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DAMN, This Album is Fire

Two years after the release of the highly acclaimed album To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar strikes the world of hip hop again with his anticipated album DAMN. Lamar has been dropping hints on the album release, from blank Instagram posts, to the single “The Heart Part IV” stressing that “We have until April 7 to get our sh*t together”. And now, everyone can gather around and listen. Effortlessly, The album features Kendrick continuing on the path of providing conscious rap to fans and listeners. 

Since the release of his first studio album Section.80, Lamar continues to put his music on top of the bar. Just when you thought “how is he going to top this?”, he excels with his eclectic ambition and flow. Listening to DAMN, you’ll notice that the artists has left some of the jazzy undertones and returns to acoustics similar to good kid, m.A.A.d city. And like GKMC, and all of his work combined, he’s lyrical, raw, and vivid. 

One thing that grabs your eye is the tracklist. Pay attention to how the songs go in order, how PRIDE comes before HUMBLE, LUST before LOVE, and FEAR before GOD. What hasn’t Kendrick been able to talk about? Clearly, no topic is safe. 

BLOOD, the first track, Lamar grabs our attention with “So I was taking a walk today..”, and proceeds on telling us a narrative. With the closing gunshot, we later find out that K.Dot actually dies. But don’t fret, the album from this point on takes us on a journey.

One of the masterminds behind production is none other than Mike Will Made It. The record topping producer laced the trunk banger track DNA, another favorite. Off rip, the track has potential of landing a spot on the Billboards Hot 100. HUMBLE, another Will produced track and the artists highest chart topping song, is sitting high as No.2 on the list already. 

There are even more surprising guest artists that appear on the project. The badgyal sensation Rihanna surpisses us with some bars on LOYALTY, while band U2 link with K.DOT on XXX. Thundercat, another familiar composer behind production, contributed work on TPAB, returns to lay out the funk for K.Dot. Some of his tracks include BLOOD, PRIDE, and DUCKWORTH. 

Perhaps one of the rawest forms we see Kendrick on this album is “FEAR”, a 7 minute autobiography about some of the artists greatest fears and anxieties. Closing the album with “Duckworth” (which is also the lyricists last name), the track can be summarized with one word: gold. Here, Kendrick delivers mind boggling bars about a past run in with his father and CEO “Top Dawg” that almost ended his career. Towards the end of the song, we fast forward through all the songs and end up back at the beginning, where Kendrick dies from a gunshot. 

But is there more? Rumor has it that this isn’t the only thing Kendrick has up his sleeve. Allegedly, the album has a part two. I guess we’ll all have to wait and see what the mastermind has in store. 

Don’t just hear this project, really si and listen to what K.Dot has to say. Through pun-punching bars, to immaculate production, the album is the hottest and lyrical in 2017. It’s going to be hard for artists to try to compete and grab attention after this. Undoubtably , Kendrick is one of the greatest artists of this generation. DAMN holds this title true. 

– HCXO

Just your unaverage aspiring writer
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