Jayden's Journal: 'GKMC,' 10 years later
By Jayden Hewitt
Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,” was released Oct. 22, 2012. It was Lamar’s second studio album. The album contains explicit lyrics, and can be heard on a variety of music streaming services.
I’m diving into how the album has aged over the course of 10 years. Does it still hold weight? Spoiler alert: yes, it does – to me at least. “GKMC,” as it’s called for short, was a soundtrack for my early 10s and through my teens.
You may wonder, does it hold up to the rest of the world as well? Absolutely, according to the “Billboard 200.” As of Nov. 5 “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,” is a whopping 11th, 10 years later, and has spent 522 weeks in the top 200 albums.
Those numbers show how well it has stood the test of time.
The album has shown its longevity for good reason. The 68-minute, 23-second album is compiled of 12 tracks and comes with a deluxe edition that includes five extra tracks on “Apple Music,” and only four extra tracks on “Spotify.”
The raw, lyricism of stories from Lamar’s past and present take us through the journey of fame, and a life in Compton, Calif.; a city notorious for its rough upbringing.
There are no bad tracks. Music is obviously a subjective subject and art form, but it’s one of the most non-arguable opinions in music one can have.
I hold this album near and dear to my heart. I’m looking at the vinyl record of the album’s cover on my wall as I write this with “Poetic Justice,” on in the background over my “JBL” brand speaker.
As I listened as I grew up, it helped me through junior high. Junior high can be a notoriously rough time in anyone’s life, but I had Kendrick Lamar to listen to in the halls for a brief moment. Therefore I wasn’t worried about the trials and tribulations of pre-teen, and teenage life.
It’s hard for me to pinpoint any one track that would be my favorite. It’s already hard enough to tell readers my top three without it changing tomorrow, or on my next listen.
You’re taken through many moods in the album, all with excellent lyricism. If I’m in a chill mood, I may listen to “Money Trees,” “Real” or “Swimming Pools.”
If I’m in a sad mood, I may listen to tracks like “Poetic Justice,” “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst,” or “The Art of Peer Pressure.”
If I’m feeling excited I may turn on “Backseat Freestyle,” or “M.A.A.D city.”
I think what draws me to this album the most is the ability Lamar has to tell a story in several different ways.
All of the songs I listed have a story to them, but they’re told in three different styles, sparking three different moods. Not only is Kendrick Lamar one of the most talented musicians in music history, he is able to make bad things sound good from a listening standpoint.
I could go on and on about what makes Lamar great, but “GKMC” has stood the test of time, and has no plans on leaving the charts, or listeners’ hearts.
Even through different stages in my life, I’ve been able to resort back to “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,” to bring me some sort of comfort.