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May 8, 2017 | by  | in Music |
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Kendrick Lamar — DAMN.

At this point, is there truly any point to reviewing this album? There isn’t much that I can add to the conversation. And if you’re looking for cohesive, meaningful information about what is likely the most revered lyricist of the last decade, I am not the person to come to. But here are some thoughts.

Each track manages to be both part of a cohesive narrative, and simultaneously a snapshot of Kendrick’s career and stylistic influences. There are trap style beats for the kids after bangers (“DNA” / “HUMBLE”). There are some clean guitars (“LUST” / “FEEL” / “PRIDE”). There are tracks that are clearly focused on a narrative (“XXX” / “FEAR” / “DUCKWORTH”). As far as hip-hop albums go, this essentially has something for everyone.

Perhaps what’s most remarkable is the fact that despite all these stylistic differences, they manage to mesh, and are produced to the absolute highest quality. Something like that takes a lot of work, and likely a lot of different producers. Kendrick’s voice manages to fit into every track and feel like it belongs.

The overarching narrative of the album is about Kendrick’s childhood and growth, and manages to encapsulate the struggle of young African Americans without feeling like a derivative of good kid m.A.A.d city. By focussing on a whole rather than a brief time period we are afforded a look into a life that most reading this will never have been a part of.

So, overall, it’s real good. Personally I think that this beats To Pimp A Butterfly by a smidgen due to the production value. It deserves all the praise it’s been getting, and I live in eternal fear that one day Kendrick will release an album that doesn’t live up to his name.

I suppose if there’s one thing that I can add that I haven’t seen anywhere, it’s the fact that on the New Zealand charts DAMN. is in second place, losing out to Ed Sheeran’s , which is an absolute travesty. If you think that’s a better album than DAMN. then you can get the fuck out right now. Why are you even here? Why are you even reading this magazine? It’s clearly going to be way above your aesthetic tastes, because if your opinions are anything to go by then you’re a plebeian. Get the fuck outta here.

DAMN.

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