DAMN: Review and Initial Thoughts

Kendrick lives up to hype once again with his fourth masterpiece.

(Vevo/Lede In Illustration)

My first experience with Kendrick Lamar was in 2012, I listening to good kid, m.A.A.d city. At the time, I did not know much about him. His voice sounded weird and I was not familiar with his style. A couple years later, he released To Pimp A Butterfly, I did not predict the impact that it would have on me. It was easily my favorite album of 2015 because it challenged the way I looked at society, race, and myself. I had to listen to it numerous times to really understand the story it was telling. I find myself going back, trying to understand more. The following year, we got a surprise release with Untitled Unmastered. I was shocked at the quality and complexity of all the tracks and even more so when I realized that these tracks were not on any of Kendrick’s past albums.

So, it is safe to say that I bought his new album ten minutes after he tweeted it.

Here is my review of Kendrick Lamar’s Damn.

Once again, I am blown away.

The first track opens subtly with a reference to “Alright” in To Pimp a Butterfly. I remember watching the news on YouTube, seeing newscasters criticizing Kendrick for a lyric in the song. Then, it is followed up with a huge banger, “DNA”, which had me on the edge of my seat. As the songs continued there were parts where he was angry at Fox News for using his name, and relating it to statistics, which I believe, represent gang violence. He then goes on to say how he would die for Compton and seemingly criticizes some black artists by calling them “whack artists”. In the song “Feel”, he goes on to talk about how nobody is praying for him and his frustration with people who get easily offended.

The features were also top notch. Kendrick and Rihanna play off each other seamlessly while singing about the importance of loyalty. I was also surprised with the U2 feature. I felt a bit uneasy about it, but I can confidently say it worked wonderfully.

I can easily go on about my initial thoughts on the latter half of the album, however I feel that you should experience it for yourself. I know that I will have to go back and listen carefully to decipher the true messages behind the songs. These are only my initial thoughts and I’m sure that my interpretations will change as I continue to listen to it and that’s why I’m such a huge fan of his. As time goes on, I will continue to write about these songs, but right now I want to address a rumor that is circulating on Twitter.

This is only the first of two albums that will be released (apparently). The rumor goes as follows: Kendrick dies at the end of this album and purposely chooses to release it on Good Friday. On Sunday, Kendrick may be resurrected on another album that is believed to be entitled Nation. If this rumor turns out to be true, I will lose my mind. I can’t even begin to explain how brilliant of an idea that is. Only he could think of something so ingenious. You got to hand it to Kung Fu Kenny after all. For now, I will leave you with these thoughts and hopefully be reviewing another album Sunday.

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