The West Coast Illmatic: good kid, m.A.A.d city & The Evolution of Hip Hop Storytelling

One journalist compares Kendrick Lamar's recent show-stopping "good kid m.A.A.d city" to Nas' "Illmatic" and points out more similarities than we may realize.

“One afternoon in early 1943, before the regular six o’clock crowd had gathered, a black soldier sat drinking by himself at one of my tables. He must have been there an hour or more. He looked dumb and pitiful and just up from the Deep South. The fourth or fifth drink I served this soldier, wiping the table I bent over close and asked him if he wanted a woman.”

The bar was called Small’s Paradise. Serving the drinks and connecting the patron with an escort was a young student of the streets. His fellow Harlem hedonists had dubbed him "Detroit Red." That moment was Red’s first real foray into the criminal underworld. The man who would later be called Malcolm X was around 17 years old.

Plenty goes down during your late teenage years. There are decisions to made, first experiences to be had, the consequences of either could dictate the rest of your life. These years of angst, naivety, and unpredictability can provide our most captivating or most embarrassing stories.

Rapper Nas’ first album, Illmatic, covers the same years of his life, as does the major label debut of his apparent heir in Hip Hop’s nexus of narrative storytelling. Kendrick Lamar released Section.80 independently through TDE last year. It hinted at what someone of his lyrical caliber and acute understanding of generational anxieties could produce on a fully backed release.

Like Illmatic in 1994, it hasn’t taken long for good kid, m.A.A.d city to resonate with critics. “It doesn’t take a decade’s worth of work to signal greatness; sometimes a few bars herald a second coming,” author/critic dream hampton recalls in her initial Illmatic assessment. Unlike that album, G.K.M.C. has also managed to shoot up the charts from the jump.

While the critical and commercial enthusiasm about G.K.M.C. is well-deserved, there is something entirely more interesting at play. Having a similar age, equally astronomical expectations, and the “memory lane” and “sleep is the cousin of death” references aren’t all the two albums have in common. More than anything, these two projects share a novel’s knack for narrative. Not all great emcees can be great storytellers. Other rappers, then and now, have either been unable or unwilling to use storytelling as convincingly as Illmatic and G.K.M.C. do.

There are a few dozen major points of comparison worth considering about these two artistic triumphs but the most obvious is the use of story. You could compare production boards or lyrical dexterity or speculate on the historical ramifications of each project. Much of that territory is sticky, fruitless, abruptly titled in the direction of the incumbent, or all three — as is trying to measure the career of a relative rookie (even if you go hypothetically bonkers) to a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. This isn’t about which album or artist is better. In focusing specifically on story, something far more compelling is revealed.

Hip Hop fans too frequently fall into the same traps that conservative pundits do when assessing what’s real and what’s fiction in the art form. The emcees don’t help by insisting that they live what they say. It’s all beside the point. Every story, even memoir and autobiography is selective and biased and skewed in its own way. We aught to be able to look at the two as writers, their work as narrative and their narrators as characters.

Kendrick Lamar tells the story through "K-Dot" (other narrators include Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Anna Wise, MC Eiht, Dr. Dre, and Jay Rock) and Nas through "Nasty Nas" (occasionally early traces of God’s Son, Nastradamous, Escobar may appear alongside Pete Rock, Q-Tip, and AZ). We’re looking at the album as a whole, as it was intended, not as individual songs. These albums are more than mere sums of their parts.

 

“Y'all know my steelo with or without the Airplay”


“You’re trying to keep it deprived and only cosign what radio does”


Illmatic and good kid, m.A.A.d city share a similar authorial intent, use some of the same narrative devices, describe a grittily nuanced setting, and send their heroes through parallel conflicts. Neither considers their project a part of the majority. The two albums share in their script a disregard for whetting the industry’s appetite, while not completely dismissing those who fold to its whims. They distinguish themselves from their peers without pointing fingers.

During album-intro “The Genesis” Nasty speaks directly to his game plan as author. His brother Jungle calls what’s on the radio bullshit and Nasty tells him to chill. K-Dot’s soundtrack consists of Ciara, Young Jeezy, E-40, 50 Cent and Usher — all heavily spun artists during the time G.K.M.C. takes place. These artists command minimal, if existent, respect from Hip Hop purists the way both Nas and Kendrick Lamar do. Nasty hypothetically insists he would tell the same story with or without a record contract just as Kendrick Lamar did on parts of his independent debut. Nasty’s debut verse is sampled from Main Source’s “Live At The BBQ” and K-Dot references “Keisha’s Song” from Section.80, gauging their career status before releasing these seminal projects. This acknowledges the steep stakes that exist despite neither being willing to cower and confide in an industry playbook to meet them.

Both emcees posit their story in a way that avoids the common pitfall of using industry knocking as come up fuel, while still insisting their music exists separately from what’s trending. Besides, they realize raps are cheap. Nasty never talks to snakes cause the words of man kill. K-Dot’s New Year’s Resolution is to stop all the pollution, he thinks there’s too motherfucking much talk already.

Part of the action both narrators provide is indirect. Marc Lamont Hill called Nas an “informal ethnographer,” who provided a narrative that ran counter to the sweeping conclusions the media and masses informally made about life in the ghetto. “Nas is able to account for people who historically have been rendered anonymous,” Hill writes in his essay on Halftime in last year’s Illmatic book Born To Use Mics. People ill equipped to tell their own stories become the burden of the bard.

Nasty reinforces the frail, with lyrics that’s real. K-Dot counts lives all on these songs, “Look at the weak and cry, pray one day you’ll be strong.” They turn to the lives of neighbors out of a sense of responsibility to their community and to the completeness of their own story. That K-Dot feels he’s “Fighting for your rights, even when your wrong,” illustrates the same sort of prescribed advice that Nasty bestows onto the little bastard he meets and coaches to rise above, keeping an eye out for jakes until that day comes.

 

“Niggas don’t listen man, representin’ it’s Illmatic


“Everybody sit your bitch ass down and listen to this true motherfuckin’ story”


 Illmatic and G.K.M.C. draw on skits for function not filler. “The Genesis,” “Life’s A Bitch,” and “Represent,” all leave ample room for Nasty Nas to bring other characters into the mix, adding to the story out of rhyme. K-Dot’s assailants, friends, parents, and spiritual guides all make appearances in the space between songs. Around 10 full minutes of G.K.M.C. is set aside for skits. Like the lyrical sections, every second is used to carefully advance the narrative or position the story in context.

The ordering of the songs and length of the album is as deliberate. These projects don’t have throwaway tracks. If a song or a verse didn’t fit, it’s either left off (Nasty Nas stitched together some stanzas from demo songs like “Just Another Day In Projects,” “I’m a Villain,” and “Nas Will Prevail,” while other parts of those songs never made it to Illmatic) or thrown elsewhere(G.K.M.C.’s Deluxe Editions has bonus tracks and no edition features Lady Gaga). What’s said has as much to do with what isn’t. Had Kendrick Lamar put his lyrically underwhelming coast anthem “The Recipe,” his down tempo celebrity-envy track “Black Boy Fly,” or his cornball rendition of a victory lap song (“Now Or Never”), the story might have dissolved. It would belittle K-Dot as primary raconteur. It’s impossible to imagine Illmatic going a nudge longer than its nearly 40-minute, 10-track length. The songs on both albums are thematic in that they belong with the other tracks, in the exact order outlined. None of the “singles” (although no song on either project was a crafted single in the strict radio-thirsty sense) are at their best away from the comfort of the other songs.

 

“Dwelling in the rotten Apple, you get tackled or caught by the devil’s lasso”


“Compton USA, made me an Angel on angel dust.”


Throughout both projects, Nasty and K-Dot provide boots-on-the-ground dispatches from their neighborhood trenches. In a sense they are also informal geographers, drawing maps of places that have been rendered navigationally anonymous. Although neither was first to describe their ghetto circumstances, their level of detail spawns stand alone characters out of their settings.

Nasty gives a Google Maps view of his world around the Queensbridge Housing Projects — 40-side & 41st-side of Vernon, Riker’s Island, Elmira, H.D.M., Bellevue, and North 95 (interstate). Rosecrans, Alameda, Dominguez High, Paramount, Westchester, Alondra, Bullis, and the 405 (freeway) are included in the mapping of K-Dot’s Compton.

Coloring in the Dickensian details of Queensbridge, Nasty has windows facing shootouts (from a Tec, M-16, 45, gauge, glock, nickel plated nine, Mac-11, or four-pounder). He’s a Moet drinking (as well as Dom P, E&J, Hennessey, Cognac, Alizé, Heine’s, and Beck’s), marijuana smoking (called oo-wops, Phillies, hash, Buddha), street dweller (watching cee-lo through peepholes, sitting in building lobbies, scoping the numbers man from park benches).

K-Dot explains how to roll that kush (or reefer, shenanigans, butt-nakeds, sherm sticks), crack that case (of Champagne, Remy Red, Hennessy, Goose), because that’s just how Compton (with house parties and house robberies by Pirus, Crips, and cops conjuring lead showers with heaters, choppers and banana clips) rolls (in traffic, tires screeching, hands on the wheel, swerving with power steering past drive by shootings, Pirelli’s skirting). K-Dot is hot boxing in the cul-de-sac and Nasty is getting bent up in the project stairwell.

They each love their city, maybe even to death, but they also recognize the disadvantage it brings. The city that found K-Dot and put him on stages is also the same place that took his cooperative MC Eiht under, forcing him to follow the rules. The same goes for Nasty who doesn’t go against the grain, simple and plain — careful to make sure the right man bleeds (read: no innocent bystanders or missed opportunities). Another K-Dot compatriot Jay Rock, explains that prostitutes and drug sales abound but it’s all good. He goes on to warn that Compton residents will steal your watch then tell you what time it is and take your J’s then tell you to kick it where a Foot Locker is. Nasty would rob foreigners as a youngster and even rip up their green cards, adding misery on top of their misery. K-Dot recognizes the streets will probably also release the worst side of his best. They adapt to crime. It won’t adapt to them.

 

“The smooth criminal on beat breaks”

 

“Hash realities we in made our music translate”

 

Villainy can bring some benefits but both characters see the results as short sighted. For Nasty, there are clothes, bankrolls and hoes, but then what? His buck that bought a bottle could’ve struck the lotto and taken him out of the projects. He could use a gun but would be robbed of freedom as a wanted man. K-Dot could look over the city with vanity and the music louder, but looking at his dyed-black flower, he knows he isn’t fooling anyone. Money trees might be the perfect place for shade, but K-Dot wants more in retirement. He’s out to ensure he’s worth singing about when it’s all over. They concede these conflicted interests between their short and long cons.

Any day could be Nasty’s last in the jungle of Queensbridge, making his mic-check a matter of life or death. Not only self-concerned, picturing his peeps not eating can make also make his heartbeat skip. K-Dot’s hungry for anything unhealthy and if nutrition can help him, he doesn’t care. His stomach is already in knots as it is. If he makes it out alive, his mom expects him to give back to his city. They’re both going to have to rhyme their way out of dodge. Their tasked with overcoming their neighborhood and then rewarding it in eulogy. Fortunately, there’s local precedent for the mic to double as lifesaver. Nasty can trace MC Shan’s path out of QB. K-Dot can reap the benefits of N.W.A.’s harvest, sustaining Compton. Hope is nearby

The authors of Illmatic and good kid, m.A.A.d city made deliberate choices to distinguish their purpose as auteur. In that pursuit, they employ analogous storytelling tools and turn their hometowns into brutal but just creatures. The challenges their protagonists face are comparable, but their behavior is as disparate as their story’s shape.

 

“Fuck ‘rap is real,’ / watch the herbs stand still” 

 

“It’s deep rooted the music being young and dumb / It’s never muted, in fact, it’s much louder where I’m from.”

 

The good kid, m.A.A.d city is as linear a Hip Hop story as we’ve seen in recent memory (I see you Undun and Death Of Adam). Maybe ever. The plot is more straightforward, the characters more rounded and the ending more resolved than other, narratively ambitious releases or its predecessor, Illmatic. There’s a reason that its cover art is adorned with the label of “short film.” It’s also short in the timeframe it spans. Only a day or two, probably consecutively, pass during K-Dot’s journey. Time is Illmatic for Nasty Nas. It’s not important. These specifics could be taken from any given day or days and that’s beside the point.

Illmatic’s story has no clear beginning or ending. It starts and ends in the midst of things. G.K.M.C. flows down the conflict-climax-resolution river with conviction in keeping the story afloat on the surface throughout. Illmatic relies on abstraction at times and pays less attention to an arc of the story, instead topically and thematically weaving above and below the waterline of the narrator’s bars.

G.K.M.C. comes clean with the immediate details, only occasionally referring to the outside world. Nasty takes a big-picture look at Queensbridge, his life and the world at large. K-Dot focuses on a specific chain of events, encasing strict moments of his life, and any links to the wider world are left to the listener to fasten. Nasty directs a section of anecdotal episodes not at the beginning and not at the end of a show’s lifespan. Both have sequential cinematic explosions. K-Dot’s is an isolated saga, driven by his hero’s ethos.

 

“I bag bitches up at John Jay / and hit a matinee”

 

“I’ll take your girlfriend and put that pussy on a pedestal”

 

These characters are conflicted at times. It’s challenging to determine when Nasty finishes feeling one way and starts to feel another way. With K-Dot it’s clearer. One segment of the streets where both narrator’s opinions are more lucid is in the attention they afford to females.

Nasty shot his way out of his mom dukes. He occasionally hears a few chicks scream, sees young bitches being grazed by bullets, and meets female crack heads who have to smoke nice rock. He thinks so seldom of the women in his neighborhood that the specific females he mentions besides his mother are limited to Jerome’s niece and a Cinderella reference.

Contrarily, K-Dot has made a habit of voicing the struggles of the women in his life. This comes from the heightened sensitivity that leads him to recognize that he has to right his wrongs if he wants to stop hearing about the cold nights when his lover curses his name. His lady-loving chum Drake wants less fighting and more talking and is willing to come clean to get there — even though he’s second string to a girl who spends most of her leg spreading on another man. K-Dot even musters up the tact of possessing momentary storyteller’s guilt about whether it is his place to tell a woman’s story at all, briefly mulling himself exploiter. K-Dot knows the way he feels is taboo in Rap, but he doesn’t seem to care. He recognizes that he is supposed to capitalize on women when he can, but would rather underwrite their uplifting when possible.

Nasty boxes (and bags) up crazy bitches, checks dames, pulls numbers like pagers from fly ladies, new chicks, cokehead cutie pies, and keeps a honey for sexing. Ultimately though, he won’t plant seeds. He’s not reckless enough to forget that’s an extra mouth he can’t feed.

K-Dot remembers when condom wrappers weren’t cool but other than that he pales in comparison as the carefree womanizer. It takes an entire summer for him to chirp a girl up (the chaser not the chased) before finally sealing the deal. Then he nearly crashes from a sext she sends him as he drives a Dodge Caravan (not a ‘64 Impala) to get it in. By the time K-Dot shows up to finally collect his booty bounty for all the effort he’s put in, it’s a setup. When has it been kosher for any rapping crusader to be deceived by a female?

He claims he’s a professional porn star, but only when off the Goose. At his most braggadocios, even though he’s not embarrassed, he admits often finishing fast and prays to grow the size of the Eiffel Tower so he lasts longer. When K-Dot does take your girlfriend, he’s going to suddenly treat her with a huge amount of respect (“put that pussy on a pedestal”).

 

“I’m like Scarface sniffin’ cocaine, holding an M-16 / see with the pen I’m extreme”

 

“I’m like Tre, that’s Cuba Gooding / I know I’m good at, dying of thirst”

 

K-Dot admits that he’s easy prey, having been eaten alive one day prior. He plays it safe, avoiding conflict, wearing track attire because he’s become so accustomed to having to run away.  He likens himself to walking home from bible study as gang bangers and cops mess with him in equal measure. He’s the victim. A chump fresh out of high school (by way of graduation) and sleeping in the living room of his mom’s house. He gets fired from his security guard job after caving into peer pressure. He’s more D’Angelo Barksdale than Avon or Marlo Stanfield. He’s shaky at best.

Nasty dropped out of Cooley High. When he’s vexed he lets the .44 blow at cops. He shoots up parties and aims guns in all of his baby pictures. He’s sometimes Brother Mouzone, sometimes Bodie. He’s far from a victim. At his lowest, Nasty Nas is stressed out. The black cloud over him, prevents him from seeing tomorrow. He struggles to maintain but if he hits rock bottom he’ll still become the Son of Sam. His two-day breaks from the block to recharge are about as vulnerable as he gets. He wears his only physical defect, his chip-toothed smile, proudly. Even when he’s not living the full-fledged gangster lifestyle, he dreams that he is. K-Dot’s only inclination to live that life comes from coercion, a cowardly reaction in itself.

Hesitation is Nasty’s only emotional shortcoming. He held off kick starting his Rap career in the parks at age ten because he thought no one would understand. He figured he’d go over their heads (maybe even causing injuries from shock and awe). Nasty shows a little anger when his locked-up friend’s mom cries. All that makes him want to do is murder. He sees none of his violent, sexual, drug, or alcohol tendencies as vices even if he’s lamping because a crime (of his) couldn’t beat a rhyme (of his).

K-Dot is conscious of abusing his limit, resorting to coaching himself into a smashed state to be cool with taking advantage of any glossy eyed broads he can. He develops a new appetite for failure from this faulty logic. He glumly confesses his self-medicated excuse for defeat is in the bottom of the bottle or the greenest Indo leaf. K-Dot’s an underachieving carouser and lightweight party goer.

Nasty smokes hash while losing his virginity. He guzzles booze and pisses in your elevator for fun. K-Dot smokes weed for the first time and foams at the mouth. He drinks some Hennessy after being on the wrong end of a setup and yaks out the window.

Really, K-Dot is drug-free, a peacemaker, a believer of bad karma, and a sober soul that’s never been violent besides a handful of times with the homies. Nasty ain’t the type of brother made for you to start testing. Give him a Smith & Wesson and he’ll have you undressing. K-Dot’s secret is that he knows his audience fears feeling these inferior emotions he’s portraying. He’s apparently sacrificing his own reputation for their benefit.

K-Dot is indecisive in the face of big questions. He remains agnostic even as he’s dying of Holy thirst with his crew. Atheism is the easier conclusion for Nasty, who notices all the old folks praying to Jesus, soaking their sins in trays of holy water, but he doesn’t believe in none of that shit. Their facts are backwards. He was already sent to hell for snuffing Jesus by then anyhow. It’s unlikely that K-Dot is willing to snuff anyone, much less the son of anyone’s God.

 

“Not stories by Aesop”

 

“My point intended is raw”

 

Nasty ends Illmatic with raps that should be locked in a cell. He’s ready to go to jail for his lyrics. His rhymes are capable of inciting a riot. K-Dot is relieved at luckily avoiding his first offense from a burglary. If, as Sohail Daulatzai’s Born To Use Mics essay “A Rebel To America” suggests, N.W.A. declared war, and Illmatic was the blueprint for the insurgency, good kid, m.A.A.d city is the journey for self-sovereignty after the dust has settled.

K-Dot adds to Nasty’s hyperrealism layers of directness, divulgence and dénouement. Nasty Nas is half-man, half-amazing, an idealized version of self that’s been a Hip Hop default from the genre’s inception. K-Dot is just a man, any self-glorification burdened by the ugly truths, choices, and contradictions of his late teenage years.

good kid, m.A.A.d city is a relaxation of the rap ego. It introduces a hero who can learn from mistakes and alludes to a buoyant individual, affirmed as an adult by surviving a tumultuous adolescence without having to hit rock bottom to get right. The K-Dot character is a traceable evolution, not a revolution, in Hip Hop storytelling.

Stories do not tell themselves. Emcees make choices about what details to hide and what to show. They often choose to show what’s convenient. The post-Illmatic major label Hip Hop stories have amounted to a half-assed assessment of the American experiment. It hovers even shallower to the surface when the author is young and eager to fit an overused mold, when ironically, they’re at their storytelling prime. Sketching two-dimensional characters will always result in a flat story. It’s rarely, if ever, the human story.

Illmatic took Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s “The Message” to the next level, surveying street life and adding Nasty Nas as a character. It wasn’t significant just for Hip Hop. It was significant for telling the story for what it was like to live in New York City housing projects at the tail end of the crack era. Nasty humanizes that history in his reportage.

good kid, m.A.A.d city, isn’t just the next step of storytelling in Hip Hop. It’s an artifact typifying how a teenager dealt with the temptations of his devilish city immediately before the great recession hit. K-Dot is perhaps the roundest character in Hip Hop lore, set against a backdrop borrowed from the diagram of the genre’s strongest storytelling album. K-Dot’s character goes where other rap stories, like Rick Ross’ “Memoirs of a Rich Nigga,” haven’t the breadth or the guts to go. Forget about what’s real and what’s fiction. This is raw disclosure.

Rawness isn’t lacking in Malcolm X’s storytelling. After getting busted for a slew of Boston burglaries, having fled folks hunting for his head in Harlem, he went to prison. The harem world that sucked the young Detroit Red first into prostitute steering, then reefer peddling, running numbers, bootlegging liquor, wearing guns as neckties, and treating narcotics like food we know of because he described it so vividly.

The story of how he navigated that setting took more. He had to tell his own story, as accurately as he could — those vivid streets, his wickedness and his weakness side by side — to communicate his truth. A true story in fiction or memoir, a line Hip Hop will forever smudge, is more than a recounting of events. It’s the emotion. It’s the truth about the fact. It needs all the pieces.

As he readies in his story to head to prison, Malcolm X breaks to state his authorial intent:

“I want to say before I go on that I have never previously told anyone my sordid past in detail. I haven’t done it now to sound as though I might be proud of how bad, how evil, I was. But people are always speculating — why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth, must be reviewed. All our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.”

Until this October, Hip Hop didn’t have the courage to include some of those ingredients in its story.

Alex Dweezy Dwyer has written about Hip Hop for eight years, coincidentally the same year he got his first passport stamp in Paris. He's since lived in Rio De Janiero, Madrid, visited many other countries and spoken to many emcees. He currently lives in Chongqing, China but calls Los Angeles home. Follow him on Twitter @adweezy.

273 Comments

  • Hiphophead9

    Wow! Great album! Great piece, still listen to it to this day, GKMC

  • Anonymous

    Reaching. The more I read, The more I can see how little the albums have in common. GKMC is an amazing album - but the comparisons to Illmatic are not there. There no filler in Illmatic, no pop records, no mad name dropping, no RnB records, no over the top co-signs...

  • deejay

    STFU GKMC IS NOT THAT GOOD. K DOT STILL A ROOKIE. STOP RIDIN THAT D. Section 80>GKMC.

  • cyrilstradamus

    lol wat rubbish iz dis, you cant compare anything to illmatic , kendricks lbum iz a great album but not a classic so plz dnt compare it to the greatest rap album ever!

  • Anon

    Hey didn't the beginning of the article state that arguing about who or what album is better is kinda pointless? The article highlights SIMILARITIES and DIFFERENCES in the NARRATIVE. Please read the article and not just the title, folks.

  • Omar

    Since illmatic came out before GKMC, of course everyone will give Nas the props. He deserves it, he is one of the greatest MC's of all time. But Kendrick is an up and comer. Personally I loved the album. It's a hip-hop album. That mean's the album is based on story telling and lyricism to gain interest. But the problem with today's hip-hop is songs with banging beats and decent hooks are considered more precious. Don't believe me, just listen your radio. Kendrick's album lacked great beats, which is why many consider it trash like Shyne. It'll take a few years before it gets the credit it deserves. But compared to Illmatic, GKMC doesn't quite reach the bar set. It's like comparing Lebron to Carmelo. Follow @thefreemortal

  • Jake

    No. It hasnt even been out for 6 months and hiphopdx editors are calling a classic? Get real motherfuckers, i dont believe all this bullshit hype about GKMC. Illmatic>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> good kid, m.A.A.d city Straight up

  • Hip Hop Fan

    This website should come with a disclaimer: DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE.

  • SDK

    GKMC IS CLASSIC ILLMATIC IS GOAT

  • Anonymous

    such a boring album.....yall over rating it too much....Lyrics on the album are off the hook but the delivery n production not so much!

  • Nemesis

    i liked 6 songs on kendricks album, the beats were mostly boring an his singing is VERY annoying...at times he spit some fire but come on bro, kendricks album is nowhere near nas - illmatic... every rhyme on nas album was designed beautifully an every beat was classic...there was no skippable songs or songs that had annoying ass weird voices of singing...this album was just Good, not classic now, and not classic in 20 years...

  • russ

    loved this article. hit everything spot on. you could probably make the same comparison between reasonable doubt and gkmd because they both highlighted vulnerable moments from their narrators

  • Anonymous

    Isnt even the best album out of the west in last 5 years...

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick is upcoming,can't compare with nas..

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick's album is dope but definitely not on-par with Illmatic. Stop trippin... smh

  • Dall

    bunch of pundits not even reading the article.. fucking nobodys

  • FuckOuttaHere

    Westcoast Illmatic? R u fuckin kidding me? It websites like DX that are solely responsible for the success of an album like this with all the hyping up. GKMC is on the same level as Lupe Fiascos Food an Liquor, but neither of them are on the same level as Ready to Die, Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, Me Against the World for that matter. It's a good album but it fails to make impact like the great albums have, great impact in the hip hop world, and the real world. GKMC will be an album forgottan about (just like food and liquor) a few years from now (if sites like DX aren't still dickridin) Good = Yes , GREAT? = No .. Fuck outta here

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, But GKMC is better than fake Muslim Lupe ever put out.

    • bigdeal

      the cool by lupe is better than food an liquor an me against the world an kendrick's shit ant illimatic but it reminds me of the second album of outcask made wit the rosa parks joint on it

    • qeezeeqee

      Lupe's album is better than GKMC. people are sleeping a bit to hard on it, cause it isn't as hyped as Kendrick's album.

  • fukkenny

    this artical is B.S. illmatic kills this weak shit!

  • Obviously

    GKMC is a good album but it's WAAAAAAY over-hyped There are like 5 OK songs on there and the rest are amazing. Section 80>GKMC and Illmatic is one of the greatest albums ever made period. Similar approach != Similar ambition. EPIC FAIL ARTICLE.

  • Anonymous

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY_FGDVKpAI

  • Anonymous

    This is lyrical analysis at its finest - just picking out lines word for word, reflecting and detailing their meanings. This was an amazing article, and I definitely see the similarities now within the storytelling techniques. K-Dot wants to be like Nasty Nas, but his conscience just won't let him. It might've been a little much to throw Malcolm X in there, but it didn't make the article any less interesting to read. Great job, Dwyer.

  • thurlesdude1987

    why are people talking shit about k dot,he is the best rapper since eminem good kid maad city has been the best rap album in my opionion since marshal mathers lp nas is a legend illmatic is one of the best rap albums of all times they are 2 brillant lyricists so people stop talking complete garbage.

    • Anonymous

      Nas and Kendrick are both amazing artists, but they shouldn't be compared until kendrick has had a longer run in the game, and dropped a few more albums.

  • RealTalk

    I should smack anybody that compares to Kendrick's album to Illmatic

  • Anonymous

    Here is his only mixtape to prove to yall what GREATNESS is: http://www.datpiff.com/Myke-Bogan-So-Long-South-Dakota-mixtape.376711.html

  • Critic

    Music doesn't lie, numbers do, and everyone is looking for the next big thing in hip hop! Myke Bogan is the next artist to do so! His flow is very descriptive and paints a vivid image. His visuals are better then any others out there and to top it off HE IS HIP HOP! Not hating on these two because they are great but I can to all of you, we will be speaking of Myke Bogan very soon. If you look into his only mixtape as well as his link on HIP HOP DX, you we understand and know whats coming for the game on HIP HOP! Until we meet again....find out for urself. This is for the true hip hop heads that needs GREAT music

  • roberta

    Justin. I agree that Frances`s blurb is amazing... last friday I got a gorgeous Mercedes since getting a cheque for $8981 this past five weeks and-over, 10-k this past month. with-out any doubt it's the best job Ive ever done. I started this 3 months ago and almost immediately startad bringin home at least $70 per/hr. I follow this great link..WWW.youtubeAmericanJobByGoogle.qr.net/jVB4/watch?v=SuWOS

  • Anonymous

    unlike gkmc, illmatic was filled with verbal greatness such as:"My mic check is life or death, breathing a sniper's breath, i exhale the yellow smokes of buddah thru righteous steps." Such couldn't be found on GKMC, even though I applaud the 1st and 3rd person narrative of "sing about me" which could be compared to songs like "one love." However, none of the tracks on illmatic was aimed towards the radio;gkmc had radio-ish songs like backseat freestyle, drank, and compton.

  • Nas Fan 100

    Im just not feelin Kendrick, im sure like 2 years from now he'll be my favorite rapper, but nothin I heard from him is special at this point, its possible I havent been exposed to the good stuff. For the record, I got every Nas song/freestyle/mixtape ever cuz i geeked out for like a whole month. 90's rap is like played out, like I can go listen to Infamous or 36 Chambers every once in awhile, but newer rappers takin that mantle is kind of boring and not very creative, thats why Slaughterhouse got boring for me real fast, like Ive been a Royce head since 99, and their first album was great, than they sort of fell off and got boring real fast, except for that one Truth is Truth freestyle which was amazing. I currently like Game, Joe Budden, Chief Keef and 300, Wayne, Drake, 2 Chainz, Good Music.

  • FURYAN

    TOLD U K DOT IS THE WEST SIDE NAS

    • shh

      $80,000...THE NEW PLAT......BURGANDY PLAT!....#NO PO3-A-TR33

    • shh

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    • shh

      GO WORSHIP BIG KRIT 2 CHAINS YOUNG JEEZY VS MEEK MILL is yall fave..."grover" needs it...

    • Anonymous

      In a year the west coast KING will be MYKE BOGAN!

  • Anonymous

    Nas and Kendrick are not a like, they are pushing this idea to much!

  • anonymous

    Uh oh they compared someone to Nas look out the army's storming the internet !! I bet some of y'all were defending GKMC when Shyne was dissin it too.

  • Huh?

    Whoever wrote this is a retard. GKMC is classic compared to the trash being called music now but its no where near IllMATIC. Nas relaesed Illmatic in the golden era of hip-hop when everybody was dropping classic material and still stood out as one of the best...Kendrick album came in the gay era of hip-hop ..but its fair to say he saved this generation hip-hop by releasing such a good album. I think his next couple albums will be better than GKMC honestly

  • RR

    This was probably the most impressive article in the history of hiphopdx... However, GKMC is a solid album, but comparing it to the Illmatic's, Doggstyle's, and Reasonable Doubt's of the world is absolutely ridiculous...

  • Anonymous

    Life is good, is good, but please dont compare it to GKMC... you making Nas look bad

  • Hiphophead9

    Being a Nas fan myself i never understood people's frustration with us (Nas Fans) till right about now. This deluded need to put Nas and Illmatic above everything else is annoying and fuckin gay. Honestly nowhere in this piece was anything said that even attempted to call GKMC better the Illmatic, nowhere was K.Dot said to be better then Nasty. But like the dick riding scumbags we've become half the comments are only silly attempts to discredit GKMC so noone can ever be held in the same breathe as Nassir. I refuse to let my being a fan of Nassir stop me from enjoying music by other artists, i wont let it make me a hater With that being said GKMC is not as good as GKMC and GKMC is a phenomenal album, and this article is a great read. Maybe 20 years from now if they write articles like this comparing random new artists debut to GKMC some more of us will rise above the hate.

    • Nemesis

      i ahrdly think 6 good songs is an amazing album...noone said kendrick is better then nas, everyones saying you cant compare the two because their styles are not alike and nas is and always was a far better emcee then kendrick is SO FAR

    • Anonymous

      Good Kid is an AMAZING ALBUM. But it's only been out for about ONE MONTH. It hasn't been out long enough to be writing articles like this yet. That is the problem.

  • Anonymous

    I am a Nas fan to the fullest but I honestly feel that Good Kid Mad City is the "Illmatic" of this generation. GKMC Stands on its on but it stands as a critical project as big as Illmatic is. Anyone who disagrees does not have a keen ear for hip hop.

    • Nemesis

      i liked 6 songs on kendricks album, the beats were mostly boring an his singing is VERY annoying...at times he spit some fire but come on bro, kendricks album is nowhere near nas - illmatic... every rhyme on nas album was designed beautifully an every beat was classic...there was no skippable songs or songs that had annoying ass weird voices of singing...this album was just Good, not classic now, and not classic in 20 years

    • Anonymous

      How can you call it the illmatic of our generation after 1 month? Are you serious? illmatic is recognized as such because it was a genre changing album. What the fuck has changed since Kendrick's album dropped??? Nothing! foh. That's the problem today. Fans don't have patience for shit. Wait for the album to make some sort of significant impact before giving it that kind of title.

  • Anonymous

    JUST TYPE ESROM CHANGE OF HEART ON YOUTUBE THANK YOU MY MUSIC IS JUST REAL HIP HOP NOT ALL THE BULLSHIT THEY FEED YOU ON UR RADIO STATIONS

  • Anonymous

    EVERYBODY THAT IS WATCHING THIS VIDEO PLEASE READ CLOSELY!! I honestly think that I have what it takes to have a future in Hip-Hop I promise that I'm good, but depending on you.. I could be the greatest or the worst. Please help me get my music off the ground and heard With just simply viewing my songs, Subscribing, Liking, and commenting it :) I wouldn't waste my time but more importantly your time, if I didn't think I was GREAT. Please

  • Anonymous

    GIVE ME A CHANCE Youtube is all about finding new artist, & though I been rapping for a while im still consider a new artist. I just want my music heard thats all, im not looking for no record deal, getting famous 'r anything like that. I do music to help change the lives of others so what you'll get from my music is all POSITIVITY! so please just spare a few sec. to check me out, & if you like what you heard please SUBSCRIBE so ill know you actually listen & support http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH8K577h8N4

  • Mark

    I still prefer Section.80 over GKMC. I just felt the lyricism on GKMC was lacking. Sing About Me, is my favorite track though...

  • 614grind

    Now, is anybody gonna give credit to Shyne for saying it first and publicly?

  • Beez

    When Illmatic came out, it literally changed the culture of hip hop, instantly. I'm talking THAT DAY. It was the only thing anyone talked about. This is a fact. I was there and deeply imbedded in hip hop and city street life. I was in the park, I was on the block during the shootouts, I was freestyling in the park with a white owl in one hand and a basketball in the other, with a 40 in the backpack. Illmatic is the greatest hip hop album of all-time. It made girls love the art of emceeing, it influenced every rapper, it influenced the whole style of hip hop, and it also helped alot of us think bigger than the block. I have no problem with Kendrick Lamar, but he is definitely being gassed up. But, at least he's doing something a little different than the masses of "hip hop artists" these days. So Im glad it's being said about him as opposed to Fish Talapia, or whatver that cornball's name is who's trying to look like Jimi. The evolution of hip hop lyricism has sloped downward, so the pace Nas set as not been kept up, so maybe KL is the closest thing this generation has to a modern-day Nas. But it goes to show how incredible Nasty is, and that he really is a modern-day genius with the pen.

  • Anonymous

    Well written article but I wholeheartedly disagree. No comparison in my opinion. GKMC is good but not great. The beats alone on Illmatic STILL resonate more than those on GKMC

    • Ny_Harlem

      I also agre, i think Life is Good is better then GKMC. I think Section 80 is better then Life is Good. Very close tho.

    • Chris S

      I agree with Anonymous. Life Is Good is better than good kid, m.A.A.d city in my opinion. I see him as being a good rapper. Not great. I mean, does Kendrick's album give us anything Andre's verse on Sixteen, or Lupe's Lamborghini Angels doesn't give us? Or Life, Death, and Love from San Francisco? But in all fairness, I've given Life is Good and Lupe's stuff way more spins, so maybe I'm missing something with Kendrick. It just seems to me that Lupe and Andre accomplish more is a verse or song than Kendrick does on an entire album (as they do with most people) Nice article though. Well written, well documented.

    • Anonymous

      Nas' "Life Is Good" album this year is better than GKMC

  • Justin Case

    This might have been a dope article if it was put out 5 years from now. Good Kid just came out last month. Way too early for talk like this. Good Kid hasn't changed anything yet and only time will tell if it will.

  • gsonii

    Most overrated album of the year and changed nothing so I guess you can call it the West Coast Illmatic in a way.

  • Anonymous

    boy you all can hate. black crab syndrome.

    • Anonymous

      uhh you know most of the people commenting are white or white guys trying to sound black. Its embarassing but stop with the race thing. Hip Hop fans have turned into some super haters these days. I wish they just take off the comment section and just have articles. some of yall should not be allowed to talk.

  • The Ice Cold Phenom

    Enough already with this Good Kid Maad City extreme overhype. Is the album good? Yes. Is the album great? Hell no. Is it even the best album to come out this year? Hell no! Comparing this "good quality" album to Illmatic, where in most circles is the hip hop standard is absolutely insane. I can name 100 albums better than Good Kid Maad City. Get the hell outta here with this nonsense.

    • Anonymous

      It is definitely a contender for album of the year fool. It is a great album. There are few other albums this year that are on its level... Nas, Brother Ali and Ab-Soul, that's about it. And that's being generous.

  • Hip hop

    I think it saids a HELL OF ALOT about Nas' GREATNESS when for the past several years every new rapper (Lupe, J Cole & now Kendrick) that can spit has been given the title the "New/Next Nas" but yet Nas continues to be the "ONE & ONLY NAS" for damn near 2 decades. It does these artists a disservice to always have thier debut be forced to be the "Next Illmatic" and it takes away from their own musical stance when everyone wants try to recreate the "Next Nas or Illmatic." GKMC cant't even stand on its own merrits because the media is so desperate to make it the "New Illmatic" but the reality is Nasir Jones is the originator of the title. Sorry, Kendrick is NO Nas and GKMC is NO Illmatic. "There is a hundred thousand yous but only one Nas."-Nasir Jones

    • Anonymous

      "there's only one Nas, bout a hundred thousand you's" is the actual lyric but whatever.

    • Nick

      Agree Completely, It isn't fair. Really good album and great story telling, but in all honesty kendrick couldn't even live up to himself. When I say that I mean section.80 in my opinion dims this GKMC spotlight. As for album of the year 1. Undun 2. Life is Good 3. Good Kid Maad City 4. Control System 5. Give Me Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them

    • Monstadon

      Indeed. 100.

    • gun di liro

      Well said.

  • TRUTH HURTS

    Here is a quote for the white boy who wrote this article. I swear, these white boys are writing our damn history. Like a white man teaching Black History. What the fuck does he know. How can he know? Talking about Malcolm X. SMDH. You dumb Blacks sit up here and let these white boys analyze your damn culture. What a bunch of idiots. This is our story. Not theirs.

    • Case shells

      @GnarTrax It is ours. We created it, you didn't. You people slaughtered millions and stole the whole world, won't you go enjoy the fruits of your labor instead of trying to take the little we do have. I don't have racist notions. I have the truth. I don't want hip hop to become like rock and roll - ALL WHITE. Bastard. You don't care. Leave it to you in 20 years there won't be any Black rappers. FUCKING COCKROACHES. SPREAD EVERYWHERE.

    • GnarTrax

      please go on a explain how you're a racist and can't accept that "white boys" can enjoy hip-hop/rap. Music is Music, It's not 'yours' you didn't sit in the booth with Kendrick and Nas nor did the entire 'black' community. What is yours is your opinion, and obviously your opinion is misguided by whatever pre-existing racist belief was ever instilled in your head. It's a new day, music is getting better on all levels, learn to enjoy something because of its quality, not because a black person made it. On that note, GKMC is easily my favorite album of the year. I listen to all genre's of music and work in a recording studio. I tend to be exceptionally critical on modern hip-hop because for most, hip-hop has hit a plateau in originality...but Thanks to Dr. Dre, Kendrick had the opportunity to show his style and that he did well. I'm glad you pointed out the similarities because I had been walking around work explaining how i thought he was hitting the scene the same way Nas did. great article man! regardless of your race, you are able to make an educated summary and for that, we thank you.

  • reveu

    This is dumb as hell. GKMC isn't even great it's good. Section 80 is great. At least get the right album if you're comparing to illmatic even then nothing touches illmatic

  • Notorious H.A.T.E.R.

    GKMC is no where close to Illmatic. GKMC was a dope album but they are reaching in this article. GKMC isn't even in the same sentence as Illmatic

  • truth

    I love Kendrick but GKMC was like a dumbed down version of illmatic. Still like GKMC though

  • who cares

    dont hate. listen to the two albums start to finish. comprehend them. read the whole article. in my opinion this article is excellent in the true sense of the word. my gratitude is extended to the author. thank you. these albums and this article speak to me. they fuel and reaffirm me. "try to rise up above, keep a eye out for jake, shorty-wop, one love"

  • Anonymous

    The comparison is unnecessary. Illmatic is a legendary album, and good kid is a completely different thing. Only time will tell what good kid will become. At the moment it is a unique album, and one of the best of the year.

  • Anonymous

    get the f%%%$% outta here with this garbage.

  • W9D

    This comparison is a joke. It's my opinion that both these artists and their respective albums are overrated, but to put any of Lamar's work in the same sentence as Illmatic isn't even logical. That album was one of the first that didn't have any focus except showcasing that Nas had BARS. The hook wasn't really important, regardless of whether or not it was catchy. Why has it become a general consensus that Kendrick Lamar is some lyrical genius who's going save the genre or something? He's an above-average MC with a good vocabulary, good diction, good rhythm and an okay voice/delivery. It's happened before. I think Ab Soul (along with many others) is actually more interesting to listen to and just as skilled at his craft.

  • Equality

    Kendrick is a prodigy of todays times yet, NAS IS A LEGENDARY GREAT LYRICIST !!! The comparison seems cool they both speak on things that they observed very well at a young age and something that marked them however, Nas is way greater ! Hands DOWN !

    • Anonymous

      How do you possibly determine who is "greater"? (whatever that is meant to mean here). The comparison between the two is useless. Nas has been around for like 20+ years, while Kendrick has only just come up in the last few years. How can you compare the two? Kendrick's music needs more time to cement itself before we can comment on the impact his music has.

  • TaZzZ

    Can someone offer something besides GKMC sucks or is nowhere near as good as Illmatic? First off, it hasn't nearly had the time to do it justice. I think this is one of the best articles I've ever read, period, not just on DX. What GKMC brings to the table is so much more than beats or rhymes or cadences or technicality. It brings a breath of fresh air in the form of honesty and vulnerability that is unparalleled in the hip hop world today. Kendrick has managed to package his truth and bring his life to the masses in a way thats accessible unlike anyone has since Eminem in the early 2000's maybe. Fuck it, K.Dot may be even more honest and revealing than Em. He is not afraid to say anything, isn't held back at all, and thats fucking beautiful. To reveal your innermost dreams, hopes, faults and mistakes is a hard thing to do, never mind in front of the whole world. Thats some wild shit, and in my opinion hip hop needs more of that. Way too many people try to be who they aren't and at the end of the day, who gains anything from that? I understand people play roles and characters, but if that stuff doesn't reflect something you know or care about, what good is it? I gain a lot more from people revealing their true struggles on a record, regardless of the content. Give me something I can feel in my bones. From the first listen of GKMC, i felt that shit in my bones for the first time in years. I'm not saying this album is classic or better than Illmatic or anything like that, but it brings something to the table that is fresh and new, how can you hate on that?

  • disdick

    back when nas dropped all he had was one hot verse and everyone called him rakim successor then he had one hot album and he is the best of all time?? if that is the case then so is kendrick and look at biggie nigga had 2 hot albums absoul is better than biggie he has like 4 hot albums this "old school is better" bullshit is annoying that is the last negative shit i got to say but people should remember that double standards suck bottom line is 20 years from now i and a huge collection of people will be bumping this and my kids will be playing this fucking album it is dope where is the fucking love?? niggas can't have nothing these days...

  • 2Pac 2014

    I've seen a lot of people say It Was Written was a disappointment, I want to know what was bad about the album, to me it is Nas' best album, better than Illmatic. All his lyrics was on point, the beats were good, the features were all on point. I want to know what was so bad about the album?

    • TaZzZ

      Nothing, its just removed from his down-to-earth style. Its a wonderful album, but Nas goes from being a young man tryna navigate the concrete jungle on Illmatic to a kingpin on his next joint, so its sort of a stretch. The production, style, etc. was divorced from Illmatic and the sound he had built and more in line with what hip hop sounded like at the time, so people are more resistant to accept it. If you take it alone as it is, It Was Written is a wonderful album. But for those who anticipated another Illmatic and heard it after his debut, it seems a bit lacking... Thats always how I've understood it at least, but I love them both for what they are, Illmatic Nasty Nas is more my style though

  • MacRob

    Its not evolution when it gets worse.....

  • RC

    It ain't no Illmatic, kid is nice but it's nowhere close too touchin' Nas sorry.

  • z

    Mad city aint got shit on Illmatic

    • shh

      YALL REALLY HAYE "THUG LIFE"...SMDH.......it is "TRUE-LEE" a SADD.."DAY" in HIP HOP where yall can't support THE BEST HIP HOP YEAR EVER...(PE) made it in2 THE R&R HALL A FAME...(about DAMN TIME).....and yall still HATE THE FACE THE WEST COAST did WIN!.(chartwise).....THE R&R HALL FAME IS IN (OHIO)....937.....HAPPY 2013....*smile HIP HOPDX....

  • 80s baby

    "good kid, m.A.A.d city" doesn't feel like a west coast album there's too many rolling hi hats and 808s on alot of songs (which is a dirty south thing) if you want west coast listen to some old pac, nwa, Dre, Snoop or Games first 2 albums. as for the iLLmatic comparison... No.

    • Ny-Harlem

      You can tell niggas don't have an ear for hip hop and two niggas agreeing that he has downsouth beats. Yo ain't no shake your ass extra drumline for no reason on this album. Can't believe people coming on here saying it sounds like downsouth beats. Aint shit crunk about this Album. Its smooth.

    • Anonymous

      It doesn't sound like a G-Funk West Coast album. But it doesn't sound like Southern album either; only some of the drums do, as 80s baby mentioned. The West Coast doesn't really have its own sound at the moment, because G-Funk is pretty much dead. I don't think you can say the album feels like a West Coast album or not, because there is no specific West Coast sound at the moment. The album is what it is, and it's amazing.

    • Anonymous

      I agree, it did have a southern sort of vibe to it...But they were watered down southern beats...Which isn't a good thing.

    • Anonymous

      very true. except for a couple tracks, good kid doesn't feel like West Coast/Compton album at all.

  • Truth B Told

    Man Y'all gotta understand the person that wrote this article is a regular person just like you and me. All this shit is his opinion, "no matter how long that shit is" just like yours and mines. Dont Believe the Hype! Make up your own mind when you listen to Music! PERIOD

  • Anonymous

    Fuck Dream Hampton that bitch is just a frustrated old washed up once upon of time type broad. always tryna low ball the legend Nas.

  • Bandung 4 Life

    He just point out the similarities, but doesnt mean GKMC is as good as Illmatic, especially when it came out with the beats weaker than Section80, and no where near Illmatic greatness.

  • Ny-Harlem

    Overall i really enjoyed this article. I think it leads into to much stuff(i agree with alot of this tho) but it was a great read and me writing this nonsense and reading this interesting article got me thru my last hour at work. Also Kendrick lamar is special. After hearing the GKMC album he instantly become my favorite new artist.(personally i don't like any of these new niggas ima see how ASAP Rocky do tho) But after i heard his Section 80 album he easily become my second favorite artist alive behind NAS. And no i don't mind the Illmatic comparison. GKMC is a great Album(i don't think its flawless tho like Illmatic and it was written) But Section 80 is actually better then GKMC. Since i heard Section 80 i haven't been listening to GKMC as much. Section 80 is a wonderful album. I understand why some people was disappointed in the GKMC Album cause Section 80 was so good. Leads to my next point, Section 80 and It was written in my opinion is better then GKMC and Illmatic.

    • Ny_Harlem

      Did any of you dick riding as niggas read what i said. I never said Section 80 was better then Illmatic cum stain. I said Section 80 is better then GKMC(in my opinion) and It was written is better then Illmatic in my opinion. Where this dick head get i said Section 80 was better then Illmatic. Its crazy how online trolls and Geeks can't comprehend but they at home online all day. Shit is crazy.

    • Anonymous

      Section 80 is written better then illmatic? lmao You are a retard.

    • Anonymous

      Mann Stop hating bruh! Everybody got a opinion

    • Anonymous

      Yeaa... all that to say your a another Dick Rider! Boy STOP!!

  • Ny-Harlem

    Also to say that GKMC is the most Linear story ever in hip hop is a bit to much. The Skits on this Album makes the story and storyline from each song much more understandable. But you could be going over board with that statement. If you want to talk about one Main Character you might be right. Nas and Kendrick paint vivid pictures for their characters(themself). But if you are talking about overall stories in Hip Hop. Shit Fresh Prince was a great story teller rapper in his early dayz. He just did it in a funny way so its not looked at how Nas' did it on Illmatic. But come on the fresh prince show he talks about getting beat up in Philly so he moved in with his Aunt. Silk Rick is the ruler of story telling. Greatest adventures of Slick Rick. I don't disagree, i just think its to many great story tellers in hip hop to claim Nas(my favorite rapper) and Kendrick(my favorite up and coming rapper) to automatically have the best Albums in that Catergory. At the end of the day its all opionated and alot of people won't feel like this author did. Another great Album, The Cool by Lupe. Wasn't a story connected through out his Album, but he painted bunch of pictures and stories that had nothing to do with the next song but it was still a great album. The stories didn't have to connect with the next. Doesn't mean that his Album wasn't flawless because all his characters played different roles.

    • Frank

      u the man for this. Its crazy how quickly lupe forget because Lupe's stories more ground then Kendrick's and has. Before someone bashes that think about American terrorist 2 and 3, the instrumental, the coolest, put you on the game, and unforgivable youth. His stories are more unique and outside the box than both of them. But ilmatics is rated as hips hops symphony( for great reason) and lamar is the most popular "pure hip hop artist: in some time.

  • Cetch

    Are you fucking kidding me? GKMC is a great album but it is NO WHERE NEAR Illmatic status. First of all, the beats outside of Compton,The Art Of Peer Pressure(RECYCLED BEAT), and Sing About Me are not all that good and are at least 5 levels bellow the production on Section 80. Lyrically, Section 80 was more complex and covered more world issues then GKMC, there was no moments on GKMC where Kendrick lyrically spazed the fuck out like he did on Section 80(RIGIMORTUS, RONALD REAGON ERA). GKMC just covered 1 isolated incident. And lastly, the hooks in most of the songs on GKMC are sub-par garbage(REAL, SWIMMING POOLS, MONEY TREES, GOOD KID), while the hooks on Section 80 actually meant a lot to the individual songs subject matter and fit them very well. GKMC is the most overrated Hip Hop album of the past 10 years. The only reason GKMC is getting as much as it has is because people either havent heard section 80, are getting caught up in the hype, or riding Kendrick's dick just because he fucks with DRE.

  • Ny-Harlem

    I kinda think this Article went a little bit to deep into detail. Like alot of things is coincidents and on top of that Nas(my favorite rapper all time) and Kendrick aren't the only people to explain on their story on their Albums. Notorious BIG(Im ready to die) and 2pac's (Me against the world) also explained vivid pictures of their music. BIG on ready to die starts with him being born(tho its not as vivid as Nas' Fetus song) and 2pac explains struggles from his Moms(her making his sister a crack baby) to running wild with them young outlaw niggas. Also there are a few other artist who put out projects like this. Jay-z's "Reasonable doubt" album is almost as open and thoughtful. Also DMX's" Its dark and hell is hot." Just to name a few. Im Happy Illmatic is considered the Hip Hop Bible for some reason and rightfully so that Album is flawless. But me and alot of other people i know like Nas' It was Written Album as his best work. It was just a flawless, almost as personally(tho he took a mafiaoso approach with the Firm) and had more songs. Also i hated BIG growing up(i was a big PAC and NAS fan) but Ready to Die and Me against the world are as good as Illmatic.(Illmatic still better tho)

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick put together a great album and that is no question. But comparing it to Illmatic is way too fast. Illmatic is just on a level so high with one feature and he just carried it all by himself. Really the first rapper to have several producers come in to work with him. Its just different. But we will see in time. For now, Illmatic is several levels about K

  • wzrd

    was nvr a big Illmatic fan(maybe its cuz im a 90's baby idk). Always felt that It Was Written was better but to each his own...Kendrick's album was good as a whole & very balanced. Best album of this yr in my opinion

  • Optimus Rhyme

    Hip hop fans and quality of music is near all time lows right now. Everyone is so quick to call an album classic these days. Fans are desperate. The word classic has become so watered down over the past few years that it's not even funny. Game's new album just dropped yesterday. One day later I see morons calling that clusterfuck with 25 random features a classic. When will the madness stop?? I respect Kendrick's new album, but people need to let that shit breathe. This kinda article shouldn't be written until 2019. Shame on the writer.

  • Anonymous

    the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 90s were real eras in music in their own right, especially on the urban black music scenefrom the struggle created and proggressed with their own unique talent. In the 00s there were still a few real artist left crossing over but reflectin the real, with the number of hip hop hits getting very scace. Todays socalled rap isn't hip hop at all, it's just pop, a money making phenomenon. Quick an easey machine, a diluted version of how we used to get down in yester year, hardly a concept that barely needs a thought, a gimmick which you need to stop buying into the trap!

  • Anonymous

    hiphopdx can u pls let this album rest. illmatic is my fav but u re ruining its legacy with ur constant articles on it. leave illmatic alone!!!!!!

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    as Adam implied I'm shocked that you able to earn $7328 in one month on the internet. did you look at this page Great70.com

  • THA DON

    2PAC is and always will be the greatest rapper of all time by far Lyrical Content - 2PAC beats any other rapper, his music was so meaningful, the themes of most of Tupac's songs are the violence and hardship in inner cities, racism, other social problems - PAC WINS Voice - 2PAC had the greatest voice is rap, it was perfect, he can be angry and agressive in Hit Em Up and Changes, then soft in Dear Mama. MTV voted him 09 of the best voices in music ever, michael jackson was 10th - PAC was ahead of every other rapper Lyrical Skill - Yeah pac didnt have the greatest metaphors, it's easy to have skillful lyrics when your rapping about cars, sex, money, sex , cars, PAC told stories and rapped about real important topics, and he didnt try to have skillful lyrics, also the greatest rapper for lyrical skill is eminem. and 2pac beats him on every other catogary Greatest Lyricist - Pac haands down, other than his lyrics having great meaning, PAC made 400 songs in one year, he writ and recorded the songs in The Don Kiluminati in 7 days, people will great metaphors in there lyrics take YEARS TO MAKE THEIR 'CLASSIC' Albums fukin idiot Greatest Person - PAC

  • Anonymous

    This is a dumb ass argument lets just compare singles alone. Swimming Pools vs The World is Yours. No debate The World is Yours crushes Swimming Pools and burns it to ashes just by the beat alone. Subject matter is an obvious win again to The World is Yours and the lyrics is no debate again. Lets compare the hook alone Swimming Pools "Pour up drank" Sit down, drank Pass out, drank Wake up, drank faded, drank faded, drank. The World is Yours "Whos world is this, the world is yours, the world is yours, Its mine, its mine, its mine, whose world is this. Dumb ass argument

  • Anonymous

    What is this BS. Kendrick Lamar's first album is better than this Good Kid Mad City Crap. I can barely stand most of the beats, the lyrics are ok but not Illmatic level, Section.80 is way better than this beat wise and he flows better on it. Shyne is an ass and he can't rap but he is right. Honestly this a dumb argument.

  • Doublespeak

    Some of the only albums which could be mentioned in the same breath as Illmatic are: 36 Chambers, OB4CL, The Infamous, Liquid Swords and Midnight Marauders; GKMC won't be thought of in the next 2 years, let alone considered classic like the aforementioned.

    • Doublespeak

      You're half right; they're classics of the 90's, but they're still classics now. A classic album transcends time and the status quo of that time. I may be wrong, but I'm quite confident that in 10-15 years nobody is going to be calling out GKMC as a classic of the 10's. It genuinely isn't even the best album of the year. The harsh reality is that hip-hop is not as good as it used to be; there's very little creativity, originality, personality, skill, and attitude; and the overwhelming majority of artists enjoying success now wouldn't even be given the time of day. Yes, things change, but change does not necessarily correlate with improvement.

    • Anonymous

      All those albums you mentioned are classics of the 90s. Good Kid will be a classic of THIS ERA. Completely different... you shouldn't compare album released recently to ones released in the 90s because times have changed significantly.

  • An Illmatic Good Kid

    very good article, illmatic isn't G.K.M.C and vice versa, like he said these albums represent something deeper in hip hop as a whole.. i can see the bigger picture and i'm in London! Illmatic focused my anger, G.K.M.C showed how far we've come.. stop hating and start relating!

  • DONTEVERCOMPARETHESE ALBUMS

    I dont care how great of a writer you are. You should not compare these two albums. Just stop! Two different albums bro and their not that simular. Just cause they incorporate story telling does not make them the same. Im tired of ppl comparing these albums. Let kendrick live on his own merits. This is just as dumb as writers calling J-Cole the second coming of Nas. Smh Why are we comparing Kendrick and J-Cole to Nas?

  • Anonymous

    Dont ever compare that shit to illmatic

  • harris89

    Soul on Ice will forever be the west coast Illmatic.

  • Anonymous

    GKMC is so perfect. There's ZERO audible flaws in that album. Kendrick removed all impurities that were evident in Section.80, improved the production and really represented himself as genuine as you can. I think comparing it to Illmatic is to extreme, because Illmatic is just a man having fun rapping (which is why it's damn near perfect), whilst the GKMC seems to be more conscious of what's going on in the world (or in his neighborhood). It's the perfect soliloquy.

  • Anonymous

    Too many Nas dickriders on here.

    • Anonymous

      Agreed, I am a Nas Stan, have no problem saying it. Kendrick put in a good album but Illmatic is still listened to by a lot of people to this day and its been 18 years.

  • Anonymous

    this album is as good as Game's The Documentary at best, but still no Illmatic

  • tracijohnson6

    Ryan. I agree that Eva`s st0rry is impossible, last wednesday I got a new opel since I been making $7545 this - 5 weeks past an would you believe ten thousand lass month. it's actualy the most-comfortable job Ive had. I actually started four months/ago and practically straight away was bringin home minimum $80, per/hr. I follow the details on this straight forward website..WWW.youtubeGoogleAmericanJob.qr.net/jVwS/watch?v=lQPBSI0W

  • 5

    And to me, Illmatic is overrated also, It Was Written is my favorite Nas album, that album is underrated for some reason.

    • NY-Harlem

      Illmatic isn't overrated in no way or form other then it only has 9(10tracks)songs. But those are some of the best timeless and hardest lyrics from those songs you will ever see. And this Author make it seem like Illmatic was so great cause of the connected story telling on it. No, Illmatic was so great because first of all no rappers at that time was spitting the kind of shit he spit. Second illmatic is so great because Nas was going the fuck off on that Album. If anything Nas told better stories(not as personal or real tho) on it was written then he did on Illmatic. Illmatic was much more easier to understand then It was written. He had alot more straight forward punchlines on Illmatic. It was written had more metaphors and wordplay then straight foward punchlines compare to Illmatic. Im still catching metaphors still til this day off of It was written.

    • Anonymous

      @nah Those other dudes are probably kids... Its hard for younger/dumber (no offense) people to get into illmatic...Real heads know it was written doesnt even compare, though its classic as well

    • nah

      no offense but it was written was a disappointment compared to illmatic, every track on illmatic was classic and way more lyrical but everyone has their opinions

    • 5

      Bruh, Illmatic is overrated, it's a good album, but people act like ain't nothing better than it.. I don't know, maybe it's just opinions. Illmatic ain't even in my top 5 albums. The best album in HipHop to me is 2Pac's The Don Killuminati The 7 Day Theory. Can't nothing top that album, not even Illmatic.

    • @Klas647

      WOW! I thought I was the only one who thought that way. Now, Illmatic isn't overrated but It Was Written is Nas' best album to date. Its probably better by a hair or two.

  • 5

    I ain't never seen a rapper this overrated. Lmao, it's kind of sad, but I really do fucks with Kendrick Lamar, I love his album, but he is overrrrrrrrated like a motherfucker.

  • alotofheadsgottafly

    GKMC is a good album, one of the best of the year maybe, however, it needs to stand the test of time to really be compared to illmatic. Illmatic dropped in the 'golden era' and it changed the game massively because all emcees at that time were in awe of what Nas dropped and even today people are still trying to match what was created 18 years ago. Although GKMC is good, its far from groundbreaking and Kendrick is easily one of the betters rappers of the generation but he is overhyped by the media. I think Ab-Soul is a more talented lyricist and overall emcee but Kendrick gets alot of publicity so it works to his favour. If people are still raving about GKMC in 10 years then maybe we can compare the two.

    • Anonymous

      How is it not groundbreaking? Who else released an album like this recently?? No one. Ab-Soul's album was amazing as well, but it explored different concepts and sounds to Good Kid. Both albums are my two favourites of this year. But you have to admit that Good Kid is revolutionary.

  • Jon

    "My first album had no famous guest appearances/The outcome, I'm crowned the best lyricist" - Nas

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick is dope but damn sure cant fuck with cole!!!

  • Renzo rollin

    Illmatic doper cuz it's a lil more raw. That raw gritty 90's sound still the best.

  • Anonymous

    Great article, good observations made.

  • Youngindy21

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Kendrick Lamar has to be the most overrated rapper in the game. He is a good rapper, but his work is severely overrated. STOP WITH THE HYPE. He is not the next Nas, and he is not the next 2pac. I listen to a ton of different kinds of rap and it just disgust me how overrated this cat is. Most of the beats he raps to are just average and he always seems to be rapping in monotone. The thing about it is people were saying G.K.M.C. was going to be the next Illmatic before anybody even heard a track off the CD. That's how you know this is just one big HYPE FEST.

    • Anonymous

      That's your opinion... but NO ONE is releasing music as good as Kendrick at the moment. He's far from overrated.

  • Anonymous

    I love nas and although GKMC isn't close to illmatic production or lyric wise this isnt the point of this article. You nas stans make me feel ashamed to be a nas fan, you catch feelings so easily not only if nas is criticized but if he is compared to anyone. GKMC is going to be the album of the year, Life is good definitely wasn't better...summer on smash made sure of that.

    • wu wear

      no doubt those bonus cuts killed the entire game

    • Anonymous

      Life Is Good was fire though, fuck that Swizz shit. 'Where's The Love' and 'Black Bond' as bonus tracks made up for that weak shit

    • Bee

      I'm not a nas fan, I think he sucks and only illmatic was good and that most rappers first album is usually their best and this probably ken's best even though it sux, I'm not a fan of nas but ken fans should be shot

  • Bee

    those quotes are all generic and cliche but if they're all similar it probably means kendrick is biting nas. he definitely bite andre 3000 but isn't as talented. I know ken is widely considered the greatest rapper of the generation but I think guys like Hopsin, MGK and Grieves are much more talented. Kendrick is actually horrible and dre's head phone loving butt buddy who was raised on facebook not compton.

  • Anonymous

    Illmatic is a classic no doubt about that one! But to me GKMC isnt the right Kendrick album to use this comparison. IMO Section 80 would be a little more fitting since for some people it really introduce the world to K-dot. Illmatic was pure and beyond its time. To think a 17 yr old kid dropped that album is insane in today age (lyrical ability, storytelling)...Section 80 would be IMO closer to showing that straight purity and heart than GKMC. Honestly section 80 has more replay value than GKMC.. Not sayin Section 80 and GKMC is in the same vein as Illmatic, but if we was to make the case, Section 80 would be a better candidate

  • Anonymous

    People who compare this bs to illmatic and say its classic are generally white teenagers who just got into hiphop.

    • century 1

      A lot of people now a days who call illmatic classic are also white suburban teenagers... Atleast from my personal experience. It shouldnt even be a race thing, but from hearing dozens of kids at my school and even reading many news articles in hip hop sits and magazines, a lot of the authors heralding illmatic as the greatest album ever are white

    • Anonymous

      Way to be racist dude.

  • Angelo

    Although I get the point that the article is trying to convey...you fucked up immediately by naming the article "The West Coast Illmatic"! Young People in Hip Hop gotta cut this Bullshit out!!! None of these young rappers are the next Nas, Jay-Z, etc, and you guys gotta STOP labeling them that. They need to prove themselves and develop their own identity without feeling the need to be so desperate to have somebody from the young generation be great. Let Kendrick be Kendrick....he just dropped his debut album 7 weeks ago...Pump Ya Breaks youngstas!!!

  • Anonymous

    The article is not comparing the quality of illmatic to that of GKMC. Its saying that they represent the same thing in two different time periods. We all know GKMC is now where near the level of illmatic but they do have a lot of similarities.

    • illmatic bridge

      I love Nas, and I consider Illmatic to be easily one of the best albums of all time, period. Illmatic is what put me on to rap music and Nas is my favorite artist. But I feel like the people who say nothing touches illmatic, gkmc is nowhere near illmatic (and honestly, it is) are like the people who say their favorite rapper is 2pac or Biggie purely because they've been almost taught through our society to consider them the greatest. No disrespect to pac and big they are both unbelievable artists... but the people who say nothing can touch them or no artist compares are just leaving in a false reality in MY opinion

  • Anonymous

    Man, GTFOHWTBS!!! This GKMC aint even better than that lame game's The Documentary. Fuckouttahere bitch niggas. That album is mad overrated. Garbage beats

  • j

    Yeah just like BIG and Pac were alike too. SMH. Never compare artists

  • Let's Go G Men!!!

    Nasty NAS?! Man Kendrick is Barely Touching J.Cole!

    • Let's Go G Men!!!

      Nah Chill Bro your just not listening still. Play a Cole track then play a Kendrick track back to back and then come back and tell me what's up! Cole Got Em Early!

    • right

      hahaha thats funny. Kendrick barely touching cole? Cole is barely touching kendrick. Cole and Kendrick are my two favorite artists for the past 2 years and currently. Kendrick is leagues better. I love cole but damn lol cant believe you said that. to each his own i guess

  • wu wear

    GKMC ain't even half as good as Life is Good...try comparing it to Nastradamus or Untitled...then it at least has a chance...GKMC is like the best smelling port-o-potty of the year

  • Butta From The Bronx

    Seriously Illmatic? Let's be honest. Good kid madd city was a good, or great album for the times we live in. I liked the story telling, beats was fitting, rhymes was cool. But that's where the story ends. It's already been a month and a half and that album hardly has any play value right now... Illmatic came out damn near 2 decades ago and is still relevant in 2012/2013. Nas is in his own lane. Legend. With the Likes Of Pac Big & Jay, Kendrick is dope but for (now) compare him to his class ex: Drake, J Cole, Meek Mill, Wiz, Wale Big Sean, etc. Just my opinion... One Love Y'all.

  • Southern

    I swear u old heads are worse than these kids sometimes. Fuck. And u niggas love talkin bout riding dicks. Kind of weird. U niggas are never fucking satisfied. The best realease of the year from a dude who can spit, has a message, makes a cohesive album that tells a story, goes gold and u niggas still hate. What do u old fucks want? This record eventually going platinum could help labels see that lyricism can still sell and be out in the forefront. but all yall see is ppl prasing the album and wanna call it "dickriding." Is it fair to compare it with Illmatic right now? Nope. But this album has that classic feel. Amazing record

    • illmatic

      I think I agree with @ big dan on the illmatic shit (i dont know if gkmc can compare to the likes of ny state of mind) but at the same time, i thought the production was different and dope as hell on gkmc. In every aspect that we all judge an mc on, kendrick has it. Gkmc is unbelievable. I get the time thing. illmatic is still relevant so in that sense we cant tell gkmc's lasting effect or resonance. With that said, if illmatic came out today and gkmc came out today, they would be in the exact same league. If you take everything away from what we already knw about nas and kendrick and these albums, i truly think gkmc would come out on top. Coming from a huge nas fan.

    • Big Dan

      Problem with hip hop - u can't criticize, or I should say not like something, without you being a hata or worse. Lyrically, I assume KL is there. But those beats are terrible! And that's not a lie. Not to rehash, since I already commented the same when HHDx posted "Compton", but with that song, not only was the beat weak, but with Dre bossing the album, why couldn't Dre produce? Why couldn't they get a West Coast beat, and I live on the east, b4 the KL d riders start jumping on me. Yes, I am happy that we have an album that's not all BS with a rapper/actor talking about all his guns and drugs that he moves, but they should have upgraded the beat. You want to compare to Nas/Illmatic? Then go listen to "Life's A bitch," "World is Yours," "Half Time," "It Ain't hard To Tell" and "Represent" and see how there is no comparison. in my opinion, the beat is half if not more, responsible for whether the song is hot or not and on production, they failed Lamar. He got the right buzz, he deserved it, more power to him, but until he can rock the right beats, he is not the savior.

  • Anonymous

    Section 80>good kid, m.A.A.d city

  • BABYLON.SALUTE

    CHECK THIS OUT AND TELL ME WHAT YALL THINK!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DHRwfDa8lU

  • LMAO

    Get the Fuck Outta Here With This Bullshit! How da fuck you compare a classic to this wack ass shit!

  • YOOO!

    STOP!!! JUST STOP THIS NOW! smh

  • Anonymous

    Its good, but no, its not THAT good.

  • Fuckery

    The mere audacity of anyone to compare Illmatic to GKMC is blasphemous. Give this dude time to grow. He has the talent, mind and plus time on his side...... Give him some room, let him breathe. One decent album come out and niggas so quick to dub the shit classic. SMH

    • illmatic

      lol kids these days. You old cats these days never let a new mc get the shine he deserves cuz "nothin compares to the old school!" Coming from a huge nas fan, illmatic got me into hip hop. Illmatic has been in my "top five albums" playlist since the establishment of itunes lol. So i understand the classic label, the lasting impact. I also think, in every definable, relatively objective way we can all view a hip hop artist, kendrick excels in every single category. And gkmc is absolutely a classic album. And no, I am not a "dick rider" and no i do not throw the term "classic" around at every pretty good, solid 8/10 album that comes around a few times each year. It is a classic album. That is my opinion, that is many people's opinions, and considering its the highest rated hip hop album on metecritic for the past year (91/100), so do the publications that helped define gkmc as a classic in the first place (i.e. the source). So just because so many people love this album, it is not because he is hyped, its because thats what happens when you are an artist with exposure and support who releases undenibaly excellent material.

    • rick

      Yes sir^^^^^ Kids these days dont know the definition of CLASSIC.

    • Anonymous

      This is what happens when hip hop is in it's worst state. people quick to love anything that's at least decent...

  • Tim

    good job with the article!!! But I believe Kendrick will blaze a whole new trail of rap music after GKMC, this is a long time in the making for him. Hopefully, time will tell if this album is a record that will resonate long after it's hype and acclaim.

  • Mobb Deep

    Plus The Infamous and Hell on Earth are better than Illmatic!

  • Jett

    I'd say that Good Kid Mad City is closer to Jay-Z's American Gangster than Illmatic. Get Rich or Die Trying was the successor to Illmatic IMO. Random hot songs with strong rhymes that came together cohesively. Some how these corny critics leave 50 out meanwhile that album was flawless. GKMC is also great in its own right but its a full concept album. Illmatic is not!

    • Anonymous

      Get Rich is a classic album, but comparing it to EITHER Illmatic or Good Kid is the stupidest thing I've ever heard. It is completely different to Illmatic in every way imaginable, except they are both rap albums.

    • rick

      50 rEALLY? Come on SON!

  • Anonymous

    the mere fact that his album is being compared to one of the greatest albums of all time is an absolute joke, it isnt even the best album of the year, its #2 to life is good this album is nothing near a classic reach is horrible, compton did not fit his style,and he got killed on money trees great album, but hop off his dick, sheesh

  • Anonymous

    GKMC is a cut above everything now, but that ain't sayin much.

  • Anonymous

    HAHAHA! These White Dudes crack me up!!! There is no comparasion fam, maad city is crazy wack, overhyped bullshit. no hate, but the media is REALLY pushing this Kendrick Lamemar cat EXTRA HArd. He don't have it, sorry. Not much some fresh behind the ears hip hop fan can say, i mean the enthusiasm is encouraging (uhem...) but seriously, it's not great... at all. So stop comparing one of the greatest masterpieces in modern hip hop to some overhyped dre produced garbage that you are getting paid to oversell. I know the game sucka. fuck DX.

  • hek718

    its sad that I never come on here and see a real convo or debate about an article. everybody is either a "DICKRIDER" or a "HATER". I guess no one is entitled to an opinion. Its art man, its subjective there is no absolute way to say one album or song is better than another. But Im sure you guys dont wann read this.... YEAH YEAH ______ IS TRASH ______ IS WAY BETTER THAN HIM!! YALL NIGGAS BE DICKRIDING!!! STOP HATING!!! CHECK MY TOP 5: 1.WGAF 2.WGAF 3.WGAF 4.WGAF 5.WGAF

    • Anonymous

      "its art man", i can tell you one of these white dudes who just got into rap, listen fam, this is a promo stunt on interscope's part, they pay journalists to put out "good reviews", even though the album is TERRIBLE, for the sake of selling records. If you follow pitchfork or XXL, (I'm sure you do), then this would be your brand of RAP, but the bottom line is, it's some fake corny industry shit. But i do agree with you, these DX niggas is corny as fuck comparing one lame rapper to another then dropping they top 5 as if ANYONE GIVES A FUCK.

  • 614grind

    Seriously? Illmatic could be the best solo Hip Hop album of all time. One feature...AZ. Instantly a classic in the Golden Era of Hip Hop. GKMC is a cut above everything now, but that ain't sayin much. 8 features, one being Drake, automatically disqualifies it as anywhere in the conversation with Illmatic.

  • Hromeupau

    Illmatic & Good Kid Trash 4 Ever YMCMB 4 LIFE fuck 2pac

  • King O

    There will never be another Nas. NEVER!!

  • Vern

    And with all that said.. GKMC is mos' def' a classic album. Whew what a read though, took me long enuf. Everyone under me crying n complaining about hype and they shouldn't be compared. Read the damn thing, not just compare the few fat printed lines. The author of this makes alot of sense with the comparion actually. Though that one Anonymous dude is right that Illmatic wasn't as much a concept album as GKMC which is just way more cohesive.. and the author just kinda skips that part about the 2 albums. And of course Illmatic is THE standard for classic albums and imo will probably never be surpassed.. GKMC is a classic and a masterpiece. Haters just stop it.. read the whole thing then come up with some decent arguments and we might actually take u more serious.

    • L

      Exactly it's not Illmatic it's not Only built for cuban linx 36 chambers ready to die amerikkka's most wanted the chronic low end theory doggystyle etc. it's not GKMC is a good album but it's ridiculous when you say west coast illmatic ppl forget game documentary and blu below the heavens both west coast albums from our generation that are classics and GKMC can be debated that it's not better than them two in my opinion it's not let GKMC stand on its own two and quit comparing this album with certified classics who knows 5 years from now these might not be as good as they are now or it may be a classic but let it breathe tho ppl aren't mad with ppl saying that its a classic that's your opinion but comparing this to illmatic and it's not in the same context as Nas when Nas made Illmatic rap wasn't in a drought rap was coming off the great year of 93 with 36 chambers midnight marauders 93 til infinity enta da stage ect.but Nas that even to this day set the standard for a debut album 10 years from now are they gonna say when a person drop a debut from the west coast is it gonna be GKMC like Illmatic has since its release Gkmc came out in a horrible time for music that's why it's getting praised let's be real artists don't put the effort like they had in the 90's on their major label albums GKMC is a good album but let it breathe before you throw albums like illmatic into the picture

    • Anonymous

      my problem w this is it ignores the other albums that should be compared to illmatic. is gkmc better than ob4cl, liquid swords, doggystyle, reasonable doubt, no

    • Anonymous

      take the interscope dick out ya mouth faggot.

  • Anonymous

    while this was a good read, ( I read the whole thing) that makes the reader think. I don't know about the validity. Besides Illmatic wasn't even a concept album, sure it had individual stories that were telling but it is not as cohesive as a whole as GKMC. The author mentions and knows this but suspends his disbeleif to get this out of his head. Anyhow I commend him on drawing out the parallels.

  • blah blah blah

    Illmatic was a classic. GKMC will be a classic. period. The comparison is dumb because the albums are nothing alike. Its just propaganda to push Kendrick into the realms of the likes of Nas. Not mad at that but just listen to music and stop all the propaganda damn

    • Anonymous

      Best comment. The albums cannot be compared in any way because they come from two different time periods... Illmatic is legendary, and Good Kid is an amazing album. Only time will tell what will come of Good Kid... At the moment, just leave it at that.

  • GDP

    Joey Bada$$'s 1999 is the real 2012 Illmatic...anyone with ears would see that.

  • Curufinwe

    Illmatic become a classic over the years. Kendrick album has been released 3 mont ago... And frankly My Dark Twisted Fantasy is more a classic than the boring album of Kendrick. I am totally bored by all this hype. Plus Ilmmatic is Nas FIRST album with 1 featuring. Not his 2nd on with alot of featuring.

    • Anonymous

      A lot of featuring, you kidding right? And yes it's Kendrick his first studio album, Section.80 was not an official release

  • makaveli

    This is the most overhyped album this year for sure. I don't care about the storytelling crap, there's maybe 2 good songs on this album. It's too chaotic and the beats are generic and confusing sometimes. If it wasn't for Dre's collab, people would still asking who the hell is this guy. Do they pay people to hype this crap on the internet???

    • makaveli

      Just a kid? Seriously, am i a kid just for having an opinion? Chief who? Never heard of him actually....

    • @Dakamu

      do you suck him too ?

    • YouSerious?

      You can have your opinion that the album only has two good songs, but your opinion is in the vast minority. While the beat selection is very dark and mellow at times, it works very well with Kendrick's style. Also, songs like "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe", "The Art of Peer Pressure" and "Sing About Me" just have a unique atmosphere to them that other rappers out right now could never pull off without coming off as corny, preachy, or weird. Hip-Hop should be happy that this dude is not only a breath of fresh air, but is also selling so well, but some people will always have doubts and issues when a dude is getting talked about so much.

    • Dakamu

      I agree @Makaveli

    • Anonymous

      let me guess : chief keef is the truth huh ? dumbass ...

    • Anonymous

      lol just a kid

  • rick

    You should be fired for insulting Nas! Kendrick album in no way shape or form can stand next to ILLMATIC. Illmatic is the PERFECT CLASSIC hip hop album that will nevr be surpassed. Some may come cose but they will never acheive ILLMATICs status....EVER! IMO opinion i would say that Blu's Below the Heavens is the West Coasts ILLMATIC just because there are similarities. When Nas dropped ILLMATIC he had guest verses but wasnt well known. BLu dropped BTH out of nowhere and became an instant semi classic in my book. The LOW print run made it even MORE popular with TRUE Hip Hop heads and became a MUST have. Plus the production was fuckin' NICE! yeah Blu has fell off but thats what happens when you create a claasic album as your debut album. That sets the standard for the rest of your future's project's. Ask Nas! Blu is a mixture of Nas & Common...Thuis is just my opinion.. fore those that will talk shit...eat a dick!

    • Anonymous

      36 Chambers and Illmatic are both classics, and equally as good/influential if you ask me. Illmatic is the DEFINITION of a classic solo album 36 is the DEFINITION of a classic group album

    • Anonymous

      ^^^ tHANK YOU. pLEASE COME AGAIN.

    • @rick

      you're a funny guy

    • rick

      HAHAHA! NO! ILLMATIC, Nas' lyrics SHIT on Snoop's lyrics ALL day! ....36 Chambers is classic but not the STANDARD. Illmatic is the STANDARD CLASSIC album...Ask 10 TRUE hip Hop Heads and Illmatic will be name 8 out of 10 times

    • Anonymous

      Illmatic = most overrated album of all time alongside Ready to Die i can name at least two fuckin albums from this era better than Illmatic : Doggystyle and 36 Chambers

  • Anonymous

    i really do not know what people are seeing in this album

    • Anonymous

      a concept, a storytelling, a message, and some originality but hey, if you rather listen to some rozay it's your choice. do you man

  • Shuttaman

    Yep, and niggaz thought I was crazy when I sad Kendrick Lamar is a young west coast Nas. He's nas if Nas had grown up in Compton. Ya Bish.

  • Anonymous

    Are you pussy ass faggot ass teenagers retarded??? Kendricks album not only isnt on the level of illmatic, its not even close!! Even just reading the lines posted in this article its clear that nas' raps are much more intracate and advanced then this frog sounding faggot. Pussys want something to claim 'classic' so bad in this day and age they will call anything that isnt Wayne or indie sounding, 'classic'. This whole article is fucking stupid...You are starting to go too far with this shit now

  • BeanTown Breezy

    Wow!.....bwahahahahahahahaha!...reaching is beyond what this is. Just look at the bold lines and compare Kendricks. They do not even flow the same or feel the same when reading?...Lol...GKMC is a great album and in NO way was Meek Mill's album a half a mic less greater than GKMC either. I don't expect "The Sauce" mic rating system as credible anyways when a bunch of homos from ATL and anywhere but NYC,L.A. and real cities who rep that hip hop not pop run the mag now. STOP comparing to Illmatic when you see the difference and will NEVER duplicate or be greater than the shit from that era in hiph hop when it was pure. YOU CANNOT FRIGGIN TIME TRAVEL SO STOP IT ALREADY YOU CLOWNS!

  • Anonymous

    fuck yall !! GKMC >>>> Illmatic

    • lilmonphon

      KWASEA! yeah! i just called u stupid.ur opinion is trash!GTFOH

    • Anonymous

      well it is a matter of taste ! the first time i heard illmatic i did not jump on the roof ... while the first time i heard GKMC i took a punch in the face to each his own taste

    • Anonymous

      Come on man. Yeah right. Good Kid Maad City is dope but comparing it to Illmatic i don't know. We'll see in ten years.

  • Anonymous

    gtfoh illmatic makes this shit look like futures album gkmc wasn't even that good.

  • Anonymous

    Seriously nigga the shit ain't that great, ya'll overhyping this shit just because it's the first halfway decent major label album to drop since Dark Fantasy. It's good but the shit aint going down in the history books so cool it with this fuck shit, trying to hypnotize people into thinking this record is more then it is with your dickriding of it, FOH

  • nahmean

    yall are reaching!!!