Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
To Pimp a Butterfly is the third studio album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on March 15, 2015, by Top Dawg Entertainment, distributed by Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. The album was recorded in studios throughout the United States, with production from Sounwave, Terrace Martin, Taz "Tisa" Arnold, Thundercat, Rahki, LoveDragon, Flying Lotus, Pharrell Williams, Boi-1da, Knxwledge, and several other high-profile hip hop producers, as well as executive production from Dr. Dreand Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith. Guest appearances include Thundercat, George Clinton, Bilal, Anna Wise, Snoop Dogg, James Fauntleroy, Ronald Isley, and Rapsody.
The music of To Pimp a Butterfly incorporates a variety of styles from traditional African-American music, including jazz, funk, soul, spoken word, and avant-garde. Lyrically, it features political commentary and personal themes concerning African-American culture, racial inequality, depression, and institutional discrimination. This thematic direction was inspired by Lamar's tour of historic sites during his visit to South Africa, such as Nelson Mandela's jail cell on Robben Island.
To Pimp a Butterfly sold 324,000 copies in the US in its first week of release, earning a chart debut at number one on the US Billboard 200, while also becoming Lamar's first number-one album in the UK. It was eventually certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and sold one million copies in the US by 2017. Five singles were released in promotion of the album, including the top 40 hit "I". Lamar also supported the album with the Kunta's Groove Sessions Tour from late 2015 to early 2016.
To Pimp a Butterfly received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its musical scope and the social relevance of Lamar's lyrics. It earned Lamar 11 nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards, which was the most nominations for any rapper in a single night, including wins for Best Rap Album and an Album of the Year nomination. The most acclaimed album of 2015, it topped the The Village Voice's annual Pazz & Joppoll of American critics nationwide, and was also ranked as the best album of 2015 by many other publications. In the years following its release, several publications have named it one of the best albums of the 2010s decade.