DAMN, every other album that’s been released this year is irrelevant.
It may be a bold statement, but the minute Compton City rapper Kendrick Lamar dropped his fourth official album titled DAMN, the whole rap world stopped and listened, then realized they can’t hang.
No disrespect to Raekwon, Drake and Joey Bada$$ who also dropped solid projects this year, but it’s officially Kendrick season and theres no one who can do anything about it.
Lamar proves he’s on a different level showing once again that he can lay down a ridiculous amount of bars, and still tell you a story.
From the very first track “BLOOD” Kendrick provides a thought provoking narrative that leads into the track “DNA” which immediateley shows Lar’s dedication to experiment with new beats and ideas.
“YAH,” “ELEMENT” and “FEEL”, all show a side of Kendrick’s music that has never been seen before, with a lyrical flow that you can’t hear anywhere else and frankly you might not expect to hear on a Kendrick album.
Not only does it work, but he absolutely kills the game.
The first feature on the album belongs to Rhianna, who appears on the change of pace track “LOYALTY,” the two go back and forth questioning loyalty.
On “PRIDE” he comes with a monotone voice and flow on a beat that doesn’t sound like it belongs in the genre, but his long steady verses make you sit there and listen all the way through and focus on the lyrics.
“HUMBLE,” the only song released before the album changes the pace yet again with a wild beat and Kendrick spazzing out telling the listener to “Sit down and be humble.”
With “LUST” Kendrick brings the tone back down with a hypnotic beat behind his calm but quick flow.
“LOVE” sounds like a track that should have been on a Drake album. Its the most generic song in the album and sounds like its been on the radio for months.
After “LOVE” comes “XXX,” which features U2, which is easily the most interesting and surprising feature of the album.
The song switches up multiple times on this four-minute track.
It starts with a deep dark flow on top of a generic beat, to a quick flow on top of what seems to be sirens and a motor, then finally to a slow jazzy melody behind a smooth Kendrick verse.
Kendrick’s next track is a direct deep song titled “FEAR.”
“FEAR” is a deep somewhat uncomfortable track that begins with strong narrative and gets to a point when the lyrics are going backwards.
But once the verses begin you hear Kendrick’s classic voice simply discussing fear in a very straight forward way leaving little to the imagination.
With the next track “GOD” Lamar delivers a spiritual somewhat uplifting song with interesting flows pauses and stops that take more than one listen to grasp.
With the final track, “DUCKWORTH” which is Kendrick’s last name, Kendrick lets us peer into his mind while giving us a unique thought provoking classic Kendrick track that lets the listener know he is the king, DAMN.
As far as where this album ranks to his other projects, this is Kendrick’s most up front album.
It doesn’t have the story Good Kid Ma.a.d city had, or the political and social concepts that To Pimp A Butterfly carried.
Instead, DAMN is a simple but still captivating piece of music. It’s still an album that needs two or even three listens to understand what Kendrick is really trying to get across.
This album may be a more mellow piece of work than we’re used to, but it is still just as passionate and just as determined as anything else he has released.
DAMN won’t have the political or social impact that To Pimp a Butterfly had or the influence of the genre that Good Kid had, but it is still going to leave its own unique mark in his discography and in this year’s music.