Kendrick Lamar: DAMN.
Kendrick Lamar is back again with his latest studio album, DAMN., and it’s just that. While listening to this visual album, listeners get the sense that Kendrick is going for heads, while others speculate that his take on God is more than what they bargained for.
Let’s talk about this album for a second though. I mean, it’s DOPE. Since Kendrick’s previous studio album, To Pimp a Butterfly 2015, the artist has dropped features on several different occasions. Some of these artists include Maroon 5, Travis Scott, 50 Cent, and Isaiah Rashad. TPAB was a critical album that identified with a lot of listeners, and giving a savior album by the title of Alright, which you would be crazy not to be bumping to this day.
How does DAMN. compare? TPAB certainly targeted politics and identified the issues, making Kendrick the icon for social hope. Lyrically, if you listen, Kendrick breaks barriers of standard thinking and storytelling. If you want to listen to Kendrick spit some fire bars, but also vent some of his frustrations, speak of his revelations, and pursue forgiveness, DAMN. will be a good album to get into. Kendrick Lamar obviously approached this album with the intention of letting people know one fact: he is King Kendrick, and he’s not sorry.
But what makes Kendrick the best? First off, listen to his lyricism. For me, I love the lyrical play of Hip-Hop artists and the emotion that they bring into the music. Drake is so soft that I can feel his music through the speakers, but also get hit by pillows at the same time. Big Sean can make me feel like I’m going hard in the paint, but the flow follows his hardest, and his softest beats. Kendrick has proven his lyricism through simple, complicated, and insane rhyme schemes and content. I mean, have you listened to what he is actually saying? His lyrics always make me think, and I think that’s what Hip-Hop is supposed to do. It’s not something that is supposed to make you want to turn up all the time. Don’t get me wrong, we all need the turnup, but when it comes to what matters the most, it’s this – DAMN. His features are all lyrical play, some of which I cannot even hope to replicate or see in other artists.
This is also no time to overlook the features and the production from the team. Production credits go toward Thundercat, Dr. Dre, Mike-Will-Made-It, 9th Wonder, James Black, Steve Lacy, and Kaytranada, with guest verses from Zacari, Rihanna, and U2. What a ridiculous lineup for music.
Just recently, Billboard announced that Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. has made the top 100. Surprising? Check this. EVERY SONG ON KENDRICK LAMAR’S DAMN. HAS MADE THE BILLBOARD TOP 70. To me, that’s absolutely astounding. Not only did he “de-throne” Drake (in my opinion, never had the throne), he was able to make the biggest debut of 2017.
However, we still have more music to be excited for this year! Aside from Kendrick dropping more projects with TDE (SchoolboyQ, SZA, Ab-Soul), we are still looking forward to Logic, Nas, and BigBoi this year.
Make sure you take some time to decipher, but most importantly, listen to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.
Again, while these are all my views, and it’s okay if you disagree. I give DAMN. a solid 10/10. What are your thoughts?