Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly was easily the most talked about rap album of 2015—and it was also the most polarizing. Was it brilliant? (The answer is, yes.) Or was it a piece of work so avant garde that it’s “unrelatable?” (The answer is no.)
A 16-track social-political protest of sorts, consisting of intelligent, sometimes soul-questioning musings of a young dude from Compton struggling with notions of racism, right and wrong, celebrity and spirituality, TPAB was unlike anything else released last year. And it could be argued that even though it’s barely a year old, it already occupies an important space in hip-hop’s musical canon.
Which is why it’s so surprising that it was nominated for 11 Grammys. After all, the musical institution isn’t exactly known for being in touch, particularly as it pertains to hip-hop music. Maybe they took a cue from President Obama, who dubbed “How Much a Dollar Cost” his fav jam of the year. Whatever. Kendrick has now topped Eminem as the hip-hop artist with the most Grammy nominations in a single year and falls only one shy of Michael Jackson’s nomination record.
But the real question here is– how many will he actually win?