In the rap game, the "beginning" is seldom the true beginning. For every breakout debut there tends to be a catalog of formative mixtapes waiting to be discovered. While that is indeed the case for Kendrick Lamar, many have come to view his 2011 album Section 80 to be his proper introduction -- and what a first impression it was. Not only did Kenny reveal a heightened ability to explore complex concepts, but he also proved his technical prowess was one of his deadliest assets. And let's be honest, "Rigamortis" was a highlight in that department.
Off the bat, Willie B and Sounwave set the tone with a lively brass instrumental, one that seems to invite rhyming at a breakneck pace. And while quick-tempoed bars are impressive, the style only matters as much as the substance. Luckily, Kendrick's imagery is among the most vivid in the game; within the opening lines, he's managed to reference Marilyn Manson, Morpheus, taking a shit, and an orphaned hairdresser. While "Rigamortis" has since been surpassed on the Kendrick depth chart, it remains a fan favorite to this day -- and nine years later, Section 80 has arguably never been better.
And this is rigor mortis, and it's gorgeous when you die
Ali recorded and I'm Morpheus, the matrix in my mind
I'm out the orbit, you an orphan and a hairdresser combined
I'm on the toilet when I rhyme, if you the shit then I decline
I climax where you begin and then I end on cloud nine
And that's important when you morph into an angel in the sky