magnificent song with some of the best spitting from Kendrick that I have ever heard and it just pushed this song to new levels. It is unlucky to miss out on the top 10 but that really shows the strength of Kendrick Lamar's discography. Stay tuned for 10-1 of my favourite Kendrick Lamar songs.