Kendrick Lamar’s new album is one to please


This is just one of those albums, man. DAMN is for sure one to go down in the books. This is Kendrick Lamar’s fourth album (not counting untitled unmastered) in his ever so consistent discography.

Jumping into this album after listening to To Pimp a Butterfly way too many times was a pretty big change. That whole jazzy aspect and overall genre-bending ideas that TPAB had overall? Gone. This isn’t a bad thing, every album doesn’t have to be monumental and game changing, but simply stated: DAMN blows every other hip-hop record from the past year or so out of the water. Blasting right at you is the first song (ignoring “BLOOD”) “DNA” with it’s heavy bass lead, memorable lyrics and stellar second half of the song. Seriously, the first time I listened to DAMN that change up in the “DNA” beat blew me away. That feeling of just pure emotion and being blown back was a pretty common feeling for me throughout all of DAMN.

The consistency of this album is insane. Compared to good kid or TPAB, DAMN is just a completely different album. I can listen through Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (GKMC) and TPAB once and just be blown away, but I can’t listen to those albums all day. I could listen to DAMN all day. Heck, on it’s initial release that’s all I did. I don’t have to be in a mood for this album. It’s just one of those albums I can put on at anytime and just listen to it consistently. (see also: Flood by They Might be Giants.)

Lyrically, Kendrick is at the forefront and making statements you won’t hear from other rappers. Yeah, Lamar is making his typical political statements he’s been throwing out throughout his entire career, but the thing he’s not doing that other “woke” rappers are trying to do is not make an entire album about hating Donald TrumpYeah, he throws out a few Trump references here and there, but he doesn’t create an entire song about his disdain for Donald Trump like rapper YG did. In an interview with Zane Lowe, Lamar talked about his lyrical focus on “self evaluation and discipline,” he said. “We’re not focusing on him. What’s going on now—we focusing on self. You see real different nationalities and cultures are coming together and actually standing up for themselves and I think that’s a pure reflection of this record prior to this even happening prior to even coming out,” said Lamar.

DAMN is smart, conscious, groovin’ and important all at the same time. Take a good listen to this one, people.