Released: April 14, 2017
After his critically success To Pimp a Butterfly, it looks like Kendrick Lamar was ready to get more dirty, progressive and challenging with the successor Damn. Yes y’all, it’s simply entitled Damn. And let me tell you, it’s the perfect word to be taken out of my mouth in how I am reacting. The thing with this record is that, unlike the jazzy and old skool adaption of To Pimp a Butterfly, Damn forces a more experimental take on Hip-Hop with a wide range of minimalistic beats, straight-forward production and continuous looping to make it long-lasting.
Tracks like “Loyalty”—which features the glamorous diva Rihanna—give me life with a fast-pace delivery by Kendrick, complimented with a charming blend of my gurl RiRi’s vocals. Then the old skool elements come back in the calming number “Lust”, the trap-infused jam “God”, and the airy streets vibe in the captivating intro confessional “Blood”. Another glue to this entire record is, of course, Mr. Lamar’s way of songwriting and story-telling, especially when it deals with a sense of self-discovery and redemption (“Element”, “Feel”, “DNA”), all composed over a set of dark yet aggressive atmospheric beats, whilst another collection manage to sound a lot more chill and collective that interpret a variety of cultural and political moments within America, both past and present (“Humble”, “Fear”).
Kendrick Lamar has proven over the years to be one of the biggest and baddest Hip-Hop artists of this generation, a legacy that has yet to be match upon many others. The deliveries on Damn are cohesive and classic, and his way of “telling-you-as-it-is” type of mannerism is extremely vulnerable yet an honest portray. Though me personally, I prefer the wholesome and vintage aesthetic of To Pimp a Butterfly, Damn should just get that amount of praise for it’s consistent and brave focus of issues and problems within today’s society and culture. And may I say this y’all… this was a damn good record (a good pun? Ehhh… close enough).
Track list (Bold means best tracks)
- LOYALTY (feat. Rihanna) ~Liam’s favourite~
- LOVE (feat. featuring Zacari)
- XXX (featuring U2)