GRAMMY-award winning rap superstar Kendrick Lamar released his third studio album DAMN last month. There was a lot of hype and anticipation for this album. A lot of people including myself were wondering whether the overall sound of the album would mimic his sophomore album, To Pimp a Butterfly. After the release of the first single from the new album, “Humble” the answer was no. Lamar went the route of using hard hitting beats over his vicious flows and it’s a refreshing change of pace.
I was excited about this because it took several listens of To Pimp a Butterfly for me to actually understand and enjoy it. Meanwhile, with DAMN, I loved it after the first listen. This album saw Kendrick going back to the type of beats that he used on his debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city, but on steroids. Kendrick’s storytelling has gotten even better with this album. An example of this would be on the final track on the album, “DUCKWORTH,” where Kendrick tells the story of how his father and his manager “Top Dawg” met. His delivery on this song makes you feel like you’re being transported back in time. It’s amazing.
One of my favorite tracks on this album is “PRIDE.” On this song, Kendrick delves into religion and about how people don’t want to accept other people’s differences. One line that stands out to me is: “I’ll take all the religions and put ’em all in one service / Just to tell them we ain’t shit, but He’s been perfect, world.” What I took from this line is that he is trying to say that nobody who is religious is perfect, but God is. Before people are pastors, deacons or members of a congregation; they’re humans first and humans are very flawed. I know that people are aware of this, but it’s nice to get a reminder.
Another one of my favorite tracks is the second single from this album, “DNA.” This song is amazing. The refrain that you hear a lot in the song is my favorite part, which is when Lamar says, “I got, I got, I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA.” I love this part because it makes me feel empowered. Who doesn’t want to feel like they have royalty in their DNA?
Speaking of loyalty, that’s one of the tracks on the album that features none other than Rihanna. This track is a good one. It’s like the track was made with her in mind. The other big feature on the album comes from the band U2 on the track “XXX.” I’m surprised that I liked this track as much as I did, because U2 and Kendrick’s sounds aren’t similar at all, but they worked for the song. Kendrick gets very political on this song. I won’t go into much detail, but it’s worth a listen. “LUST” is also gets very political towards the end of the song, despite the title.
Overall, I enjoyed this album, and it’s definitely worth listening to. As of right now, it’s my pick for album of the year unless another artist comes out with an album better than this, which I don’t see happening.
Have you listened to DAMN or any of Kendrick Lamar’s other projects? Let us know in the comments below.
Well, I’ll be damnedStream Kendrick Lamar on Hoopla
Kayla works at Squirrel Hill as a Clerk, so when you come up to the customer services desk you might see her face! When she’s not at the library she enjoys reading, watching TV & listening to music. You might also find her at your local Starbucks, because she loves her Frappuccinos.