When Dr. Dre, Game and Snoop crowned Kendrick Lamar the King of the West Coast at a concert in L.A. last year, it felt premature to some of us. But when good kid, m.A.A.d city dropped in October, Lamar more than lived up to the royal expectations. The beautiful production gave glimpses of the past—golden-era Outkast to be specific. Kendrick, however, is a rapper from the future, with triple-time rhyme patterns, multiple deliveries and voices, and some of the most thoughtful, conceptual lyrics hip hop ever heard. It’s shame the word “classic” gets thrown around so loosely in rap, because good kid, m.A.A.d. city is the first album in a while that’s actually worthy of consideration.