1 United in Grief ★★★★
An intriguing first 30 seconds then Kendrick kicks off the album using his annoying rapping voice/style. After that, it comes into its own and is a good song that reminds me a little of Andre's 'A Day in the Life'. From the jump though, this song tells the story of my relationship with Kendrick's music. There are aspects to be appreciative of but something bothers me.
2 N95 ★★★★
Drill/Trap like beat. One of the few songs nearing banger status. I've had the "out of pocket" line stuck in my head.
3 Worldwide Steppers ★★★☆
Interesting production but this is one of those songs that you are only going to play when you spin the whole album again. Not much replay value here. No hook.
4 Die Hard ★★★☆
This was a stand out after my first listen, perhaps because it has more conventional production, but my positive thoughts aren't as strong after more spins. Kendrick plays more of a bit part on this than the other songs.
5 Father Time ★★★★
I don't like the hook here, but aside from that it's dope.
6 Rich (Interlude) ★★☆
Kodak Black spits over fast keys. Not one I'd rush back to.
7 Rich Spirit ★★★
Decent... I don't have much to say about this one. Decent beat. Decent catchy rhymes.
8 We Cry Together ★★★☆
People will call this a creative song, but a couple arguing isn't that new. I've thought of similarly themed songs when I've been writing but I just haven't had access to a female vocalist. I like the production but there is no hook. One of those few songs here that is interesting for the first couple of listens but I don't know how much replay value it will have due to its structure.
9 Purple Hearts ★★☆
I'm not feeling this much at all. Be it vocally or musically. It's fairly boring.
1 Count Me Out ★★★☆
The production changes up quite a few times but this does doesn't maintain my interest.
2 Crown ★★★
Kendrick backed by piano. It takes too long to build up that isn't enough of a crescendo.
3 Silent Hill ★★★☆
Imagine having the choice of any rapper in the world and you choose Kodak Black. A catchy, if a little annoying hook with trap production. I find the "like huh" part annoying. A 3.25.
4 Savior (Interlude) ★★☆
Imagine having the choice of any rapper in the world and you choose Baby Keem.
5 Savior ★★★☆
Catchy. "Are you happy for me."
6 Auntie Diaries ★★★☆
A pro-trans song about his aunt becoming a man. As Kendrick questioned his hypocrisy on 'The Blacker the Berry', this ends in a similar vein with him questioning the hypocrisy/contradiction of black people saying "faggot" if others can't say "nigger". It stems from a real life event back to a live show he did when he stopped a paying non-black audience member singing along to his lyrics. I agree with the sentiment, but to end any hypocrisy altogether, the word wouldn't be said by anyone. It was a purposeful way to merge the song idea to address what he did at the concert. Finally, again, very much like 'We Cry Together', I'm not sure how much replay value is here no matter how well the words are put together.
7 Mr. Morale ★★★★
One of the few more upbeat bangers with dope choir sounds. The melody sounds like something from a retro video game. Could've been a true standout with a catchier hook.
8 Mother I Sober ★★★☆
A deep song, but again, I'm not sure how much replay value is here.
9 Mirror ★★★★☆
Comfortably the most easily-digestible, catchy and perhaps radio friendly song here. I can see this being a single.
Fans were already calling this a classic before it dropped. There will always be stans, but it's the reverse of what Eminem said after Revival. He said something along the lines that people rate albums off tracklists, and then when the album drops, no matter how good it is, they criticise it to validate their original opinion. No matter what Kendrick does, people will say it's amazing. He's the new Kanye in that regard.
Music is made to be listened to and replayed. A lot of this is creative, features some topics that aren't often discussed in hip hop and the production isn't normally what we get from mainstream artists, or in other words, the trap touches aren't prominent, but I'm not going to play a number of these tracks again unless I go back to the whole album. I've heard people reviewing this saying things like, "the song is a 5/5 but I may not want to hear it come on the radio"... Well, then is it really a 5? There's nothing here to put in a best 500 songs of hip hop playlist. Am I going to pick 'Auntie Diaries' and play it on its own? Am I going to play 'We Cry Together' on its own? On the other side, there are catchy songs that are deserving of replays like 'Mirror' and 'N95' but there aren't enough of them. I'll happily listen to a rapper I like, over production I like, just spit for minutes without hooks, but I don't think these songs are that. I wrote this review when the album dropped and since then have never felt the urge to go back to any of this which says, at least from my point of view, that it isn't an amazing album. After all of those words, and it is a double album, but I do probably find more here I like than his other albums have have been a bit hit or miss for me. A light 3.5 out of 5.
Best Tracks: United in Grief, N95, Father Time, Savior, Mr. Morale, Mirror