The Compton rapper’s third studio album surpassed Radiohead’s OK Computer on Thursday (January 31) to become No. 1 on the list of top albums of all time on Rate Your Music.
The website, which allows users to rate and review music, pointed out on Twitter that “this is the first time in nearly a decade that Rate Your Music has had a new #1 album.”
To Pimp a Butterfly has an average score of 4.34 out of 5 based on 58,322 ratings and 491 reviews, with OK Computer now trailing close behind with a 4.26 rating.
— Sonemic / Rate Your Music (@sonemic) January 31, 2023
Elsewhere on the list, albums from Pink Floyd, King Crimson, MF DOOM and Madlib, My Bloody Valentine and The Beatles rank in the top 10, while K. Dot’s good kid, m.A.A.d city sits at No. 11.
Rate Your Music isn’t the only website where Kendrick Lamar’s catalog is highly rated. To Pimp a Butterfly is the fifth highest-rated album of all time on Metacritic with a score of 96 out of 100, while DAMN. holds the No. 8 spot with a 95 rating.
Released in March 2015, To Pimp a Butterfly debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after selling 324,000 copies in its first week. The album boasted appearances from Snoop Dogg, Rapsody, George Clinton, Bilal, Thundercat, Ronald Isley, James Fauntleroy and Anna Wise, and included singles such as “Alright” and “King Kunta.”
Speaking to the Grammys in 2015, Kendrick Lamar revealed a trip to South Africa served as one of the biggest inspirations for the jazz and funk-infused project.
“I felt like I belonged in Africa,” he said. “I saw all the things that I wasn’t taught. Probably one of the hardest things to do is put [together] a concept on how beautiful a place can be, and tell a person this while they’re still in the ghettos of Compton. I wanted to put that experience in the music.
“There’s a separation between the light and the dark skin because it’s just in our nature to do so, but we’re all Black. This concept came from South Africa and I saw all these different colors speaking a beautiful language. I wanted to do a record like this on my debut album but I wasn’t confident enough.”
He added: “The title grasped the entire concept of the record. [I wanted to] break down the idea of being pimped in the industry, in the community and out of all the knowledge that you thought you had known, then discovering new life and wanting to share it.”
To Pimp a Butterfly helped Kendrick Lamar earn 11 nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards, where he won Best Rap Album along with Best Rap Song (“Alright”), Best Rap Performance (“Alright”) and Best Rap/Sung Performance (“These Walls”).