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To Pimp a Butterfly
To Pimp a Butterfly
Studio album by Kendrick Lamar

Released

15 March 2015

Recorded

2013-2015 at Chalice Recording Studios (Hollywood, California), Downtown Studios (New York, New York), House Studios (Washington), Notifi Studios (St. Louis, Missouri) and No Excuses Studios (Santa Monica, California)

Genre

Hip hop

Length

78:51

Label

Top Dawg, Aftermath, Interscope

Producer

Antydote, Taz Arnold, Boi-1da, Ronald "Flippa" Colson, Larrance Dopson, Dr. Dre (exec.), Flying Lotus, Fredrik "Tommy Black" Halldin, Knxwledge, Koz, LoveDragon, Terrace Martin, Rahki, Sounwave, Tae Beast, Thundercat, Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith (exec.), Pharrell Williams, Whoarei

Kendrick Lamar chronology

Previous

good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012)

To Pimp a Butterfly is the third studio album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar, released in 2015 on Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment and distributed by Interscope Records. The album is a follow-up to Lamar's platinum selling, multi-Grammy Award nominated major-label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city. Due to an error on the part of Interscope Records, the album was released on iTunes and Spotify one week earlier than scheduled.

Lamar has described the album as "honest, fearful and unapologetic". It features elements of funk, spoken word poetry and jazz. Lamar thought of the album's initial concept while on Kanye West's Yeezus Tour, and began recording the album in 2013. The album went through three different phases before the production team could move forward with the idea. Kendrick Lamar performs pieces of a poem over the course of the album, before finally performing it in full to Tupac Shakur at the end of the song. Lamar then has a conversation with the deceased rapper using audio clips from a 1994 interview with Shakur.

The album peaked at the #1 position on both the Billboard 200 and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, in addition to worldwide chart success. It received rave reviews from critics, who hailed it a masterpiece. As of April 2015, the album has sold a total of 532,000 copies in the United States.

Track listingEdit

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Time
1. "Wesley's Theory" Kendrick Lamar, George Clinton, Thundercat Bruner, Clinton, Colson, Duckworth, Ellison, Gardiner Flying Lotus, Ronald "Flippa" Colson, Sounwave (add.), Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner (add.) 4:47
2. "For Free? (Interlude)" - Duckworth, Martin, McKinney Terrace Martin 2:11
3. "King Kunta" Kendrick Lamar Blake, Burns, Duckworth, Gordy, Jackson, Lewis, Spears Sounwave, Terrace Martin (add.) 3:55
4. "Institutionalized" Kendrick Lamar, Bilal, Anna Wise, Snoop Dogg Duckworth, Halldin, Smith Rahki, Fredrik "Tommy Black" Halldin 4:32
5. "These Walls" Kendrick Lamar, Bilal, Anna Wise, Thundercat Dopson, Duckworth, Fauntleroy, Martin, McKinney Terrace Martin, Larrance Dopson, Sounwave (add.) 5:01
6. "u" Kendrick Lamar Arnold, Brown, Duckworth Taz Arnold, Whoarei, Sounwave (add.) 4:28
7. "Alrighttt" Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Spears, Williams Pharrell Williams, Sounwave 3:39
8. "For Sale? (Interlude)" - Arnold, Duckworth Taz Arnold, Sounwave (add.), Terrace Martin (add.) 4:52
9. "Momma" Kendrick Lamar Arnold, Boothe, Duckworth, Hathaway, Patterson, Rideout, Stewart Knxwledge, Taz Arnold 4:43
10. "Hood Politics" Kendrick Lamar Bruner, Duckworth, Perkins, Spears, Stevens Tae Beast, Sounwave, Thundercat 4:53
11. "How Much a Dollar Cost" Kendrick Lamar, James Fauntleroy, Ronald Isley Duckworth, Fauntleroy, Isley, Leimberg, Martin, McKinney LoveDragon 4:22
12. "Complexion (A Zulu Love)" Kendrick Lamar, Rapsody Bruner, Duckworth, Evans, Spears Thundercat, Sounwave, Terrace Martin (add.), Antydote (add.) 4:23
13. "The Blacker the Berry" Kendrick Lamar Campbell, Duckworth, Epstein, Izquierdo, Kolatalo, Kozmeniuk, Lewis, Samules Boi-1da, Koz, Terrace Martin (add.) 5:29
14. "You Ain't Gotta Lie (Momma Said)" Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Leimberg, Martin, McKinney, Spears LoveDragon 4:02
15. "i" Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Isley, Isley, Isley, Isley, Isley, Jasper, Smith Rahki 5:36
16. "Mortal Man" Kendrick Lamar Anikulapo, Bruner, Duckworth, Spears Sounwave 12:07

Notes

  • Track 1 features horns performed by Terrace Martin, alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, trumpet performed by Josef Leimberg, and background vocals performed by Dr. Dre, Anna Wise, Ash Riser, Josef Leimberg and Whitney Alford.
  • Track 2 features drums performed by Robert Sput Searight, piano performed by Robert Glasper, bass performed by Brandon Owens, organ performed by Craig Brockman, guitar performed by Marlon Williams, alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, and background vocals performed by Anna Wise and Darlene Tibbs.
  • Track 3 features bass performed by Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, additional guitar performed by Marlon Williams and Matt Schaeffer, and background vocals perfomed by Whitney Alford.
  • Track 4 features keyboards performed by Sam Barsh, clarinet performed by Pedro Castro, cello performed by Gabriel Noel, violin performed by Paul Cartwright, and background vocals performed by Taz Arnold.
  • Track 5 features guitar performed by Marlon Williams and Gregory Moore, keyboards performed by Robert Glasper, Larrance Dopson and Terrace Martin, percussion performed by Larrance Dopson, alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, trumpet performed by Josef Leimberg, and additional bass performed by Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner.
  • Track 6 features alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, keyboards performed by Terrace Martin, tenor saxophone performed by Kamasi Washington, baritone saxophone performed by Adam Turchan, guitar performed by Marlon Williams, and background vocals performed by Bilal, Jessica Vielmas and SZA.
  • Track 7 features alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, and background vocals performed by Pharrell Williams, Candace Wakefield and Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner.
  • Track 8 features alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, keyboards performed by Terrace Martin, trumpet performed by Josef Leimberg, and background vocals performed by Bilal, Taz Arnold, Preston Harris and SZA.
  • Track 9 features alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, keyboards performed by Terrace Martin, vocoder performed by Terrace Martin, and background vocals performed by Lalah Hathaway and Bilal.
  • Track 10 features keyboards performed by Terrace Martin and Robert Sput Searight, and background vocals performed by Bilal, Anna Wise, Preston Harris and Dion Friley.
  • Track 11 features alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, keyboards performed by Terrace Martin, trumpet performed by Josef Leimberg, percussion performed by Larrance Dopson, and guitar performed by Marlon Williams.
  • Track 12 features alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin and Robert Glasper, trumpet performed by Josef Leimberg, percussion performed by Larrance Dopson, background vocals performed by Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, Lalah Hathaway, Talkbox Monte, Javonte and Pete Rock, and scratches performed by Pete Rock.
  • Track 13 features drums performed by Ronald Bruner, Jr., keyboards performed by Robert Glasper, bass performed by Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, percussion performed by Larrance Dopson, and background vocals performed by Lalah Hathaway.
  • Track 14 features keyboards performed by Sounwave and Terrace Martin, alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, vocoder performed by Terrace Martin, trumpet performed by Josef Leimberg, percussion performed by Larrance Dopson, guitar performed by Marlon Williams, background vocals performed by Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, Preston Harris, Wyann Vaughn and Javonte.
  • Track 15 features keyboards performed by Sam Barsh, guitar performed by Keith Askey, drums performed by Kendall Lewis, bass performed by Chris Smith and Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, percussion performed by Rahki, background vocals performed by Taz Arnold, William Swept, Candace Wakefield, Devon Downing, Edwin Orellana, Dave Free and Dion Friley, and additional vocals performed by Ronald Isley.
  • Track 16 features bass performed by Stephen "Thundercat" Bruner, keyboards performed by Robert Glasper and Junius Bervine, guitar performed by Marlon Williams, alto saxophone performed by Terrace Martin, trumpet performed by Josef Leimberg and Ambrose Akinmusire, and background vocals performed by James Fauntleroy and Javonte.

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