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Kendrick Lamar’s three major-label albums are on Rolling Stone’s list for 500 Best Albums of All Time

Kendrick Lamar has 3 albums on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of All Time

Rolling Stone’s list compiles 500 of the best albums of all time. Topping the top 10, is Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill for rap albums. Kendrick Lamar has put out four albums, three of which being his major label drops, which are the three that are on the list.

No. 175 – DAMN. (2017)

No. 115 – good kid, m.A.A.d City (2012)

No. 19. To Pimp A Butterfly (2015)

Rolling Stone on TPAB: Kendrick Lamar had already proven himself hip-hop’s boldest visionary — so by now, people expected greatness from him. But he topped himself with To Pimp a Butterfly — a sprawling, ambitious portrait of America and his dangerous place in it, with a host of jazz influences.

RS on GKMC: Kendrick’s hip-hop autobiography came as a shock in 2012: musically downbeat, with a film director’s eye for narrative but the voice of a poet. Good Kid is his story of growing up in Compton, surrounded by gunfire, gang warfare, police brutality, drugs, liquor, dead friends — billed on the cover as “A Short FIlm By Kendrick Lamar,” like a West Coast answer to Scorsese’s Mean Streets. K-Dot goes for emotional detail instead of gangsta bravado, whether cruising the streets in “Backseat Freestyle” or pondering addiction in “Swimming Pool (Drank).” As he told Rolling Stone, “The best entertainers have to have the most wickedest sense of humor, to be able to take pain and change it into laughter.”

RS on DAMN.: After the sprawl of To Pimp a Butterfly, Lamar tightened up, going for the jugular in the most aggressive, banger-based album of his career. He dissects his own “DNA” as well as America’s, raving about “the feelin’ of an apocalypse happenin’.” He delves into his family history in “Duckworth” and scored his first Number One hit with “Humble.” It’s an album where both Bono and Rihanna sound right at home — but it all sounds like Lamar. “It came out exactly how I heard it in my head,” he explained at the time. “It’s all pieces of me.” Grammy-haters were vindicated when DAMN. lost out to Bruno Mars for Album of the Year, but DAMN. did end up pulling a Pulitzer Prize for Music, a first for a rap album.