Storytelling is arguably one of the most important facets of a skilled MC’s artistry, and few contemporary lyricists maintain that quality as consistently as Kendrick Lamar. With a penchant for the conceptual as it relates to albums, Lamar’s deftly delivered verses are often chronological in order, anecdotal in format, and autobiographical in structure – a fact perhaps no more perfectly proven than by 2012’s Good Kid, m.A.A.d City. However, the Compton spitter’s proclivity towards storyboarding his songs goes back to his days as K. Dot and continues through his work on untitled unmastered., and in fact that characteristic consistency is so prevalent it’s become the subject of a sprawling, prolifically put-together piece of lyrical mapping not seen nearly enough.
Over at Genius, Lamar’s lyrics have been thoughtfully interwoven and pieced together to create a cohesive, sequential format in a way that readers get the sense of perusing a traditionally formatted book. Blending together words from songs spanning nearly his entire career, Kendrick Lamar’s Life Story (in Lyrics) is a thoughtful exercise in examining lyrics delivered by Andres Tardio, who includes phrases picked from 2005 to 2016. Thanks to Lamar’s visceral depictions of his childhood and transition into a young adult and modern-day man, Tardio’s piece is able to explore Lamar’s words about his entire life, beginning with 1987 and ending with today. As Tardio fittingly includes, Heads are encouraged to “sit your bitch ass down and listen to this true mothafuckin’ story told by Kendrick Lamar.”