Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly

March 19, 2015 4:01 PM

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Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly

To Pimp a Butterfly has me excited to make music. It reminds me how important music is to my everyday existence. It's an inspiring record, an incendiary lyrical tour de force and a stylistic mashup that's elevated the G-Funk era with a set of more organic twists. Kendrick's cabinet runs deep: although the producer/collaborator count runs close to two dozen, the album's sonic expansiveness is cohesive, dynamic and jammed with live instrumentation. Intros and outros snake through song forms, paving a road both perfect for low-riders or your MTA of choice. When was the last time you heard clarinet on a hip-hop record? This is it.

If a little Googling is correct, that's Pedro Castro, a clarinetist with four YouTube videos and a solid writeup in the Pasadena City College Courier. But his performance on "Institutionalized" is not as anonymous; rather it's part of the deep musical fabric that Kendrick, a decidedly hands-on forem...

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