7 Ways Kendrick Lamar's "good Kid, m.A.A.d. City" Has Changed the Rap Game In the Year Since It Came Out Image via Getty Entertainment

It propelled an accessible, conscientious P.O.V. that helped bridge current rifts within hip-hop.

Kendrick's success is due to many factors, not the least of which is his ability to appeal to a wide breadth of hip-hop fans. He tackles subjects that have popular appeal—drinking, macho bravado—but complicates his relationship with these attitudes, giving them a real dimension. He creates a world on good Kid in which actions have consequences, a realistic response to a genre that oftentimes plays with exaggerated, intoxicated fantasies. He bridged a divide between the streets and the fully-emerged middle class hip-hop fanbase. He managed to please "lyrical" heads while remaining accessible and creating worthwhile songs. 

In essence, he managed to pull together a lot of impulses within hip-hop that seemed at odds, and make them fit in a natural way on his debut album.

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