Well ladies and gentlemen, Kung Fu Kenny is officially back.
DAMN., Kendrick’s fourth studio album makes me extremely giddy to hear what route the Compton emcee will take. In Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, Kendrick went the traditional “struggle as a black youth.” In To Pimp A Butterfly, K Dot went the “Public Enemy”-esque, new millennial politically jazz route. In DAMN., Lamar seems to meditate on relationships with his family, community, politics and more, almost like the more blunt version of GKMD if you will. I have high hopes for what I am about to hear, for Kendrick refuses to let this image of being the best rapper alive falter. With any Kendrick album, you mus digest this fully and with time, and I am continuing to do so as I write this review! Anyways, let us start this review.
“Is it wickedness?….Is it weakness?”
This is a very warm, gentle, mellow beat, like Section .80 meets the second half of To Pimp a Butterfly. He starts to tell us a story about an old woman who seems to need help. Quite the plot twist however at the end, I’ll tell you that! I really enjoy this sound bite at the end of the song of two Fox News reporters reciting a lyric from Alright. I hope this album turns into the roast of Fox News!
Off the rip, more life to the producer of this song. Very GKMD-esque so far, especially with the trap like beat. This is that “put the kids to bed!” He really has that “soldiers DNA.” Another Fox News news clip, SHEESH .(“hip hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years.”) The aggression in Kendrick’s verse, I’M FEELING MYSELF. I’m overwhelmed by this nonstop wordplay and loving every minute. DAMN.
This sounds like a generic hip-hop beat but only Kendrick can make it sound oh so good. NEW KUNG FU KENNY! “I’d diagnosed with real nigga conditions.” will be on every fuckboy’s Instagram by the end of the summer, DON’T @ ME. Now he finally called out Fox News wanting to use his name for false perceptions. Shout out cousin Carl Duckworth, you real (and definitely better than the cousin that stole Kanye’s laptop.) I’m gonna call the way Kendrick raps in songs like this “Henny Kenny.”
Instagram captions ga-fucking-lore.
This song is a fucking RUMP and so far my favorite song on the album. The first verse is impeccable, the hook is catchy as fuck (IMMA MAKE IT LOOK SEXY) I really mess with this chopped and screwed, I want a full version of that NOW. Definitely a banger. “There’s a difference between black artists and wack artists” — DAMN, Cornroll Kenny, DAMN.
I think of this song as the sequel to To Pimp A Butterfly’s “U”. I can sense some “cloud rap” with this beat and the way Lamar raps clearly. He shares losing his friends, family and talent. I can really sense this energy in Lamar, ESPECIALLY NEARING THE END, NOW THAT WAS BASEMENT FREESTYLE-ESQUE. This sounds very Untilted Unmastered like.
6. LOYALTY. feat. Rihanna
The way the vocal dropped was so unexpected but I’m vibing out. What gets me so hyped is that in my opinion he imitates a Drake like flow (and KILLED IT) while taking the girl Drake loves so much and putting her on the song. I’m vibing and grooving so hard to this song, definitely a crap ton of potential in this song. Rihanna just flexing on everyone in this song. Both sound incredible. TELL ME WHO YOU LOYAL TO?!!?! Rihanna singing at the end, BAD GIRL RIRI KILLING IT, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.
Conscience Kendrick’s singing and rapping, I like it quite a bit. Far slower flow. Im pretty damn sure that Lamar place this song before HUMBLE. solely because of the “I can’t fake humble because your ass is insecure,” line. This song is like a great plate of mac and cheese, very soulful and filling.
Mike WiLL x Kendrick is one of the most underrated producer-artist duos in quite sometime. MY LEFT STROKE JUST WENT VIRAL. Out of all of Kendrick’s singles (ADHD, Swimming Pools, Alright/King Kunta), this is his best single. HUMBLE. is Lamar’s interpretation of club/trap music, and it’s a pretty darn good interpretation!
I’m loving the drums, This entire verse is very wavy, a calm, tranquil vibe to it. The last verse is about the election. The track focuses on pleasures that either fulfill or does not fulfill our desires in life like designer clothes, money, sex, etc.
10. LOVE. ft Zacari
Can we first of all thank Kendrick for placing Zacari on this album. His vocals are so freaking soothing and angelic and I am not gonna lie to y’all, but this song made me tear up. I like Kendrick’s approach to what a love song is. This is like a fresh out of the oven cookie, warm, pleasant and sweet.
11. XXX ft. U2
First off, I do not respect U2 after forcing their fucking album into my phone. THE BEAT SWITCH GOT ME SHOOK. Besides DNA, Kendrick seem to have gone the hardest on this track, but besides that, it was ok.
World, meet Lamar the “Israelite.” Lamar spits in this track about the many fears of being a black child facing the pressures against his parent, a black teenager in Compton, and a black rap superstar. This is the same beat from “The Heart Part 4″. WHY GOD, WHY GOD. Kendrick is a true illustrator, this song brings me flashbacks of GKMD like music. A big fan of the concluding part of the song, lots of religious messages in the album too.
How triumphant can a line like “This what God feel like.” be, that shit SAVAGE. LAUGHING TO THE BANK LIKE AH HA. This is an SLAPPER. I like this track, I like experimental Kendrick, I like chicken parm.
Oh hi Kid Capri, ok let’s put it in reverse! Did K.Dot just reference Tupac with that “It was always me versus the world / Until I found it’s me versus me.” line? This is the best storytelling Kendrick has done since “Black Boy Fly” NIGGA, TOP DAWG (Anthony) COULD’VE KILLED KENDRICK’S FATHER (Ducky)? SHEESH, FUCKING DAMN. Good Game.
DAMN. Kendrick delivered like we fucking expected. Though very unorganized and cluttered, this was purely amazing, I’m glad to see Kendrick revert back to his story telling roots. To be honest I was getting a tad bit tired of TPAB like music. Kendrick can be so unpredictable and yet so concise in what he does when it comes to music. With DAMN., I saw Kung Fu Kenny, K.Dot, Lamar the Israelite, and King Kunta all in one, and boy am I glad to see him back.
Hey Y’all, Benjy here. Like this article? Leave a comment down below! Have any suggestions or wanna discuss, talk below! Benjy out.