I was the one who didn’t give a shit about To Pimp a Butterfly or Section 80. I don’t even have the Good Kidd…notice I don’t know how many O’s or D’s I need for that tittle, but yeah I don’t have that in my library either. I have never been much of a Kendrick fan. I respect his art and his casual featured verse here and there, but I never considered myself a fan. His music just never really stuck with me. I’ve given albums like TPAB a listen or two, but they never garnered a “Keep in Rotation” notion for me. DAMN is different in this setting. I’m not sure if it’s the production or the lyrics, but DAMN has done what the previous LP’s of Kendrick’s has failed to do for me. And that’s keep me interested.
Before you Hip Hop heads born in 1993 start to shout for my hanging, if you know me you know what I like when it comes to the music. Hopefully you’re not reading this crucifying me for not being “intelligent enough” to get the concepts of Kendrick’s bars…because if so exit left please. Let’s be honest here, I’ve always felt that if I needed a so called “conscious rapper” then that man for me is and always will be Jermaine Cole.
For me what Kendrick does differently on DAMN is that yes he remains conscious, but what he does differently on DAMN that he ceased to accomplish on TPAB, was that he was able to attain consciousness while staying on the radio. K.Dot remained conscious while also being able to play in the club as well. A stat that many of the die hard fans will be quick to brush off. Not saying that I neccessarily want to hear Kendrick while I’m out getting faded, but it is definitely a nice change up. Humble, the lead single succeeds in being a conscious record with a message all the while staying true to this image that the rapper has laid down for himself. I’m in no way equating success to having your record played in the club, but I think this flair for Kendrick is what helped me to be able to keep looking up DAMN on Apple Music.
At the time of TPAB I thought Kendrick was a huge hypocrite for calling out for our youth for needing to be more respectful to the cops all the while dropping an album centered around the culture. That turned me off. Especially coming from a black man with influence. In an environment where we have youth that are being gunned down whether they are respectful or not.
For me, I am jamming for most of the album, but then I fade out after XXX and then pick up when he puts the album on reverse in Duckworth. The replay value stands out for DAMN. For anyone who is not a strong fan of this guy like me, you will appreciate the flow of this album I promise.
This is me speaking exlusively for tracks 1 through 12. And for all of you comparing this to More Life please kill yourself :). Now I am not saying that this is converting me to any type of fan to this young man, but it is for DAMN sure a start. Until next time…