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The new Kendrick Lamar: His world and his message

Kendrick Lamar’s gift is transforming the personal into the universal. If his recent release, “To Pimp a Butterfly,” tells us one thing, it’s that his universe is expanding. Lamar’s reach has grown with his celebrity and success, and while “Butterfly” loudly touches on issues bigger than him, bigger than Compton, and bigger than rap, it does so entirely through his eyes. In the context of his young body of work, this album is more a departure than a follow-up, a step toward transcendence for hip-hop’s conflicted king.