DAMN.

By Mariah Baez

After impatiently awaiting new music from Kendrick Lamar, he dropped a new project on Friday at Midnight. The album had simplicity written all over it from his choice of one word titles. It’s been two years since fans were struck by To Pimp a Butterfly and now we’re finally receiving DAMN.

So, after reviewing the capitalized, bold, one word song titles on the one word album, he opens up with the innocuous line, “So I was taking a walk one day.” It’s safe to say it was worth the wait.

The limited amount of features were an indication that Kendrick was ready to snap with no help. With only obvious, strategic cameos from Rihanna, U2 and Zacari, Kendrick chose a different kind of vibe with this album.

It was expected that Lamar would speak on a few present day issues with his staggering wordplay. After dropping his single “HUMBLE” on a very unexpected beat, Lamar received backlash for his unpopular opinion that attempts to break beauty standards. “Show me something natural, like ass with some stretch marks.” After hearing this line alone I knew that this LP was going to be a controversial, conversational piece. A few of his tracks feature clips from Fox News stating that hip hop is the cause of racism in America. He touches on political topics like Donald Trump being elected as the 45th president by saying “Lookin’ for confirmation, hopin’ election wasn’t true…” in Lust and elaborates on the increasing rates of black people being buried.

By mixing a consistent tone with inconsistent beats and sounds that magically create a beautiful synchronicity, Kendrick remains top tier in the game. When he provides us with different yet similar projects, it’s hard to compare them to each other. Not everyone possesses the patience or certain level of intelligence necessary to vibe with Kendrick’s flow. If a few of the titles alone (FEAR, GOD, BLOOD, LOYALTY) don’t grasp your attention, then Kendrick’s music probably isn’t for you. I believe this album is among his best work, but incomparable in the same setting.

Everyone has a different point of view when listening to his work, so this is definitely a piece you want to hear for yourself.

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