After listening to Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. for the 10th time in several days,
Once again Kendrick Lamar manages to out do himself. Now I’ve heard a lot of complaints about this album so allow me to explain this phenomenon. Kendrick Lamar never makes the same album twice which allows him to always provide a fresh experience. Let me break it down album by album.
Good Kid, MAAD City:
This was for the most part a pretty accessible album. It was definitely different from albums of that era but, still pretty accessible.
To Pimp A Butterfly:
This is the point where Kendrick Lamar decided to stop making his albums accessible to the filthy casual. This album has a huge emphasis on spoken word with classic soul and funk influences. Appreciating this album requires the listener to appreciate true hip hop’s origin’s. If your first memories of hip hop were “LaffyTaffy”, “Pop Lock and Drop It”, “Shawty”. You’re gonna hate this album. This album requires the listener to drastically expand their musical palette beyond the garbage on the radio and dig in to their parent’s old record bins pending they’re not on Goodwill shelves already.
Those who did grow to appreciate To Pimp A Butterfly’s heavy musical flavor will immediately notice a lot of empty space. Those who listened to Kendrick’s mixtapes will feel right at home with this album. This album is far simpler than his last effort. The music has been stripped down to allow the lyrics to shine, much like most Eminem albums. This album is also what most Rock/Metal/Old School Hip Hop fans like to call a concept album. It’s a type of album where very few of the songs can stand on their own instead, the tracks are interconnected. It’s a musical journey that can only be appreciated as a whole rather than the individual pieces. A more accessible example of this is Biggie’s “Ready to Die”. This album also requires you to listen to it multiple times so if you don’t have that type of patience then this album isn’t for you.
DAMN. isn’t an album for everyone. It definitely isn’t for the type of people who consider Lil’ Yachty and 21 Savage to be good hip hop. You really have to appreciate true hip hop to appreciate this album. You also can’t approach this album expecting the same exact experience you got in To Pimp A Butterfly. This is a completely different album.
No I’m afraid you won’t get to hear Tupac’s reaction to the spoken word piece at the end of To Pimp A Butterfly. Like the amount of licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, the world may never know…..
Flemmings Beaubrun is an avid gamer and lover of music. When not working, Flemmings likes to spend his time whipping up dank beats for the masses. He also spends his weekends thrift shopping for rare video games and obscure electronics. Other times he’s in front of a TV with a giant bowl of cereal enjoying shows from the 90s.