In the two years since “To Pimp a Butterfly,” we’ve hung on Kendrick Lamar‘s every word – whether he’s destroying rivals on a cameo, performing the #blacklivesmatter anthem on top of a police car at the BET Awards, or hanging out with Obama.
So when DAMN. opens with a seemingly innocuous line – “So I was taking a walk the other day…” – we’re all ears. The gunshot that abruptly ends the track is a signal: DAMN. is a grab-you-by-the-throat declaration that’s as blunt, complex, and unflinching as the name suggests. If Butterfly was jazz-inflected, soul-funk vibrance, DAMN. is visceral, spare, and straight to the point, whether he’s boasting about “royalty inside my DNA” on the trunk-rattling “DNA.” or lamenting an anonymous, violent tackle, and the songs are as bold as their all-caps names: “PRIDE.” “LOYALTY.” “LOVE.” “LUST.” “GOD.”
When he repeats the opening line to close the album, that simple walk has become a profound journey – further proof that no one commands the conversation like Kendrick Lamar.
Check out the album, via Apple Music, below!