As I’m sure is pretty apparent to most of you already, music is probably the most important thing in my life. No, I can’t actually make music – but I sure can consume it.
Over on my original website, Redleafgoldteeth, we’ve been covering everything you need know about music for a little over 2 years now (with over 220,000 views as a co-sign), so fittingly the news of a new Kendrick Lamar album had us rolling with excitement. Now, even though I’ve never been a huge fan of Kendrick personally, something about the singles stood out to me and I got really excited for the release date to arrive – thankfully the wait was relatively short. And when it finally got here, I was not let down one bit.
I won’t say too much about it here, but check out some excerpts from my comprehensive first-listen (oxymoron?) review of DAMN. below, where I tell you exactly what I liked, my favourite songs, the missteps, and even attempt to unpack a few references.
Here is how to write a music review:
You can see it in his eyes.
Kendrick Lamar is tired. He’s tired of being “humble” – he’s tired of being the good guy. The 29-year-old Compton wordsmith is tired of America – and all of the bullsh*t that comes with it. Being that dude is exhausting, whether that means being that dude that raps good, or that dude from the hood. On DAMN., Kendrick Lamar let’s this be known.
The intro story, “BLOOD.”, is great. A strong duality is exampled, and I’m not sure if triality is a real word, but if it is, this is definitely an example of it even more so. Lamar, in the same weary tone, weaves together a tale of wickedness v. weakness, and the hypocritical, withered, pointing finger of the USA.
“DNA” is possibly the hardest track on the project, with a heavy Mike Will instrumental. To be Kendrick, or Drake, or Kanye, sifting through filing cabinets of the coldest beats ever created must be an amazing feeling. The production quality of the project alone is enough to start it off at a 6/10 without having to vocalize a single lyric. “Imma make it look sexy” Lamar then exclaims on “ELEMENT.”, another standout cut/ Instagrammable caption generator…