Kendrick Lamar just released what could easily be the magnum opus of his career – though he’s not making it easy to choose which one is the best, with unbelievable albums like Section.80, good kid, m.A.A.d city and To Pimp a Butterfly.
Add his latest release DAMN. via Top Dawg Entertainment, to the list and trying to figure out what Kendrick Lamar album is best suddenly becomes very difficult.
Kendrick dropped a 14-track, thoughtful, politically charged album with multiple religious undertones on DAMN.
Even the song titles on this album, though simple, are as creative as many of the lyrics.
It’s ironic that there’s so much wordplay on DAMN. when compared to the one word, all-cap title references to the many lessons we learn in this lifetime.
The overall record feels as if it were just finished by a master creator who listened to his own almighty creation, stepped back and just said – “DAMN” – and the name stuck.
Smooth singing at the album’s intro “Blood” sets the tone for the LP, where Kendrick conveys a story about a blind woman looking for help, over some supremely awesome sounding violins.
As the rapper approaches the blind woman, she drops some bone-chilling wisdom on his dome.
A FoxNews clips starts the first track “DNA,” which is reminiscent of K-Dot’s efforts on Section.80 and good kid, m.A.A.d city, in particular.
As expected, Kendrick does not pull any punches when describing the state of these days and times. A high-profile feature from Rihanna, who is one of the few guests on “LOYALTY,” is subtle and Rihanna still sounds as sexy as ever.
Tell me who you loyal to/Is it money, is it fame? Is it weed? Is it drink?/Is it coming down with the loud pipes and the rain?/Big chillin’ only for the power in your name
Rihanna keeps it 100% for the fans and the two approach a topic that a lot of people struggle with – love – with quite a dark approach.
“Love is gonna get you killed” is an eery introduction to the amazing production on “PRIDE,” where Kendrick asserts that he’d like to gather everyone from all the world’s religions together and let them know “No one is perfect, but he is” – meaning God.
I’ll choose work over bitches,/I’ll make schools out of prison/I’ll take all the religions and put ’em all in one service/Just to tell ’em we ain’t shit, but He’s been perfect, world
“XXX” with U2 features Kendrick dropping a vicious verse over a thorough boom/bap beat which also has some vocals by legendary DJ Kid Capri. The song slows down at the 2:30 mark and rolls into a nice song to cruise to, with some vocals from Bono.
Wall street, corporate offices, banks/Employees and bosses with homicidal thoughts/Donald Trump’s in office, we lost Barack/And promised to never doubt him again/But is America honest or do we bask in sin?/Pass the gin, I mix it with American blood/Then bash him in, you crippin’ or you married to blood?
This cerebral anthem suddenly drops into the album’s first official single “HUMBLE” with vigor.
“Be humble, bitch sit down” Kendrick raps over a crazy hard piano beat.
On Kendrick’s outro song “DUCKWORTH,” he leads with a voice exclaiming “What Happens on Earth, Stays on Earth” and ultimately King Kendrick goes in at one hundred miles an hour showcasing his lyricism from the start to finish of DAMN.
This is truly a Hip-Hop masterpiece and the music selection combined with Kung Fu Kendrick’s undeniable top of the rap game lyrics creates one of the best Hip-Hop albums EVER.
The album could have aptly been named “Dayyyumm” lol, because YES he’s that good here.