S1E8 – u by Kendrick Lamar from To Pimp a Butterfly

We continue our serialized examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the album’s next track “u.”

“u” is the album’s emotional rock bottom. It’s one of the most gripping, emotionally vulnerable records in hip-hop. It’s a confrontation of inner demons and insecurities told with an honesty rarely found in the genre.

If forced, I’d have to say “u” is my favorite song on To Pimp a Butterfly. From the unique production and musicianship, the metaphoric division of the song’s structure, the foley sounds of clinking bottles, and the moving execution of its heart-wrenching lyrics, “u” is a crowning achievement on one of the best album’s of all time.

Being a native of Sacramento, California, it’s an added bonus that the second half of “u” was produced by relatively unknown Sacramento musician Whoarei, who was found through his SoundCloud. He’s since signed with Nosaj Thing’s Timetable label.