By Mikael Wood
4:56 PM EDT, October 25, 2012
Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city" has received no shortage of media attention since its release on Monday, including rave reviews in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and SPIN, and an in-depth feature by The Times' August Brown.
When best-of-2012 lists start rolling out toward the end of next month, don't be surprised to find the album near the top of quite a few.
If the Compton rapper's verbal skills are now a matter of critical consensus, though, the sound of "good kid, m.A.A.d city" hasn't quite triggered the same response. It should: Working with an expansive crew of above- and underground producers such as Just Blaze, DJ Dahi and Pharrell Williams of the Neptunes, Lamar fashioned a remarkable update of the West Coast hip-hop style more or less pioneered by his benefactor Dr. Dre, who himself mixed a handful of tracks.
Determined, perhaps, to draw a little focus that way, the Philadelphia clothing line Babylon Cartel this week released a mixtape collecting some of the songs sampled on "good kid, m.A.A.d city." (Gianni Lee and Mike Blud, the mixtape's creators, have done the same for Drake's "Take Care" and "God Forgives, I Don't" by Rick Ross.)
The source material includes work by usual crate-digger suspects like the Ohio Players and Kool & the Gang. But the Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House shows up too, as does the jazz guitarist Grant Green, whose "Maybe Tomorrow" provides the basis for Lamar's haunting "Sing About Me, I'm Dying of Thirst."
Download the mixtape at Babylon Cartel's blog and dig in.