Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn” released on April 14th, a record that has officially gone platinum.
“Damn” is an incredibly intense roller coaster of a record.
Making his debut as Kung-Fu Kenny, Kendrick Lamar shows us the real roots of hip hop, while discussing his fears, thoughts and social critiques through rhythms.
Kendrick is a natural storyteller and we are his audience. This is Kendrick’s social commentary turned into a modern symphony.
Surprisingly to most, there is a complex tie between kung-fu movies and hip hop that run really deep. Kendrick is the Bruce Lee of hip hop and if he dropped bars like Bruce Lee dropped people, Kendrick would be on “Americas Most Wanted.”
Kendrick is a DAMN legend for dropping “Damn” on Good Friday, a holiday for the martyr of righteousness that die at the hands of tryants. Like African-Americans that have been killed by authority, Kendrick continues to rap about his own death in the first song.
Kendrick knows that violence and death is unexpected when you’re a black male or just alive. “Damn” is in fact a religious expierence (to say the least), it is an introspective work of art.
“DNA”, the second song on the album, is a critiuqe and a celebration,
Kendrick’s “DNA” is a critique and celebration. (Picture by Rap Genius)
Kendrick knows that his own blood has a fair share of rights and wrongs since he was born. Kendrick is not ashamed of his families past of selling drugs, Kendrick was born at the end of the Ronald Regan era, where black people were getting incarcerated due to drug possession by the masses.
Kendrick saw the hardships his community and family had to go through.
It is obvious that conservative Americans seem to despise Kendrick and any hip hop artist. Especially Fox New’s very own Geraldo Rivera, Rivera went on Fox quoting Kendrick and believes that hip hop incites violence.
In the middle of “DNA”, a snippet from Rivera’s comment quoting Kendrick’s “Alright”, in which Rivera says, “this is why I say that hip hop has done more damage to African-Americans in recent years than racism.”
And in the next song “Yah”, Kendrick outright names Gerlado and says:
“Fox News wanna use my name for percentage,
My latest muse is my niece, she worth livin’,
See me on the TV and scream: “That’s Uncle Kendrick!”,
Yeah, that’s the business,
Somebody tell , Geraldo this n*gga got some ambition”.
Kendrick has received plenty of criticisms for being vulgar and explicit in his songs. But it seems anything any African-American does in the spotlight is criticized and you can hear his exhaustion about it in “Feel”.
Kendrick’s “Feel”, rapping about the people who have criticized him are the same people that would tell him to “go pick cotton”. (Picture by Rap Genius)
Kendrick does not hold back, he is unapologetically real, black and in your face. Although he claims to not be a religious man himself, Kendricks titles on “Damn” pick at religion.
The Compton influence on every of his records show that Kendrick has not strayed far from home. Kendrick is the embodiment of L.A life and hip hop and continues to deliver that to us.
And Kendrick even touches politics like in “XXX” (with Bono’s beautiful feature and vocals), he raps:
“The great american flag is wrapped and dragged with explosives,
Compulsive disorders, sons and daughters
Barricaded blocks and borders,
Look what you’ve taught us”
Kendrick even talks about Donald Trump, which the hip hop community has been the first to criticize the new president. Hip hop has always been political and real because they have become a voice for many black Americans.
All of Kendrick’s songs from “Damn” have hit the billboard and the album has officially gone platinum.
Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn” album cover has been discussed and criticized for its “weak” graphics and for being meme worthy.