Let's go ahead and say it: good kid, m.A.A.d city is the most anticipated debut of 2012. And we've been anticipating it for a while now—Complex ranked Kendrick Lamar's breakthrough mixtape Section.80 in the top 10 of our Best Albums of 2011. We put him in the top 3 of our Best 25 Rappers Under 25, and he had not one but two joints on our list of the Best Songs of 2012 (So Far). Now everybody's waiting on Kendrick like the 1st and the 15th. Damn it feels good to see people up on it.
Dr. Dre knew what he was doing when he signed this Compton MC to Aftermath. Kendrick might not have the chart-busting singles—not yet, anyway—but he's got something much harder to obtain in this fickle Internet age: He's got a movement. That and the lyrical dexterity to rap circles around most of his peers. Plus he's actually talking about something, as opposed to posturing or perpetrating. That's why the Gen Y '80s babies aren't the only ones riding for Kendrick. He has West Coast revivalists and "real hip-hop" diehards in his corner too. How big is the buzz on the artist formerly known as K-Dot? He's even got folks believing we might see Detox one of these days.
To celebrate the release of good kid, m.A.A.d city, an album that sounds like a certified classic, Complex collaborated with Kendrick on a week filled with exclusive features, anchored by the next-level video cover you see above. After wrapping a color-saturated shoot in L.A. with photographer David Black, Kendrick kicked it with Complex assistant editor Ross Scarano, a card-carrying member of Section.80 who's been rocking with Kendrick and Darkwing Duck since day one. Ross brings all that experience to bear in his cover story, which you can dive into right now. And that's not all. We also got Kendrick on camera to break down his favorite cartoons and cereals. Oh, and this whole Complex digital cover package is powered by Spotify, so it's a fully multimedia experience. Strap on your headphones and keep checking back all week for more of that Black Hippy heat. It's go time.