“WHAT HAPPENS ON EARTH, STAYS ON EARTH” – Kid Capri
After vigorously teasing an impending project with the promotional single “The Heart Part 4” and the single “HUMBLE.” produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, King Kendrick returned. ‘DAMN.’ is one of the most beautiful, pain-driven, political and best storytelling projects in Hip-Hop for a long time.
Featuring production from TDE in-house beatmakers, Sounwave, Tae Beast and DJ Dahi, as well as other timeless producers like The Alchemist, BadBadNotGood and 9th Wonder; they all came together for a project that they and Kung Fu Kenny knew would be an instant fan-classic and one of the most critically acclaimed albums of this year already.
Alike Kendricks’ previous albums, ‘DAMN.’ gives his critics and fans another wormhole into the mind and past of Comptons’ own. From the very beginning with the Jazzy spoken word intro “BLOOD.” that follows with the abrasive Mike WiLL cut “DNA.”. Kenny speaks of the fakeness in one’s “DNA” as well as calling out FOX News for their..uncultured and uneducated reaction to Kendrick’s previous black-empowerment record “Alright”.
The standout on this track is when the beat breaks into distorted vocals, Trap chimes and heavy 808s allowing Kendrick to go harder than hes done in a long time. Another solo track that stands out (not that any of the tracks don’t) is the Nu-Jazz-cut “ELEMENT.”. Over melodic hellish keys, Trap snares, hi-hats and creepy vocal sample, Kendrick details the ‘elements’ that have made him the focused, ever-entertaining and claims his position as “Mr One through Five”. That, I totally agree with. Another track that stands out amongst the tracklist is “LUST.” One of the slower and darker songs on the album, light strings, cool bass and psychedelic synths, Kendrick provides a story of sexual desires and biblical reflections of one who is lustful.
However, out of all the tracks on this album, the one that shines brighter than any other and is already in my top 5 kendrick verses, is the final and connector of the loop of the album, “DUCKWORTH.”. Over three different instrumentals provided by 9th Wonder, Kendrick details the life and gang activities that Anthony ‘Top Dawg’ Tiffith took part in as well as the jaw-dropping final bars that reveal that Kendrick’s dad and Top Dawg had met early on in their lives under unseen predicaments.
As most Kendrick albums go; they are all pretty spectacular. Although, his latest studio album ‘DAMN.’ is a majestic and gritty piece of audio art. It sees Kendrick vigorously rapping passionately about his triumph of the Hip-Hop game, Black-on-Black crime, living in anxious political situations while growing up (“FEAR.”) and how his competitors need to “sit down”. In all, this is another great look into the mind and body of work that is Kendrick Lamar and as always, he provides a timeless project to be ravaged for his lyrics and production.