Kendrick Lamar Discusses Comparisons Between "good kid, m.A.A.d. city" & Nas' "Illmatic"

Kendrick Lamar weighs in on how he feels his debut LP stands up to Nas' classic "Illmatic."

The reviews for Kendrick Lamar's highly anticipated Aftermath debut good kid, m.A.A.d city are steadily rolling in, and so far, praise for the Compton emcee's work has been universal. Now, in a recent double interview from 2DopeBoyz and TheWellVersed, K. Dot addresses some critical comparisons of the album to Nas' own debut Illmatic.

Kendrick explained that having good kid, m.A.A.d city likened to the QB legend's classic record is both exhilarating and terrifying. While he feels proud that many listeners believe he's encapsulated the sound of his generation with the project, he says that he's not ready to accept the idea that he's the second coming of God's Son.

Illmatic? For people to even put my album in the light of that, is an accomplishment. It’s crazy to even be mentioned with it but it’s scary at the same time," he said. "That era - I wanna say the age range now would be 30, 30 to 40 - they can recognize this was the album. Illmatic's the album for the '90s era when I was growing up. The stories he was telling was something I can relate to. From the response, just from the leak...these kids out here, they're all saying the same thing: this is the feel for this era...it's just a weird feeling to be in that same type of light, 'cus it takes a whole lot of responsibility to keep that up in the long run and longevity, and that's something I don't have yet...so Illmatic will always be #1."

Check out the full interview to hear what Andre 3000 had to say about the album.

RELATED: Kendrick Lamar Says Dr. Dre Delayed "Detox" For "good kid, m.A.A.d city"

89 Comments

  • Dajiggaman22

    There is no way I'd ever compare Good Kid Maad City to Illmatic. No way at all. Illmatic is one of the best albums of all time. Nas wrote that when he was only 19 and his only features were AZ and a hook form Qtip. Its sad when ok albums get compared to greatness

  • Anonymous

    this clown should never compare his trashy tape to what Illmatic was if i was dre i pull him to side and bitch slap him

  • Malone

    Just to be clear should I tell them to do drug or not to do it. I'm not exactly sure what you want me to tell them.. Sincerely Yours -Malone

  • nas

    k.dot was a maaaaad kid but when he became kendrick lamar shit went off, kendrick lamar ep, overly dedicated, section 80 are fcking legendary. and gkmc....... its on repeat since the leak, cant get enough of it its true what he says. you can relate to it if you grew up the same era he did. kendrick has been my hope to keep hiphop real!, along with j.cole,big krit,jay electronica, joey badass. these are the nas' jay-z's etc to come

  • Anonymous

    Yeah it is a great album and shares some themes with illmatic but it is in no way comparable. Some songs just annoyed me, such as money trees up until jay rocks verse and also dying of thirst with all the "uh's". The rest of the album was really good though...could it be seen as the illmatic of this new era? I don't think so...the cool or food and liquor still hold an arguably tighter grip to that although we should still appreciate this great album k dot gave us.

  • rbgwarrior

    remember people, Illmatic is one of the best albums ever....one of.....you have to include: Low End Theory Midnight Mauraders It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back Criminal Minded Let's Get Free Enter The 36 Chambers No Top 5 or 10 list of hip hop albums shouldn't include these...if they do, you straight up bullshitting...

  • Petty Crime

    Oh and i forgot The Cool by Lupe Fiasco

  • The Phenom

    I'm getting the album this week! This many positive reviews cannot be wrong.

  • Anonymous

    madcity is wack af i bought and gave it to my nigga and he trying to give the shit back 2 me so many features

  • Petty Crime

    This album is actaully very very good and it maybe a classic but only time will tell. There were alot of classic albums that didnt sell well so PLEASE don't try to go by numbers because it thats the case then there is alot of trash that did way better than the classics did. Again as i said most classic albums didnt sell well but the imprint and mark they left on the game were huge. Now there are only about 40 classic albums I will try to list them all Bigge(2)-Ready to Die,Life after death N.W.A-Straight outta Compton Wu-Tang(2)-36 chambers,forever Dr.Dre(2)-The Chronic,Chronic 2001 Nas(3)-Illmatic,It was written and Stillmatic Jay-Z(3)-The Black Album, Reasonable Doubt, Blueprint Common(2)-Like water for chocolate,Be******************RECENT Outkast(2)-Speakerboxx/The love below,Aquemini Snoop-Doggystyle Eric B and Rakim-Paid in Full DMX-Its Dark as hell is hot Mobb Deep-The infamous GZA-Liquid Swords Mos Def/Talib Kweli-Blackstar Ice Cube-Amerikkkas Most Wanted Busta Rhymes-When disaster strikes Tupac(2)-All Eyez on Me,Makavelli Lupe Fiasco-Food and Liquor******************RECENT Game-Documentary A Tribe Called Quest(2)-The Low End Theory,midnight marauders Lauryn Hill-The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill Kanye West-College Dropout Scareface-The Fix 50 Cent-Get Rich or Die Tryin Eminem(2)-Marshall Mathers,slim shady Raekwon(2)-Cuban Links, Only built for cuban links 2******RECENT The Roots-Illadelph Halflife De La Soul-Three feet and rising Fugees-The Score Juvenile-400 Degreez Mos Def-Black on both sides

  • Anonymous

    I'm gonna wait n watch how many of u kendrick dickriders including hiphopdx are going to actually buy this overrated album...men lie women lie numbers don't!

    • jayvon32

      you do realize that most classic hip hop albums wasnt the most commercially successful album when they dropped...Illmatic, Reasonable Doubt, Breaking Atoms, etc didnt get the classic tag until years later. To call GKMC a classic is a little too premature, but it is a very solid album I admit that

  • Malone

    What once was is now no more... I'm truly sorry Cloretta. Sincerely Yours -Malone

  • my advice do k dot

    your voice is terrible. stick up to ghostwriting!

  • saint

    fuck that. they allllways gotta compare these albums to illmatic and whatever. Kendrick's the next 2pac. TDE's the next Death Row. GKMC is the new Illmatic. Black Hippy is the new West. i hate that shit. if it's good it's good if not then fuck it. GKMC aint no classic. it came out like today. nigggas been fuckin with illmatic for 18 years. we heard about kendrick period like 2 years ago. and i'm not takin anything away from kendrick and im not saying illmatic is the goat album or nas is the greatest nigga alive. nah. but i can listen to both albums without comparing them. i kno it sounds clish or whatever but you know

  • Anonymous

    Man y'all overpraise Nas, he's a great mc, made one of the best albums ever, but let's be honest, great artists can develop over time, and Nas did the opposite of that, Nas has never made an album even Nearly as exciting and great as illmatic was, and imo, only 4 of his albums are memorable: Illmatic, It Was Written, Stillmatic, & Hip Hop Is Dead, everything else is really forgettable, and imo, i think Kendrick will turn out to be more of a memorable artist than Nas is, just my opinion though.

    • Ethan

      Your fucking retarded if you think Kendrick will be more memorable...This kid isnt nothing compared to Nas. The pure lyricism is NOT COMPARABLE to what Nas has done, nas has done shit within the lyrics that people dont even realize today... Nas is a top 3 MC and arguably #1

    • Life is Good

      Overpraise Nas? First, you just said 'he may be a great mc and made one of the best albums ever' and then followed that up with overpraised. I don't think you can overpraise that track record. Not to mention you seem to have left Life is Good off of your list, which probably means you didn't give it a listen, because if you had, you would have realized Nas has progressed tremendously.

  • problems

    I love Kendricks music but i dont know about those comparasions yet. I mean Illmatic was what music should be about, and the bar has already been set and no I dont give a fuck about sales because we all know what that is about. But section 80 was repeatedly played over and over in my ears hopefully this matches or exceeds that which i believe because he's so lyrical and has good subject matter, a talent lacking in the industry today.

  • Incarcerated Scarfaces

    GKBC isn't even as good as It Was Written, I Am..., God's Son, Stillmatic, The Lost Tapes, or Life is Good so let's settle right the fuck down with the Illmatic comparisons for Christ's sake.

  • Diana Ross

    dude the album just dropped, chill with the Illmatic comparisons. If Nas never went on to have a successful career after Illmatic, we wouldnt be talking about how great the album was. Lets see if Kendrick can match Nas' success as an artist first, develop the body of albums Nas has and the amount of respect and creativity he showcases in his work...then we can look back YEARS later and say yo this album reminds me of Illmatic

  • e

    ima kdot fan but helll naaah you cant compare those too wtf!!! haha you can barley compare the chronic to illmatic...how the hell can u compare to this alright album a 6 out of 10

  • Stillmatic

    What an absurd statement. He's album is great but Illmatic great? Hell nah!

  • BOY

    ILLMATIC WAS A TERRIBLE ALBUM THAT ONLY INTERNET SOCIAL-LESS LOSERS TRY TO BRING UP. FACE IT, NO ONE OUTSIDE OF THE INTERNET EVEN CARED FOR THE ALBUM AND I MET PEOPLE WHO LIKE OLD SCHOOL HIP-HOP. TUPAC, BIGGIE, EAZY-E AND EVEN BONE THUGS N HARMONY GET MORE PLAYS THAN NAS. SAME WITH THAT LAME KENDRICK LAMAR. HE SUCKS AS MUCH AS J. COLE OR WHOEVER LAME POPULAR RAPPER THEY HYPE. EVEN DRAKE SOLD OUT MAKING A SONG WITH THAT WACK ASS KENDRICK LAMAR. BUT LIL WAYNE IS A REAL BLOOD AND BEST RAPPER OF ALL-TIME. ALL HIS ALBUMS ARE CLASSICS AND KILLS EVERY VERSE. LIKE THIS, WEEZY IS THE KIGN OF HIP-HOP: Bitch! Stop talkin' that shit And suck a nigga dick for some Trukfit Okay I fuck a bitch and I'm gone Thats gangsta: Al Capone I make that pussy spit like Bone I'm talkin' 'bout bone, bone, bone bone Im fuckin with French, excuse my French I lose my mind before I lose my bitch Money aint a thing but a chicken wing Bitch I ball like two eyelids YMCM beat that pussy up, stop playin' I make her ass scream and holla like rock bands Im a beast, Im off the leash I am rich like a bitch On my Proactiv shit, pop that pussy like a zit I go by the name Lil Tunechi Your girl is a groupie And nigga, you's a square And I will twist you like in a Rubix Motherfucker I'm on my skateboard Watch me do a trick ho Im 55 but I could six nine Then beat that pussy like Klitschko Its French Montana, fuck Joe Its Weezy F, fuck hoes Its Truk the world Its Truk yo girl Its Trukfit by the truck load, biatch! I DO IT FOR TRUKFIT!

  • Anonymous

    Coast II Coast > Illmatic

  • The Truth

    When I listened to K. Dot's album, it did remind me of Illmatic. good kid, m.A.A.d. city is a solid album, but we gotta wait a decade before we know for sure. Illmatic is by far the best hip-hop album and is still better than good kid, m.A.A.d. city, but the two albums are somewhat similar in terms of themes. Nas' lyrical rhyming is insanely good. Lamar's is good but no one reaches that Illmatic lyrical structure.

  • Anonymous

    "Basically Illmatic is just the most memorable rap album ever" Reasonable Doubt has also been name dropped a million times over the years.

  • Anonymous

    "lol you lost more than once. i stopped counting at sales" Last time I checked Billboard tracked sales not co-signs. Even Illmatic eventually went platinum. If Nas wouldn't have sold like he did all those years best believe all the metaphors in the world wouldn't have meant shit. Same test for KL. Right now people like him, and he's getting good reviews, but how many of those people will actually buy the CD this week as opposed to burning it for free?

  • TRR

    Marshall Mathers LP>Illmatic Eminem Show>Illmatic

    • TaZzZ

      Which he did to perfection on both these albums aside from 1-2 songs each... Kill yourself now

    • problems

      Really says who? oh you.....em is nice but all those wacky ryhmes isnt music unless he stuck to a particular topic which that's when he is at this best

  • bird mane

    illmatic is a top 10 hiphop album ever of all time period. its been tried and tested for how many years? and still holds the title of one of the best ever. good kid mad city is great, but only time will tell if its a classic. i dont think it is personally. maybe standards have gone down as to what we dub a classic? i look at it like this; illmatics beats >> gkmc illmatics subject matter >> gkmc illmatics lyricism >> gkmc not to hate on the kid kendrick but its not on illmatics level, but really what is? still a very very solid album, bitch dont kill my vibe is on heavy rotation at the moment. i think documentary is the best album to come out the west in the last 10 years

  • mack

    people are so quick to hype..I remember when Beanie Sigel dropped the Truth. The source gave it 4 and 1/2 mics and said it was the next Enter The Wu Tang, Ready To Die, Amerikkkas Most Wanted etc and he was the new Ice Cube...see how that turned out

    • Anonymous

      Indeed! I remember the hype for that album and I can't even front I liked it back then. Your right it didn't stand the test of time.

  • deezy

    i was at that show. it was so awesome i dumped by bitch. she was talkin that whoopty whoop, blazay-blah, he-say-she-say, OMG...so i told her SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!

  • Real Talk

    Life is Good > good kid, m.A.A.d city

  • Christopher

    Ready to Die > Illmatic

    • Cern

      Thats fuckin right RTD better then Illmatic: - RTD is a concept album from beginning till end. - Biggie paints perfect pictures - Biggie had on RTD more flows then a pimp hoes - Biggie had the raw beats and rhymes. - Biggie had the wit while the stories were very bleak and harsh. He kept a balance. Illmatic dope but RTd is a little bit better.

    • Anonymous

      ye my nigga RIP BIG!

  • L

    It's funny how everything that come out today only off of a few listens get the "classic" label. For one Illmatic is hard to top because you can't find a flaw in that album. This one you can.Ppl talk about what beats play in a classic album everything because in songs that the first thing you hear so that have to be at least able take before the lyrics. Some beats on this album are okay but not on the level of Illmatic. Producers for Illmatic are some of the greatest producers in rap history and they made some of their best beats.Just blaze on compton don't even make just blaze top ten. This is why Questlove is doing a classic album class at NYU. I'm 26 an can tell you that's this album is nowhere near Illmatic is that saying it's not a good album. No. Just don't compare it to album to an album that set the standard for lyricist today even Eminem and Jay-Z down to Kendrick Lamar Jay Electronica and J.Cole.Can somebody make an album better than Illmatic yes but this album isn't it. Swimming Pools at times can become tedious but the whole Illmatic album never that. Heard Illmatic the other day still fresh eventhough is was made in the 90's. This album is good though Kendrick Lamar did his thing let it be a classic in its own right not compare it to albums that already stood the test of time and my favorite album hiphop wise is Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions To hold us Back For an album to top these in my opinion you have to come like Nirvana Nevermind was to rock in the 90's a powerful impact like busta rhymes said in scenario because hiphop over the years have had classics Blu Below the Heavens Little Ministrel Show Common Be Jay's American Gangster and so on Great albums yes better than Illmatic no and these are just as good as good kid maad city no hating just keeping it real and I listen to all hiphop I'm not biased

    • Anonymous

      Jay's Takeover never had more facts than Ether, real fans of the both know that. Ether is on another level than the takeover. Love Kendrick but he just said that Jay won the battle against nas, which is completely bullshit. Nas robbed the entire street credibility of jay. after the blueprint he just dropped Pop-Albums (except American Gangster). Nas put other classic like Lost Tapes and God's son out and he never sold out he droppef HHID and saved the HipHop music when it was time. He had other very good topic albums lige the Nigger album and Street's Disciple, Dropped after that another classic like Distant Relatives where people saw that he can arise in other Genres. This year he dropped Life is Good which is also a very good album and it shows that nas is still on top of the game. So fuck Jigga he dropped just bullshit (except the Black Album and American Gangster) after the Nas Beef.

    • Anonymous

      Its funny he said somebody can make an album that can top Illmatic Dude you need to read

    • T-40

      Nothing should ever make you hate listening to an album if that's what you want to listen to he just stated his opinion he didn't even say Illmatic was his favorite it seems he don't seem to be dickriding when he said let this be a classic in it own right that's the whole point of the dicussion ppl compared GKMK to Illmatic and he stated a valid point to bad some of yall are dumb enough to comprehend

    • Anonymous

      dude you obviously didn't read the whole thing and missed the whole point L was making he just said Illmatic was better he didn't even say Illmatic was his favorite he also said somebody can make an album better than Illmatic GKMC wasn't it reading is fundamental and just because he backed Illmatic don't make him a dickrider he stated PE album was his favorite where's the dickriding dummy why post something leaving out other points he made SMH

    • L

      Okay bitch fisrt of all I didn't say Nas was my favorite artist I love it when so called mother fuckers like you try to make statements like you hard nigga please actually Krs- One is my favorite rapper I said i'm not biased I said Kendrick Lamar Cd is good I just showed reasons why ppl shouldn't be compared to Illmatic and duh time does make a clasic I said that if you read shitface I said let it be a classic in its own right that's what I said so all this shit talking when your not in face is not worth it that's MY OPINION If you don't like that that's one less person I have to worry about BITCH Yall a trip in this generation I state what I feel I listened 2 countless albums I didn't even shit on Kendrick Lamar you call me a Nas dickrider when in 2001 I thought Jay-z beat Nas bcuz Jay had facts just because you cosign something don't mean I'm a dickrider because I'm my own man who makes his own decision never forget that bitch I love hiphop that's why I type like this giving something called analysis backing up why I think something is better i don't even know you and you talking SMH this generation sensitive thugs yall all need hugs

    • dude...

      yeah, i don't think taking some class with Questlove or stating your opinions like they're facts makes something a classic album. Time makes something a classic album. The opinions of the masses make something a classic album. Metallica's "The Black Album" is a classic and I don't like a single song on that album. Stop identifying yourself with some notion of importance. Also, stop dickriding Nas. I can honestly say, other people have made me fucking hate Illmatic because of stupid over the top comments like this. Nasir Jones didn't pull your mom out of a burning building.

  • Knowledge God

    Only comparison is that it's a hyped debut album from a gifted lyricist. GKMC feels more like IWW to me than Illmatic in terms of how he does the narratives in the songs. The main reason Illmatic is still the best album today is that the lines were so quotable. Illmatic can be quoted for decades and never cease to amaze. Nas was saying things 20 years ago that still cannot be touched. "I left some jewels in his skull that he could sell if he choose." "If its good she'll bring you customers in measuring pots" "I am deep by sound alone" "I stood on the block loose cracks produced stacks" "bulletholes left in my peepholes" "the old folks pray to je-sus soaking their sins in trays of holywater" "I am out for dead presidents to represent me" "some how the rap game reminds me of the crack game" "I drank moet with Medusa gave her shotguns in hell" "wisdom is leaking out my grapefruit troupe" "sneak a uzi on the island in my army jacket lining" "my intellect prevails from a hanging cross with nails" "yall niggas was born I shot my way out my mom dukes" "housing police release scriptures thats maybe hitlers" "caught by the devils lasso" "even my brains in handcuffs".. So many lines that are just untouchable

    • Q343

      @ Truth Stop bitching about Illmatic. You dont hear people talking about other 90's albums. Hmmm probably nobody talks about : - Ready To Die - Enter The W-Tang, - OB4CL - The Chronic - Amerikkkas most wanted - Reasonable Doubt etc... Yeah nobody talks about these album releases.......

    • ETK

      ...you don't know that it'll be a standard bearer for years to come. the real reason why GMKC can't be compared to Illmatic is because Illmatic was dropped years ago, was memorable, and its hype is filled with nostalgia. GKMC JUST dropped.. niggas oughta call the hell down. It's a great LP, now wait a couple years then we'll decide if it should be compared to Illmatic

    • Truth

      Basically Illmatic is just the most memorable rap album ever. Can't compare anything to that. You don't even hear people talking about other albums that came out in the 90's like they do Illmatic. Every time a dope artist comes out or Nas drops a new album Illmatic is mentioned. It's just a memorable album. Kendricks album is amazing but you can't really quote it and it won't be a standard bearer that's mentioned for years to come. Therefore it can't be compared to Illmatic. Not fair to Kendrick because GKMC is a extremely dope album but can't compare to a album like Illmatic. I would say someone will make a album better than Illmatic one day but since that hasn't happened in damn near 20 years its safe to say that there will never be another Illmatic just like there will never be something as revolutionary as the Internet.

  • junMaf*ckn

    This is a Bad Reach. IllMatic Stood The Test of Time For 18 Years! Kendrick Album Dont Even DROP Till Tomorrow. Lets See How We Feel About Kendrick's Debut A Year From Now. Or a Month.

    • BLACK

      IT DROPPED TODAT NIGGA...AND DONT EVEN ARGUE THAT ALBUMS DONT DROP ON MONDAYS CUZ THIS ONE REALLY DID...I BOUGHT IT

    • Anonymous

      "Lets See How We Feel About Kendrick's Debut A Year From Now. Or a Month." exactly! and illmatic not only stood the test of time for 18 years but it's ALWAYS going to be a timeless classic. period.

  • ANC

    This album is similar in concept to Illmatic, but Kendrick Lamar just isn't as lyrically gifted as Nas. Nas "I'm the young city bandit, hold myself down singlehanded For murder raps, I kick my thoughts alone, get remanded Born alone, die alone, no crew to keep my crown or throne I'm deep by sound alone, caved inside in a thousand miles from home I need a new nigga, for this black cloud to follow Cause while it's over me it's too dark to see tomorrow Trying to maintain, I flip, fill the clip to the tip Picturin my peeps, now the income make my heartbeat skip" Kendrick And this is rigamortis And it's gorgeous when you die Ali recorded and I'm Morpheus The Matrix of my mind I'm out the orbit You an orphan and a hairdresser combined I'm on the toilet when I rhyme If you the shit then I decline I climax where you begin And then I end on Cloud 9 Nas' lyrics are just deeper and more complex then other rappers lyrics...Kendrick is a good rapper, but he's just not on that level of rhyming. He's more about the wordplay...

    • pardon?

      Nah son, those lyrics you posted (Kendrick's) are from Section 80. Plus, Rigamotis is similar to Backseat Freestyle. The lyrics are throw away in a sense. He's having fun and being an MC. LML

  • WestCoast ryda skip skip

    yea GKMC shits on illmatic not even a competition

  • Anonymous

    This is the problem with hip hop today. Everything is compared to something else. Illmatic was a zillion years ago. Yes, it was a very good album, but to pretend it still stands up today and trumps every other album ever released is flat out ridiculous. Same for the Lamar album. He needs sales, not comparisons. Put in some time in the game, and if later people liken any of your music to Nas then so be it, but leave the comparisons alone until you've established your own identity.

  • Anonymous

    Reasonable Doubt > Illmatic It Was Written > Illmatic

  • Anonymous

    smh, GKMD is a great album, but it's not even close to being as good as Illmatic

  • Anonymous

    GTFOH! Illmatic? Come on, son!

  • Tim

    Bump that....Kendrick had a good debut...I don't give a damn if it sells....aint no illmatic, cause aint nver going to be an illmatic by nas or anyone else. If i'm not mistaken doing something a similar vein to someone else's work is not original!!! Go ahead Kendrick, good kid madd city

  • youngsta

    good kid, m.a.a.d city is WAAAAAY better than shitty ass illmatic, the most overrated album in history. now all the old ass commenters are gonna build up their estrogen before they respond.

  • Anonymous

    haters everywhere!

  • w h o k n o w s

    idk my nikka that's a stretch..it's hard to compare anything to Illmatic.. from flow, content, delivery (breath control is insane), theme, album cover.. it's truly unmatched.. that shit is bulletproof.. every debut after Illmatic (including every Nas follow-up album) gets the "That shit was dope but it ain't Illmatic" line

  • Anonymous

    lol these chumps today think they are able to drop a classic. sleep well

  • Anonymous

    the albums just that good, fuck the hater below me and his ancestors too

  • Anonymous

    Wow you're ignortant. good city is one of the best concept albums ever, and will go down as a classic.

  • Anonymous

    illmatic is classic , maad city isnt the accents are corny and ruined the songs for me hip hop's buried 6 feet underground

    • Anonymous

      Illmatic is my favorite hip-hop album of all time and kendrick lamar is one of my favorite new artists. I feel that Section 80 was not as good as illmatic but i felt that it represented today what illmatic represented back in 94'. Illmatic was an album about the mindset and actions of a 19 year old kid from Queens in that time period and i felt that Section 80 and even some of this album represent the mindset and actions of a young adult today. But at the end of the day illmatic is head and shoulders above both of these albums. I dont think we will ever see an artist rap the way nas did on that classic album, but guys like kendrick and Jay Electronica are carrying on that style for todays music.

    • Anonymous

      lmao fail @ staying unbiased

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