The Dying of thirst passage of this song is astonishing. Even more astounding is how important the skit at the end is to the song—and to the entire record. How is it that a blockbuster rap record climaxes with a baptism scene and the words, “Remember this day, the start of your new life, your real life…”?

good kid, m.A.A.d city might be my favorite record of the year.