Kendrick Lamar released his new album and it is everything we expected, plus more!
You all must know who Kendrick Lamar is by now. The Compton-raised rapper busted onto the rap scene with his first studio album Good Kid M.A.A.D City (Not counting Section 80). Ever since that moment, he hasn't really looked back. Even claiming the role of rap's savior (which he opted to name himself I might add).
But after To Pimp A Butterfly and Untitled Unmastered, many wondered where does the rapper go from here. It almost seemed as though he had etched himself into hip-hop history in such a short time. So what else can he provide for us?
That all changed with the release of his first single in what seemed like many years ago - The Heart Pt 4. Reminding us know that he is still as vicious as ever with his bars.
Aside from showcasing his masterclass rapping abilities, he notified us of April 7th, the date we were able to pre-order his upcoming album.
Nonetheless, this was confirmation that a new album was on the way! And boy did Kendrick deliver!
In what may be the album of the year so far, Kendrick showed us that he certainly hasn't missed a beat.
Good Friday was the day that Kendrick blessed us with his fourth studio album, Damn.
The tropes which we have grown to expect and love from Kendrick are still present in this new album. From the masterclass storytelling, unforgiving bars, vicious delivery and the overall message, Kendrick truly sets himself apart from the mainstream rappers today.
The album begins with the intro titled 'Blood', where we discover the theme of the overall album - Wickedness or Weakness. He describes an encounter with a blind woman, who appears to have lost something. When he goes over to help her, she turns it around and takes his life. Hence, playing into the idea that what he thought was weak turned out to be wicked.
This is followed by perhaps the best song on the album (which says something) titled 'DNA'. This was just three minutes and six seconds of just pure fire.
From the get go, we are introduced to this rage and fire that we know is evident in Kendrick. The track has since received its own video featuring Don Cheadle!
An interesting dynamic noticed from the tracklist is all the songs are labeled with one-word titles. This clearly highlights that Kendrick can say very little but at the same time say a lot.
The majority of the tracks cover human emotions which many of us experience daily. Whether its love, fear, pride or even lust. Kendrick takes us on a journey of his life and the life of a mainstream rapper in general, highlighting what they may feel.
The biggest example of this would be the contrast between the tracks 'Lust' and 'Love'. 'Lust' has this monotonous feeling clouding the song, which clearly demonstrates that an individual's intention to only gain lustful achievements will not bode well for you. While it may be good at the start, over time this would be something that we may all get sick off.
Whereas with 'Love', which many consider being an 180 contrast, is more of an uplifting song. Presumably talking about his fiancee, Kendrick labels the emotions of love in a fresh and positive manner.
Especially after experiencing 'Lust', 'Love' felt like more of a release. Perhaps stating that to break through the lustful cycle, we must find love.
Overall, this album is a sure listen for hip-hop and Kendrick fans. It may be too early to compare it with his previous works, but one thing I can say for sure, Kendrick has gone and done it again!