If you ask most rap fans today who the top dog is, most would undoubtedly say Kendrick Lamar. The Compton born and bred rapper blessed us with his 4th project on Good Friday entitled DAMN. and he has surely delivered and cemented himself as one of the most consistent and lyrically sophisticated rappers out there.
Now to be very honest I was hesitant, not because I’m not a Kendrick fan but because To Pimp a Butterfly was honestly not my thing and I don’t think I ever finished listening to untitled unmastered. Now I’m not being disrespectful but although sonically and lyrically To Pimp a Butterfly was a masterpiece, I didn’t listen to the whole album more than twice because the topics Kendrick touched on were really heavy and so it isn’t the album I go back to often or put on repeat.
Fast-forward to watching the HUMBLE. video: it was unreal. We already know that a Kendrick visual is pure cinematography (note: watch i) but to have this Dave Meyers directed piece of art was a clear message for people to not get their heads too big and stay humble ‘cause Kendrick is King! Dave Meyers is also behind Missy’s I’m Better and Jay Z and Kanye’s Otis, which are great pieces too.
That music video definitely got me excited and lo and behold I was not let down because DAMN. is undoubtedly one of the best moments of this year so far and it will most likely be Kendrick’s third classic album, which is edging him closer and closer to being one of the greats.
I can’t really say if it is rap album of the year because that is very premature but it is Kendrick at his finest: the storytelling and frankness. It’s complex, captivating and honestly took me into his world. It’s very rarely that any storyteller, whether a rapper or author, can make the audience feel like they are in this virtual reality, and about to undertake a journey with the narrator. I felt like this and it was refreshing.
The most-played track personally has definitely been LOVE. featuring Zacari. It is the unicorn on the album, the lyrics are very much about asking the one you love to love you and choose you for you because you love yourself the way you are. Zacari’s vocals feel like floating on clouds and the production is like a nostalgia filled memory of a summer’s day. It’s such a happy song, and maybe it has something to do with me swimming in feels lately, but it is a special track.
So I know that I am meant to be putting out a playlist every Saturday but if I’m real it’s been a busy week and whenever I’ve listened to anything it is either Kendrick or the Majestic Casual channel on Youtube. I don’t think that Kendrick will ever drop anything that doesn’t pop, but as an entire project it’s cemented Kendrick as one of the rare rappers that have reached the top without having to sacrificing their art.
So I am actually plugging a Kendrick album which hasn’t been the case since good kid, m.A.A.d city. Give it a listen and if you already have let me know what you think.