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Preview Wed Oct 28 2015

Kendrick Lamar to Kick It @ The Riviera Theatre 11/5

To be moved by Kendrick Lamar's latest project, To Pimp A Butterfly, is an understatement. The highly anticipated 16-track album, which dropped last March, is not just a collection of songs that cater to hip-hop enthusiasts.

At best, it is an anthem for those who dare to climb up the long-winding staircase of struggle in hopes of finding new meaning in love, success and happiness.

Throughout his work, Lamar finds clarity in his own interludes. Pieces of his poem, which he reveals in his last song "Mortal Man," disclose his darkest secret: "I remember you was conflicted - misusing your influence. Sometimes, I did the same."

His pain often reads like poetry, and these small confessions act as pivotal points in a late-night conversation with a close friend who seek this revelation: ambition is the enemy of self-destruction, and power is the cause of disillusionment. Importantly, perception is the ruler of the free world.

While breakout hits like "i", "King Kunta" and "Alright" have exceeded radio play, Lamar's construction of those two tracks are a testament to understanding the role of black bodies continuously beaten by a criticized, segregated world. His rhymes find reason in his insecurities, which provide a voice for others who look to reclaim their identity and respect, which is often softened or dismissed by contemporary history, politics and media.

What's unique about TPAB is that it can be argued as a sequel to his debut album Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City, which was not shy to document a Compton that could only be seen through the blinds of a broken bedroom window or in a brave attempt to run away from an armed gunman. He was just a boy then, who was exposed to three sets of expectations: his family, his friends and the streets.

Even though a more mature Lamar is present in his newest work, he continues to carry Compton with him as he stands "screaming in a hotel room," and "the evils of Lucy" begin to surround him. His mission was never to escape, but to someday return and pay homage to his "lost" or "dead" homies who rebuilt the foundation of his home.

As a part of his first annual Kunta's Groove Sessions tour, Lamar is set to perform alongside Top Dog Entertainment label mate Jay Rock and The Wesley Theory on Thursday, Nov. 5 at The Riviera Theatre. VIP Tickets, which may only be purchased in advanced, are still available.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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