Between “DNA.”, “FEAR.” and “DUCKWORTH”, I’m not sure where to start because I liked something different about each song. Spoiler Alert: I thoroughly enjoyed Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” and will use the former songs to explain why. Let’s start with a general album overview.
Although some may disagree with or detest this statement, social media plays a vital role in society. So, I will gauge the commercial success of Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” by taking a look at social media. Shortly after its release, social media, unsurprisingly, reacted with new memes. Here is one of my favorites:
Is this a good indicator of the album’s all-out success? Of course not. However, it does show something. Social media is paying attention to Kendrick and he’s getting his much-deserved shine. As a project, DAMN. had chill Cali vibes but was pumped with the consciousness that is characteristic of Kendrick.
I enjoyed all the songs on the album, but I especially enjoyed “DNA.” Out of the three that I already mentioned, this would serve as my favorite. It was just something that the song had to offer. The minute it played on my speaker, it was an instant favorite.
Kendrick has always had great production and “DNA.” did not shy away from that. Yet, it took Kendrick’s lyricism and beats a step further when he started naming what he has in his DNA. This message is relevant as Black people continue to reaffirm our person hood, which begins with recognizing what is in our “DNA.”
Then, “DUCKWORTH.” comes in a close second. I appreciated the story-telling nature of this piece. It took listeners through mishaps Kendrick’s father ensued and demonstrated Kendrick’s awareness of his surroundings from the Chi to Cali. I got the same narrative vibe from “FEEL” and enjoyed these tracks for the way they captivated listeners.
Finally, I liked “FEAR.” What endeared me to the song was Kendrick’s dialogue that was reflective of the “Black mother’s voice” (from a general standpoint). The song rung with nostalgia and self-awareness.
Kendrick is good at his craft. His warning in Humble was not an empty threat. He lay it all out with this project and left the internet in a fray. I would give the album a 9/10. As he comes off the Coachella stage and heads around the US on tour, I’m almost certain that K-dot should have a fire extinguisher along with him for all the fires he’ll be starting. It makes sense that all 14-tracks have topped the Billboard’s Hot 100. DAMN. is a must-cop.