Date of Award

Spring 4-27-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Dr. David Dzaka


In 2015, African American rapper Kendrick Lamar released his long awaited sophomore studio album To Pimp a Butterfly. The album received widespread critical acclaim and commercial success inspiring one critic to call it “perfect…an immaculate amalgamation of rap, jazz, funk, soul, and spoken word…It’s the latest evolution of Black Music, and it’s nothing short of genius.” At the 2016 Grammy awards, To Pimp a Butterfly received eleven nominations (one 1 less than Michael Jackson’s all-time record), won three awards (including Best Rap Album of 2 the year) and has catapulted Lamar to the forefront of mainstream musical consciousness. But, along with giving Lamar their praises, the public has also interpreted him as a figure of fierce, schismatic controversy