Well it's official, Kendrick Lamar has cemented himself as a timeless artist with his fourth studio album "DAMN". Kung Fu Kenny returns with purpose and delivers a return to his roots. With the last two projects having strong jazz influences and heartfelt meaning he substitutes for hard beats and stronger rhymes. Kendrick has given us yet another outlook into his life living in compton, his feelings toward his family and friends, and addresses his place in political media with a clip in the first track "BLOOD" with a clip from the all WORTHLESS Fox News.
The best part of this album is the no nonsense Kung Fu Kenny . In the song "ELEMENT" Kendrick goes into how being himself is what it's all about. It's Compton, it's the West Coast, but more importantly it's about doing what you do and not being afraid of being yourself. He also calls out artist in the final lines of his last verse stating:
Cause most of y'all ain't real
Most of y'all gon' squeal
Most of y'all just envy, but jealousy get you killed
Most of y'all throw rocks and try to hide your hand
Just say his name and I promise that you'll see Candyman
Because it's all in your eyes, most of y'all tell lies
Most of y'all don't fade, most of y'all been advised
Last LP I tried to lift the black artists
But it's a difference between black artists and wack artists
This track was my favorite, and takes me back to a hungrier K-DOT from Section 80 or even Good Kid, MAAD City. I could honestly say every song on this album has impressed me with the consistency of progress he has made from his last project, and through every project in his career.
The last song I'm going to highlight is the track he made with Zacari. If you follow TDE artist Zacari has been featured on many TDE projects, most recently on Isaiah Rashad's The Sun's Tirade where Zacari and Kendrick were featured on a track together. This track is special because of the turnaround Kendrick makes with a love song, a slow jam type song. I'm far from complaining, Kendrick did a great job utilizing Zacari with the hook which completes the song.
Kendricks newest project DAMN is very complex project in the sense of if you are a Kendrick Fan you know he has deep meanings in his projects. In TPAB, I felt he wasn't speaking from his perspective, but a perspective from many. In Good Kid, he was speaking from his perspective but a story in which a lot of people can relate. Not to say DAMN isn't relatable, but I feel this one is more personal to Kendrick's own true perspective. This is most prevalent in the song titles. PRIDE, LOYALTY, FEAR, LUST, these are things that are things we all have inside us that are personal. Below is the tracklist for DAMN:
6. LOYALTY. ft. Rihanna
10. LOVE. ft. Zacari
11. XXX. ft. U2
I posted a tracklist that was leaked but as expected, it was completely false. I couldn't find any correlations between the leaked tracklist and DAMN (whoever made that list was very descriptive and kind of creepy). There was some speculation that Kendrick was going to release a second album called NATION, but I ain't gonna speculate about more music as Kendrick has enriched and uplifted the Hip Hop community once again.
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