Home Entertainment Kendrick Lamar’s Latest Release, DAMN., Does Not Dissapoint

Kendrick Lamar’s Latest Release, DAMN., Does Not Dissapoint

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DAMN. Right about sums it up, actually. The latest full length from Kendrick Lamar comes with not only 14 new tracks, but also with an entirely new Kendrick. The Compton rapper has continually reinvented himself with each of his studio efforts, and this one is no different. Kendrick’s flow on this album is, as usual, immaculate, but also, an unprecedented aggression provides the backbone to most of the catchier tracks.

The album is not as conceptual as his prior releases, but still manages to tie itself together, keeping the listener engaged. It is not as if Kendrick is telling one long story, but rather, several short stories; each with a message to be heard and interpreted. In FEAR., Kendrick raps from the point of view of his mother, yelling at a young Kendrick; then in the second and third verses switches the point of view to himself, discussing how fear had influenced his decisions, and the paths it had led him down. He views the fear he has today, and that he had back then, as more of an asset than a liability. In HUMBLE., Kendrick raps from the point of view of your run-of-the-mill, arrogant rap artist, bragging about money, fame, and shamelessly and tastelessly hitting on women. Then in the refrain, speaks from himself, directly to these types of people, telling them “Be humble, sit down.” Kendrick wants us all to remember where we came from, and not get too caught up in ourselves.

Repetition is a key component in this album; Kendrick seems to want to drill a certain message into the listeners head at times. It fits right in with the newer, more aggressive, radio-friendly sound; catering to an audience not as engaged or attentive as with his previous albums. It does not, however, detract from Kendrick’s very evident talent as a story teller. The concepts and ideas he wishes to convey are spoken in a way that makes the listener feel like they are in the music itself, or even that Kendrick is addressing them personally.

Overall, this LP was impressive. Kendrick has somehow managed to keep up the same level of quality in each of his albums, and as opposed to slowing down, it seems as though he is just settling into his stride. The reinvented sound will catch listeners who had previously passed him up before and cause them to sit down, and have a listen. A very, very good album from an even better artist.

8/10

Favorite Track: YAH.

Least Favorite Track: LUST.

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