With Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN” out now and with rumors of a second project releasing Sunday, here are some of our writer’s first impressions of “DAMN”.
I.S Jones: There’s definitely an alter ego to Kendrick Lamar. Here in his 3rd full length, the “toot-toot-toot” K. Dot emerges, blending R&B slow jams, bass thumping beats, sharp piano trills, and that well-deserved irreverence which permeates through every track. Much like the progression of a movie, each track shows Kendrick careful attention to detail while experimenting with a rich syncopation of sound. I can say without reservation, Kendrick’s artistic growth is one of the most important in hip-hop history and we’re can only call ourselves blessed to be in the midst of it.
Jake Milgate: I honestly had no idea what to expect from Kendrick this time around. After To Pimp a Butterfly, I really didn’t know where Kendrick could go from there. TPAB was so good to me. I didn’t know how he could top it, and I didn’t know where stylistically and sound-wise he would go. I was left in a cloud of mystery. Well, DAMN. gave me my answer, and holy sh*t was my mind blown. This album is loud, abrasive, raw and very emotional. At first listen I was amazed at the different paths Kendrick was taking with his sound. Several songs like “DNA.” and “XXX. (feat. U2)” stray FAR from the jazzy sonics of TPAB, while songs like “PRIDE.” and “LOVE (feat. Zacari)” are steps in unfamiliar territory. Content-wise, Kendrick has come through as always. There’s A LOT to this album and will require multiple listens (as if that wasn’t already implied). However, one of the main concepts I picked up on was the idea of choices. Certain choices you make have a large impact on the outcome of your life, and Kendrick addresses this several times throughout the album. There are also MAJOR religious themes in this project but I won’t go to deep into that. To sum up everything: Kendrick did not disappoint. DAMN. was a hell of a ride the first time through, and I look forward to bumping this project for the next few days……or weeks.
Jordan: My first impression of DAMN. is WOW…this project is phenomenal, off first listen I was blown away, because I had no idea what this album would sound like. But to be honest I can’t say I was prepared for how many different sounds there are. Kendrick has matched and passed his peers in terms of unpredictability and has easily transcended the genre of rap. This album has cemented Kendrick’s place in history as one of the most diverse and iconic ARTISTS, because he is beyond a “rapper”. Best hip hop ARTIST of the generation. The stunning lyricism that we’ve come to love from Kendrick combined with his phenomenal ear for beats along with the messages in the album makes this an amazing experience.