Album Review: DAMN.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in a cave on a planet inhabited by deaf aliens who also happen to be total squares, both figurative  and literal, then you’ve probably heard something about what’s most likely 2017’s most aniticipated album DAMN. Kendrick Lamar Duckworth,  better known as Kendrick Lamar, Kendrick, K Lamar dead bodies in the hallway” , and now “Kung Fu Kenny” (πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯I LOVE ITπŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯) has released his 3rd studio album following up the gigantic success of Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City, and To Pimp A Butterfly.

The 14 track album is loaded with disses aimed at Big Sean(“Pride”, “Humble”),  excellent features from U2(“xxx”) and Rihanna (“Loyalty”), all with that classic Kendrick sound. Slowly solidifying himself as the greatest alive, Kendrick Lamar might be the only artist in any genre who can deliver a different sound with each album but still be distinctly Kendrick.

DAMN. Sounds noticeably different from Lamar’s last album with less of a jazz feel and more of a D’Angelo type soulful funk layered with bar after bar of Grade A Kendrick lyrics delivered with raw energy and artistry. Kendrick may be preaching that we should be humble, but he certainly isn’t short any confidence. He seems much more aware of his status in the rap game and has assumed the role quite well. This album features significantly less talk about the contemporary and historical issues surrounding the African American community and is significantly less political.  By all means, Kendrick is still political, most notably on “xxx” and “Blood” features a Fox News snippet of reporters criticizing “And we hate the popo, wanna kill us in the street fosho…” a quote from “Alright” from his previous album. The album reflects a different stage in Kendrick’s life and is substantially more introspective and theological. If America and racism were the main focus of his second album, then God and morality are the focus of this one.

It’s almost impossible for artists to maintain their form with each passing album, but Kendrick has managed to just that. He’s found a way to pay service to his long time fans by giving them what they loved on Section 80  , please new fans, and maintain his identity,  all while continuing to evolve as an artist.

This album has to be listened to start to finish, preferably in one sitting, perferrebly with an open mind. Yeah there are tracks you’ll definitely favor over others but as a whole, this album shows a decidingly different side of Kendrick Lamar, who despite his mega success hasn’t settled for playing money chords and continues to push himself and the genre to new heights. 

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