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Kendrick Lamar : DAMN.

9.5

DAMN. was kept in shrouded in mystery. The album name and track titles withheld, and suppressed until a convenient leak served to generate hype. Days before the albums due date all songs were also leaked and downloaded by rabid fans.
 
Unscrupulous downloaders hidden behind VPNs rushed to forum boards to speak of Kendrick Lamar’s new album – each comment adding to a deafening echo chamber of hype and praise. Most reviews signed off with a proclamation that Kendrick Lamar is the best rapper alive today.
 
There aren’t any other rappers who can generate such crisp beats, technical flow, and poignant lyrics. Every bar, every track, is a testament to a prodigy showing his expertise. The production is an equal component to the record, treated with the same regard as the writing, or the flow.
 
Kendrick will certainly suffer some backlash from purists this time around. Anything that generates this level of hype is going to attract invitation for ire, or dismissal from fans. Add in features from U2 and Rhianna and haters are going to have some ammunition. But you would do well to listen to XXX (featuring U2) before passing judgement; the vocals have some serious heat to them. Feel free to diss LOYALTY though. It sounds exactly like a hip hop song featuring Rhianna.
 
Overall, with tracks like YAH. DNA, and ELEMENT, this is one heck of an album. Judge it for yourself, it’s straight fire.
 
By Jimmy Hall