Do you have a moment for us to speak to you about our Lord and Saviour, Kendrick Lamar?
He’s returned to us this day (a week late but we can forgive that) and what a return. I mean you already know the deal, every time something erupts from the volcano that is K.Dot’s mouth, we lose our collective minds and with good reason I guess and I don’t see how this time is going to be any different.
So thus we now have, “DAMN”, a 14 track album that’s as usual, gone down a completely different route to the previous album, “TPAB”. With a production roster including 9th Wonder, Badbadnotgood, Mike Will Made It and The Alchemist I was personally completely non-plussed as to what route this project would take.
Quite frankly this is the most incoherent project I’ve heard from Kendrick period. For once this isn’t a bad thing, interestingly it seems like an exercise in versatility, as if there’s a beauty in this obvious jumble of styles and sounds, it earns its name…DAMN. I literally have no DAMN idea what he’s aiming for beat wise, it’s a chaotic scribble of sound and it works.
The collaboration list is as short as the title, credits have gone to Zacari, Rihanna and incredibly U2. I’m totally fine with that, I appreciate the space it gave Kendrick. I feel like this album is Kendrick taking time to expand on the introspection we’ve had glimpses of on previous records.
While many might have been expecting Kendrick to get uber political or social on this project, especially after some of the venom spewed on “The Heart IV”, others might have been expecting a straight up come at me bro-esque bravado project especially after “HUMBLE”. Yet in the context of the rest of the album “HUMBLE” now seems like a bit of a self mantra as well as a warning shot to certain peers of his. Combine that with the mid album dichotomy between “PRIDE”, “HUMBLE”, “LUST”, “LOVE” and hey…two toned meanings or what am I right?
Run this on into the final three tracks and you get “FEAR” “GOD” “DUCKWORTH” arguably for me the most lyrical tracks on the album maybe that’s a little hint to fear the God level mc Kendrick undoubtedly is…the point is this is a simpler album than his previous one in many respects but still pretty layered.
There’s alot of little stories wrapped up in this but not a progressive narrative like his last 3 records and honestly, that’s refreshing, just some good, experimental, free flow music. I don’t even really have a favourite track or anything, however, I do carry a little warning. This does not take the leaps and bounds “TPAB” did. Maybe it doesn’t need to, this album is a slow burner though, I think it settles on you nicely and grows better over time, you know like some fine wine tip.
It’s not a blow to the back of the head like “TPAB” and “GKMC” are and thus it’s a prime example of what I call the comfort album. Your first album has to hit hard, the second has to destroy the bar set by the first and show you’re a quality guarantee and your third is a little bit coasty, a bit freer in tone because you know where u sit, everyone and their mama knows where you sit too.
That’s where Kendrick is now. We know he’s great, we know he’s probably going down as one of the greats, this is all consolidation at this point, we didn’t need to Malcolm X tip on this album, Joey gave us that last week, we didn’t need some young hungry cat ready to fight anyone who’d deny his spot to him, we just need to see further consistent growth.
I like this album, I think it’s accessible, there’s enough on here to make you flex in the club without the typical negative connotations. There’s enough to just get lost in headphones with. So Damn Kendrick, guess you did it again…keep it up homie.