12 of the best major label debut albums


Kendrick Lamar – good kid, M.A.A.D. city

Many thousands of words have been spent by hand-wringing, fainting, couch-needing music writers about the deplorable state of hip-hop since, well, since hip-hop has been around, but it’s seemed especially egregious over the last decade. Yes, there have been some unfortunate, substanceless Soulja Boy-types that achieved huge success – but pop music in every genre has always been vapid, while only hip-hop seems to be constantly dismissed as a genre based on its lowest offerings.

The sparse, throwback LA production and nuanced lyricism of Kendrick Lamar’s Interscope debut in 2012 proved that not only was hip-hop going to be just fine, it was always great.

Kendrick Lamar – good kid, M.A.A.D. city
Photo: Kendrick Lamar