Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ overtakes Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’ as top rated album on Rate Your Music

Users of the community review site now regards Lamar's 2015 magnum opus as the best album of all time

Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly‘ has surpassed Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer‘ as the top rated album of all time on community review site, Rate Your Music.

The rapper’s 2015 album, which is widely regarded as his magnum opus, is now at the top of the site’s list, overtaking Radiohead’s seminal 1997 album.

‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ now has a 4.34 rating on the popular community review site. According to Rate Your Music’s FAQ page, the site uses a complex algorithm to calculate an album’s score that considers factors including total number of reviews, each user’s activity level on the site, and more.


Rate Your Music differs from other music aggregate sites such as Metacritic because it only compiled data from fans, not critics.

Kendrick Lamar Leeds Festival 2015

The next highest-rated rap album in the Rate Your Music archives comes at number six with Madlib and the late MF Doom‘s classic ‘Madvillainy’ (2004).

King Kenny appears again with his second album, ‘Good Kid, MAAd City‘ (2012) at Number 11. Elsewhere, Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ (1975), The Beatles‘ ‘Abbey Road‘ (1969), and My Bloody Valentine‘s ‘Loveless‘ (1991) all land in the Top 10.

‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, which won the Best Rap Album Grammy award in 2016 (also nominated for Album Of The Year), was largely praised as a masterpiece upon its release. Critics hailed the album for being musically and thematically rich, intelligently digging deep into systematic rot, racial divides and more.

Lamar’s enlisting of collaborators ranging from Flying Lotus and Dr. Dre to jazz virtuosos including Kamasi Washington, and threading the record’s hip-hop foundation with free jazz, orchestration and spoken-word, marked ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ as his most ambitious outing yet.


‘Alright’, the fourth single from the album, went on to become the anthem of the Black Lives Matter protests in the US, with its lyrics co-opted as a symbol of hope.

‘OK Computer’, meanwhile, broke the mould at the time of its release in 1997 by skewering technology’s effect on the human psyche, zapped with haywired rock that allowed glitchy, dark electronica to seep in. It stood in stark contrast to Britpop bands of the era including Oasis and Blur, and would go on to sonically inspire future superstars Muse and Coldplay.

You can see Rate Your Music’s 20 Top Albums Of All Time list below.

01. Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’
02. Radiohead – ‘OK Computer’
03. Pink Floyd – ‘Wish You Were Here’
04. King Crimson – ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’
05. Radiohead – ‘Kid A’
06. Madvillain – ‘Madvillainy’
07. My Bloody Valentine – ‘Loveless’
08. Radiohead – ‘In Rainbows’
09. Pink Floyd – ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’
10. The Beatles – ‘Abbey Road’
11. Kendrick Lamar – ‘Good Kid, MAAd City’
12. David Bowie – ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars’
13. The Velvet Underground & Nico – ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico’
14. Talking Heads – ‘Remain In Light’
15. Mingus – ‘The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady’
16. The Beatles – ‘Revolver’
17. John Coltrane – ‘A Love Supreme’
18. Nas – ‘Illmatic’
19. Black Sabbath – ‘Paranoid’
20. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – ‘Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Attenas to Heaven!’

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke in 2001. Credit: Getty Images.

In 2011, NME‘s Henry Yates wrote about the perception of ‘OK Computer’ being invariably viewed as Radiohead’s best, pointing to an absence of “stone-cold classics”.

Meanwhile, NME writer Alex Denney gave Lamar’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ an imperfect score in his four-star review of the album. Noting that the “formidable” rapper stuffed the “grand” record “full of demons and contradictions”, he questioned whether Lamar’s latest was ultimately “a classic”.

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