The Collapsar publishes new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction every other month, and new culture writing weekly.

Brubaker and Flota vs. 1986-2016: The Best Albums of the Last 30 Years, Part 9

And…we’re back. After a rough semester of running a university press pretty much by myself and getting married, and Flota doing whatever it is Flota does (all I know—he made it out to my wedding), we’re finally ready to finish up this list that we remain quite proud of. As we get closer to the top, of course, I suspect you’ll find fewer surprises, but I’m sure at least one or two picks here will bewilder and/or piss off some of our readers. I’ll leave any additional commentary for next time, as we roll out the end of the list, but for now, enjoy the second-to-last installment of mine and Brian Flota’s favorite albums of 1986 – 2016. –James Brubaker


010 | Liz Phair | Exile in Guyville

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[Matador, 1993]

Much was made of Liz Phair’s claim that her breakthrough effort, Exile in Guyville, was a “response” to the Rolling Stones’ trash rock classic Exile on Main St. (1972), at the time it was released in 1993. The thing is: you don’t have to have ever heard a single song by The Rolling Stones to understand why Exile in Guyville is such an extraordinary album. Released when Phair was 26 years old,  the album’s insightful, honest lyrical narratives and personae, particularly as they relate to the harsh truths of interpersonal relationships and romance, suggest the wisdom of an old sage. Her blunt “admissions” of one-night stands, lust, failed relationships, and the whole wide spectrum of dramatic intrigues experienced by heterosexuals in their twenties had no female-penned album-length parallel at the time. While some might find precedent in Joni Mitchell’s Blue (1971), Millie Jackson’s Caught Up (1974), or Marianne Faithfull’s “Why’d Ya Do It?” (1979), Phair’s approach was comparably unrefined and practically anti-musical when compared to these predecessors. Because her voice doesn’t have the range of these singers, she relies on a folky (in the Bob Dylan sense), talk-singing style that plays rather like a conversation with the listener. As a guitar player, Phair’s style is deceptively simple, seemingly relying on power chords, minus the distortion that typified most guitar playing during the “grunge years.” As a result, the songs are musically spare, angular, and highly unconventional all the while managing to skirt around the dissonant styles circulating at the time. While straightforward guitar-based songs like “Fuck and Run,” “Divorce Song,” “Never Said,” and “Strange Loop” are the album’s bread and butter, the record’s heart lies in the comparatively atmospheric (and often piano-centered) tracks such as “Dance of the Seven Veils,” “Explain It to Me,” “Canary,” “Girls! Girls! Girls!” and the bawdy “Flower.” It is during these placid breathers that Phair delivers some of her most shocking lines (I only ask because I’m a real cunt in Spring or I’ll fuck you ‘til your dick is blue). While these might garner the album its headlines, it is on numbers like “Divorce Song” where she delivers her greatest insights (And the license said I had to stick around until I was dead / But if you’re tired of looking at my face I guess I already am). Phair’s confessional narratives have influenced many musicians in the 25 years since Exile in Guyville’s release, and her musical approach can be felt in the anti-folk movement of the early 2000s as well. Exile in Guyville is one of those albums whose “instant classic” status never went away. -–Brian Flota


09 | Public Enemy | It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

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[Def Jam, 1988]

Just as The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) was a huge leap forward in the evolution of rock music, Public Enemy’s second album, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, provided hip-hop with its own album-length version of the Moon landing. By combining great strides forward in nearly all phases of the production of rap recording, from sonics and sampling to rhymes and flow, PE gave the relatively young genre a sense of what it could do, a sense that it would soon take over and completely transform the landscape of pop music. Lyrically, Chuck D. couldn’t be bothered with the approaches taken on earlier landmarks of hip-hop, such as the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) Roxanne Shante’s “The Real Roxanne” (1984), LL Cool J’s “Ring the Bells” (1985), the Beastie Boys’ “You Gotta Fight” (1986), or Run-DMC’s “Peter Piper” (1986). If there was a precursor that signaled this approach it would have been prototypical acts like The Last Poets or Gil Scott-Heron, or slight precursors such as Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five—especially their two biggest hits, “The Message” (1982) and “White Lines” (1983). By adopting politically charged, pro-Black lyrics loaded with adept wordplay and conviction, Chuck D. immediately raised the stakes for all of his peers. Complementing his verbal virtuosity was not only his foil, Flavor Flav, but PE’s production team, The Bomb Squad. As revolutionary as Chuck D.’s lyrical content, the sonic aesthetic of Millions was nearly as impactful. Instead of relying on looped samples exclusively, The Bomb Squad barraged its listeners with reams of unconventional samples. Isaac Hayes’s “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic” (sampled in “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos”) and Slayer’s “Angel of Death” (in “She Watch Channel Zero?!”) are matched with speeches by Malcolm X and Khalid Abdul Muhammad. One song in particular, “Night of the Living Baseheads”--which addresses Contra-fueled crack infestation that plagued urban African American communities across the US in the 1980s--contains at least 20 different samples, completely inundating the listener with stimuli. Another big breakthrough presented on Millions is the attention to tempo. PE’s songs were markedly faster than most of their predecessors, most notably “Rebel Without a Pause.” “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos” ups the ante considerably, anchored by the ominous (and aforementioned) Hayes sample, with Chuck D.’s lyric fantasizing about a prison riot. Millions left many imitators in its wake and arguably encouraged its contemporaries to raise the stakes both musically and lyrically on their records. The socially conscious component of Chuck D.’s lyrics combined with the aggression with which he delivered them also influenced the generation of so-called “gangsta” rappers that followed. And while some of its production flourishes can’t quite match what’s capable today given the amount of computing power now at our disposal, it’s crazy to imagine just how forward-thinking this music was. –-Brian Flota


08 | LCD Soundsystem | Sound of Silver [DFA, 2007]

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[DFA, 2007]

 Hipsters don’t get old; they either die or become dads in the suburbs. Of course, we all know that’s bullshit, but it feels true. At least, it felt true until James Murphy’s LCD Soundsystem used their second album as an opportunity to grow up. We hear this growth in the album’s production and arrangements, sure, but the real shift from the group’s previous self-titled album comes in the lyrical content. Whereas the band’s debut found Murphy singing line like Get your payments from the nation/for your trials and tribulations, But all I know, is all I know/Is the disco infiltrator fo sho, and Got everybody's PA in my house, my house/All the robots descend from the bus, on Sound of Silver, Murphy is singing about loss—loss of life, loss of youth, loss of innocence, loss of love, loss, loss, loss. On “Someone Great,” half of the album’s centerpiece pair of GOAT song contenders, Murphy sings about losing someone dear to him, singing first, To tell the truth I saw it coming/The way you were breathing/But nothing can prepare you for it/The voice on the other end, before ultimately settling into a profoundly simple anthemic ending, his soaring voice singing When someone great is gone, repeatedly, before the song resolves on a mildly comforting note—We’re safe, for the moment/Saved, for the moment. This last line, while fully acknowledging that the aforementioned salvation is for the moment only, at least the speaker finds a hint of solace in survival. As the song’s gorgeous, slippery synths fizzle out, we quietly transition into the repetitive piano that runs through the other in the album’s centerpiece, “All My Friends.” Here, Murphy explores the tension between hipster life and aging. We set controls for the heart of the sun, Murphy sings early in the song, One of the ways that we show our age, drawing a massive, day-glow arrow at the feeling we get when we begin to notice the disconnect between self and scene. It’s more than enough to make sure that that—later, when Murphy observes that “the kids,” presumably the ones who still go out to shows, “look impossibly tanned,” before he thinks over and over, Hey, I'm finally dead,—those of us sneaking up on 40 get it, man. What else is left to say but “Where are my friends tonight?” All the while, the song’s incessant, inevitable pulse drives toward, toward, what, a house in the suburbs? Death? A lifetime of loneliness? Something better? Who knows—I don’t, and I don’t suspect Murphy would force an answer either. Though these two songs form the album’s gorgeous, pounding heart, the songs surrounding them round out an impeccable set of songs. Be it the punk stylings of “Watch the Tapes,” the deep groove and anti-toxic nostalgia lyrics of the title track (Sound of silver, talk to me/Makes you want to feel like a teenager/Until you remember the feelings of/A real life emotional teenager/Then you think again repeated throughout the song), or the unexpected album-closing torch song, “New York I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down,” Murphy and co.’s arrangements and performances are stunning. On the heels of LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled debut, and with apologies to the band’s self-deprecating first single, “Losing My Edge,” I’m not sure that anyone really could have seen an album like Sound of Silver coming. But come it did, and here we are, making the case that it’s the eighth best album of the last 30 years. –-James Brubaker


07 | REM | Automatic for the People [Warner Bros., 1992]

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[Warner Bros., 1992]

No shit, Automatic for the People is my favorite album of all time—has been since high school. Does that mean I think it’s the best or most influential album of all time? Of course not. But that’s what makes lists like this fun. I believe enough in the album’s place as one of the greatest symphonic pop masterpieces of all time that I don’t need the album to be GOAT or highly influential for it to top my list. And I stand by that. Of course, perhaps I’m downplaying R.E.M.’s influence with this album, which, for better or worse, did more than pretty much any other album to relaunch the 90s wave of orchestral pop and rock music that dominated the back half of the decade (Cause it’s a bitterwseeeeeet symphonyeeeeyyyyy this liahiffffe). Lush wasn’t exactly a word used to describe pop until R.E.M. made one of the richest, lushest albums in rock history. But enough about that—what really makes Automatic for the People hum is the brilliant and crushing tension it draws between youth and age, living and acknowledging mortality, building a bright new future and embracing the past. At turns a heartbreaking coming-of-age album and interrogation/celebration of nostalgia, a eulogy and a warm embrace, an outpouring of joy and a swell of sorrow, Automatic for the People is the kind of album that landed just right for myself and a number of my peers, and has been beloved ever since. The singles are great, with hits “Everybody Hurts” and “Man on the Moon” emerging as two of the band’s most iconic moments, but it’s really the album’s lesser known singles (the joyful “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight,” the pensive “Nightswiming,” and the menacing “Drive”) that start to give the album an emotional heft that truly comes to life when we dive into the album’s deep cuts, most notably “Try Not to Breathe,” a stunning plea for death from an aged and exhausted narrator, “Sweetness Follows,” a gorgeous song about losing family, set to one of the band’s best ever arrangements—all thrumming cellos and dripping feedback—and the weird, slinky and sexy “Star Me Kitten,” because of course an album-length meditation on death wouldn’t be complete without some good old fashioned fucking to stave off all those mortal thoughts. Released at a time when pensive, brooding rock stars were the norm, not the exception, Automatic For the People managed to standout upon release and remains one of R.E.M.’s greatest achievements, as well as one of the best American rock albums of the 90s, and, well, maybe one of the greatest of all time—not that it matters to the true believers. –-James Brubaker  


06 | Radiohead | Kid A [Parlophone/Capitol, 2000]

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[Parlophone/Capitol, 2000]

Three years after storming the rock world with the some-say-classic-some-say-slog OK Computer, Radiohead returned with an album that revolutionized mainstream rock. For fans of electronic music, Kid A wasn’t doing anything new, or even particularly interesting for its time, but after dominating rock with OK Computer, Radiohead’s new album forced the rockists to confront head on the quickening creep of electronic production into rock music. And, while those rockists initially freaked out a little over Radiohead’s drastic change in sound, it didn’t take long for critics and fans to come around and begin claiming, not even half way through the decade, that Kid A was the best album of the 00s. And wouldn’t you know it, the album is the highest ranking 00s album on this list. Truth is, folks should have known this was going to be the case all along. From the haunting keyboards and warped vocals that kick off album opener “Everything In Its Right Place,” Kid A settles into a vaguely unsettling groove. If OK Computer was an album about anxiety and alienation, themes constructed in large part through conventional loud rock guitars and serious lyrics, Kid A became an abstract manifestation of those same themes. To rely on a cliché I sometimes lean on too heavily, Kid A was showing us what OK Computer was merely trying to tell us. The opening song’s main lyrics are Everything/in its right place and Yesterday I woke up sucking on a lemon. There’s no narrative, very little imagery, and no development of an idea—it’s all about feel and mood, and that shit feels scary. These same simple lyrical patterns play out over the course of the album’s runtime, from odd searching phrases on “The National Anthem” (Everyone around here/Everyone is so near and It’s holding on, spun out and warped into a few variations), to the it-has-more-words-but-still-reads-as-obscure “Morning Bell,” (Where’d you park the car and Cut the kids in half come to mind), Radiohead’s songwriting for Kid A was easily the weirdest and most aggressively unsettling of the band’s career. Bringing to mind the Dadaist approach the band is said to have employed in writing the album, these lyrical phrases, frequently repeated many, many times, allowed Thom Yorke into the arrangements to become more a part of the album’s mood than a front man confronting his audience with big ideas about technology and culture. That fading into the arrangement couldn’t have been more prescient, as Kid A kicked off the decade in which ideas about music, ownership, and art got murky thanks to the internet explosion, illegal downloads, and the seemingly instant democratization of underground music that allowed an army of faceless bands to storm the gates of culture, creating a world where Radiohead would never quite have as much clout as they did when they released Kid A. –-James Brubaker


05 | Sleater-Kinney | Dig Me Out

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[Kill Rock Stars, 1997]

Guitar-based rock started dying a slow death by the mid-1990s. Kurt Cobain was dead. Pearl Jam stopped touring. Sonic Youth peaked. Pavement peaked. Dinosaur Jr. was just J. Mascis by that point. Even the piss and vinegar of the riot grrrl movement had dissipated. Enter Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney. Having emerged from the riot grrrl scene in the Great Northwest with two great albums (Sleater-Kinney in 1995 and Call the Doctor in 1996) already under their belts, they needed that special something to boost them into the realm of legends. A combination of distinct elements make Sleater-Kinney a fantastic band: Corin Tucker’s operatic punk rock wail, America’s answer to Siouxsie Sioux; the interlocking two-guitar attack of Tucker and Brownstein; and, Brownstein’s knack for discordant and quirky but massive and infectious riffs. With Dig Me Out, they added one more quality that made them unimpeachably excellent: Janet Weiss on drums. Her imposing, fierce, frenetic time-keeping skills behind the kit gave SK the same boost The Beatles got when they replaced Pete Best with Ringo Starr and when Nirvana substituted Chad Channing for Dave Grohl. To top it all off, Dig Me Out is blessed with a solid selection of songs, opening with the ferocious, angry title track. “Words and Guitar” and “Little Babies” are even more infectious than the band’s earlier classic “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.” The closer,“Jenny,” is the emotional capstone to the album, lyrically encapsulating the album’s theme of the emotional roller coaster ride of tension generated by lust, love, and heartbreak. Musically, Sleater-Kinney might not have broken too much ground (landing somewhere between ‘77 punk, post-punk, and classic rock), but they did become one of the first successful guitar-based rock bands to eschew the bass, all but necessitating that Tucker and Brownstein’s guitar playing had to by dynamic and complementary. Perhaps the most important cultural aspect of Sleater-Kinney was their identification as a queer act, as both Tucker and Brownstein identify as bisexual. Not only did they muscle their way to the top of the typically straight male world of alternative rock in the 1990s, they proved themselves entirely capable of delivering quality album after quality album. Dig Me Out presents the group at their youthful, angriest, horniest, heartbreaking best. (And while you’re at it, check out the rest of their stuff, which is always excellent!) —Brian Flota


 04 | Nirvana | In Utero

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[DGC, 1993]

Nevermind might be their most important album, but In Utero is definitely Nirvana’s best album. After becoming the surprise darlings of pop music following the unexpected success of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana initiated a musical paradigm that has not been duplicated since. While the major labels were still lousy with cash, they dropped oodles of their loot on the “alternative” acts Nirvana revered as well as the ones that only mildly sounded like them. The emotionally fragile and volatile frontman of the group, Kurt Cobain, both sought and retreated from fame simultaneously, in the process developing a full-blown and dangerous heroin addiction that would have profound implications on him for the rest of his brief life. As a result, Cobain and bandmates Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl hunkered down with indie’s Phil Spector, Steve Albini, in a Minnesota studio and recorded the songs that make up In Utero in two weeks in the spring of 1993. Gone was the slick production and classic rock overtures of Nevermind. In its place were gut-wrenching, angry, spare, grating songs elevated to new scabrous heights by Albini’s “recording” (he never describes his role as being a “producer”). Furthermore, Dave Grohl’s drums resonate like cannon blasts, like some strange punk rock version of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Singles like the psychedelic “Heart-Shaped Box” and the forlorn “All Apologies” were anchored by tunes expressing Cobain’s conflicting attitudes toward fame (“Serve the Servants,” “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle,” “Radio Friendly Unit Shifter”), his frightful self-loathing (“Rape Me” and “Pennyroyal Tea”), and getting dangerously high (“Dumb”). As far as a broke-out-in-hives reaction to celebrity, nothing had been this insightful or cutting since 1970’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Cobain’s suicide in April 1994 has subsumed much of the narrative around this album, just as Ian Curtis’s demise informs Joy Division’s Closer (1980). As a rabid Nirvana fan at the time In Utero was released, it was clear even then that Cobain was not much longer for this world. The slashing nature of his simplistic but brutal and quaint guitar playing and the vicious yelps emanating from his throat are as directly expressive as anything committed to tape in the rock era. And, yet, underlying all this sadness and anger is a subtle sense of humor and irony that keep the album from being a musical funeral march. Self-parody surfs along with many of the album’s waves, particularly in “Heart-Shaped Box,” “Serve the Servants,” “Dumb,” “Very Ape” (I’m the king of illiterature / I’m too busy acting like I’m not naive), and the wordless shout-fest “tourette’s.” After the release of In Utero, “grunge” became instantly irrelevant as a marketing term, as nothing could best its intensity and sincerity. In an era noted for its increasingly long albums, owing to the 80-minutes worth of music a compact disc could accommodate, In Utero is also aided by its relative brevity (41 minutes), ensuring that Cobain’s musical gut punches never wander from one’s attention. While rock music might not resonate with audiences the way it once did, In Utero is a powerful reminder of just how good it could be at its absolute best. --Brian Flota


03| Sonic Youth | Daydream Nation [Enigma, 1988]

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[Enigma, 1988]

Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation isn’t just one of the best albums of the last 30 years, it’s easily one of the best albums of all time. Arriving just as American underground music was riding a wave of growing acclaim, influence, and innovation, Sonic Youth drew all of the “scene’s” most exciting elements together, creating one of American underground music’s monolithic touchstones. Combining squalls of guitar feedback, Thurston Moore’s howl, Kim Gordon’s snarl, whatever miraculous thing Lee Ranaldo was up to, Steve Shelley’s ferocious drumming, and the surprisingly catchy melodies that occasionally popped up out of the noisy muck, Sonic Youth created that rarest of rare things—a sprawling double LP that perfectly captured the late 80’s zeitgeist of the American underground and without a moment of waste. Perhaps most surprising of all about Daydream Nation is how seamlessly it combines its somewhat disparate elements: punky rave ups, noisy art rock jams, garagey rock stompers, psychedelic rayguns to the brain, and even a downright accessible teen anthem to kick off the whole affair. To this day, Daydream Nation remains one of the most influential and beloved albums of all time. But that’s enough about the album’s importance, because, frankly, the album is only important because of its raw vitality and urgency. After “Teenage Riot,” the album’s timeless, stunning opener, we’re eased into “Silver Rocket,” one of Moore’s signature noisy punk raveups, complete with abstract lyrics like, Nymphoid clamor, fueling up the hammer/You got to fake out the robot and pulse up the zoom. On “‘Cross the Breeze,” Gordon delivers one of her all-time greatest vocals, sneering lines like Now you think I’m Satan’s daughter and Now I think I’m gonna be sick, against a track that ranges from hardcore punk to intricately melodic guitar vamp. For his part, Lee Ranaldo’s two main songwriting contributions to the album are also among his best, with “Eric’s Trip” steering into walls of feedback as Ranaldo, in his typical spoken word delivery, riffs on an acid trip from a Warhol film, buoyed atop the song’s subtly building and shifting tensions, while “Hey Joni” is as urgent a straight up rock song as Sonic Youth would ever make, perhaps about Joni Mitchell, or maybe just a dismissal of boomer idealism. These are heavy, brain-melting songs, the culmination of all that Sonic Youth had done before, and all that their peers had been doing alongside them. The same year that Daydream Nation was released, we also got Surfer Rosa, Bug, Isn’t Anything, and, why not, Nothing’s Shocking. But in these two slabs of wax, Sonic Youth planted the flag for the Alternative Nation that had been slowly gathering steam, while also providing a line of demarcation in their own career—after Daydream Nation, the band would continue to, almost paradoxically, veer more into polished production and aggressive experimentation. And while they still had plenty of great album’s left to come, Daydream Nation remained (and remains) their best, most important, and most beloved albums. –-James Brubaker


02 | Kendrick Lamar | To Pimp a Butterfly

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[Top Dawg, 2015]

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly is one the few albums to join the ranks of the insta-classic in recent memory along with Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (see #11 on this list), Frank Ocean’s Blonde (see #25) and David Bowie’s Blackstar (see #44). The reason Dr. James Brubaker and I feel this one stands as the best of the three is that it reaches far beyond the rather insular and introspective nature of those three great albums and tackles difficult outward-facing topics such as African American (straight male) identity in the #BlackLivesMatter era and the psychological trappings of fame. Furthermore, it manages to do this with a state-of-the-art musical backdrop, drawing from the recent innovations of producers like Flying Lotus and Thundercat while reaching back to earlier popular forms of black music, most notably bop and fusion jazz, Stevie Wonder, P-Funk (George Clinton guests on “Wesley’s Theory”) and Isley Brothers-era funk, and Golden Age hip-hop (A Tribe Called Quest and especially 2Pac, who makes a hologram-like guest appearance on the surreal closer, “Mortal Man”). On Lamar’s previous breakthrough effort, good kid, m.A.A.d city (2012), he announced himself quite vigorously as the most technically proficient rapper in the land, displaying a variety of styles and flows backed by a verbal acumen that just wouldn’t quit. However, that album lacked the musical challenge that is taken up here. The album’s opener, “Wesley’s Theory,” immediately draws in the listener with its big beats and jazzy textures. For fun, the interlude “For Free?” is thrown in as a value-added bonus, managing to be a tour de force of slam poetry set to a bop beat. As the album progresses, another element is introduced: a nebulous character named Lucy, a sort of psychological stand-in for Lamar’s own conflicted views about the responsibilities of fame (not to get all Spider-Man on the reader!) and the impact of it on his fans and the people around him. This adds a creative new element to the “fuck fame” album (think John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band [1970], Nirvana’s In Utero [1993], MIA’s /\/\ /\ Y /\ [2010], and Kanye West’s Yeezus [2013]). The album slithers around to its centerpiece, “The Blacker the Berry” (drawing its title from the 1929 Harlem Renaissance novel of the same name by Wallace Thurman), a monumental work that grapples with the stereotypes and contradictions heaped upon African American men, especially at a time marked by the grim deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Eric Garner at the hands of self-style vigilantes or the police (and, though unacknowledged, the Obama-era, so-called “post-racial” climate that contributed to the rise of Donald Trump). It’s a powerful piece of music that is as introspective, politically astute, and confrontational as any in recent memory. The aforementioned closer, “Mortal Man,” meditates on the refrain “When the shit hits the fan, is you still a fan?” making reference to leaders like Malcolm X and Huey Newton then circling round to iconic pop star Michael Jackson, who was accused multiple times of child molestation. The track concludes with a revised interview with Tupac Shakur from around the time of Me Against the World (1995) about the revolutionary potential of African Americans and how the trappings of upward mobility and maturity often destroy that potential. To Pimp a Butterfly is an ambitious, complex work that both looks to the past and the future with equal doses of optimism and pessimism. It is also a timestamp of one of the most eye-opening moments of American history, a time when the battle over the future devolved into a retreat to the past (“Make America Great Again”). Simply put, a solid music collection is incomplete without this masterpiece.  –-Brian Flota



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