The Washington Post: With “To Pimp a Butterfly,” Kendrick Lamar brushes all hip-hop rivals aside

Before last weekend’s surprise leak — or, more likely, intentional drop — of his career-defining, genre-realigning latest album, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” Kendrick Lamar was one hip-hop heir apparent among several.

By Sunday night, there was only one: It’s hard to imagine there will be a smarter or more ambitious rap album this year than “Butterfly.” It’s a dizzying deep-dive examination of race, capitalism, religion, relationships, post-Ferguson America, and fame and its discontents. At almost 80 minutes long, it never flags.

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