The Butterfly Effect: How Kendrick Lamar Ignited the Soul of Black America

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This first cultural biography of rap superstar and “master of storytelling” (The New Yorker) Kendrick Lamar explores his meteoric rise to fame and his profound impact on a racially fraught America—perfect for fans of Zack O’Malley Greenburg’s Empire State of Mind.

Kendrick Lamar is at the top of his game.

The thirteen-time Grammy Award­–winning rapper is just in his early thirties, but he’s already won the Pulitzer Prize for Music, produced and curated the soundtrack of the megahit film Black Panther, and has been named one of Time’s 100 Influential People. But what’s even more striking about the Compton-born lyricist and performer is how he’s established himself as a formidable adversary of oppression and force for change. Through his confessional poetics, his politically charged anthems, and his radical performances, Lamar has become a beacon of light for countless people.

Written by veteran journalist and music critic Marcus J. Moore, this is the first biography of Kendrick Lamar. It’s the definitive account of his coming-of-age as an artist, his resurrection of two languishing genres (bebop and jazz), his profound impact on a racially fraught America, and his emergence as the bona fide King of Rap.

The Butterfly Effect is the extraordinary, triumphant story of a modern lyrical prophet and an American icon who has given hope to those buckling under the weight of systemic oppression, reminding everyone that through it all—“we gon’ be alright.”
Published Oct 13, 2020

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