Finally: A rap album worthy of the hype. Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city, is finally in stores. And it’s every bit as good we all hoped it would be—and then some. The artist formerly known as K-Dot has done something that didn’t seem possible in this day and age: He's made an album without any artistic or commercial concessions, an album that speaks for a generation, an album that’s worthy of being called a classic.

And it’s not just a collection of masterful records, it’s a conceptual album—a "short film," as the subtitle puts it. good kid, m.A.A.d city follows a day in the life of a teenage Kendrick riding around the streets of Compton as he hooks up with a girl, does a house lick, and goes through numerous other misadventures. The album will surely catapult Kendrick into the upper echelons of rap, where his debut will have to be compared to the likes of Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and Nas.

If you think those comparisons are lofty, consider the fact that the people involved in the making of this album compared Kendrick to everyone from Bob Dylan to John Coltrane (no, seriously).

When an album this significant drops, it’s only right that Complex document its creation. So grab a 40, ignore your voicemails, and borrow your mother’s van if you have to, because we’re going to take a ride down the wicked streets of Compton with King Kendrick Lamar. This is the story of angels on angel dust, the story of the dysfunctional bastards of the Ronald Reagan era. This is the story of a good kid in a mad city...

As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)