45 Best Albums of 2015 So Far

From Kendrick to Kacey, the best LPs from the first six months

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Kendrick Lamar, 'To Pimp a Butterfly'
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Kendrick Lamar, 'To Pimp a Butterfly'

We Say: Thanks to D'Angelo's Black Messiah and Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, 2015 will be remembered as the year radical Black politics and for-real Black music resurged in tandem to converge on the nation's pop mainstream. To Pimp a Butterfly is a densely packed, dizzying rush of unfiltered rage and unapologetic romanticism, true-crime confessionals, come-to-Jesus sidebars, blunted-swing sophistication, scathing self-critique and rap-quotable riot acts. Roll over Beethoven, tell Thomas Jefferson and his overseer Bull Connor the news: Kendrick Lamar and his jazzy guerrilla hands just mob-deeped the new Jim Crow, then stomped a mud hole out that ass.

Learn More: Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly: A Track-By-Track Guide