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The Oakland Post

Drew’s Review: ‘DAMN.’

Drew Hagge, Music Columnist

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When Kendrick Lamar released the song “The Heart Part 4,” one lyric stuck with fans more than any other.

“Y’all got ‘til April the 7 to get your shit together” meant only one thing: a new Kendrick album would soon be upon us.

After Lamar sent his fans into a frenzy by making them wait another week, the music populace was blessed with Lamar’s “DAMN.” on Friday, April 14.

“DAMN.” peeks behind the curtain into Lamar’s contradictory personal life, where condemnation and redemption, personal success and survivor’s remorse all butt heads against one another simultaneously.

Sonically, the album feels more aggressive and alive than any of Lamar’s previous works.

Producer Mike WiLL Made-It contributed to the bulk of the album’s aggressiveness and sense of urgency, creating the instrumentals for “HUMBLE.,” “DNA.” and “XXX.” It’s also worth noting that I could feel myself beginning to levitate during the beat change in “DNA.”

Sprinkled throughout the album are DJ drops from the legendary Kid Capri, which ought to leave fans exclaiming, “What happens on Earth stays on Earth”, to each other for years to come.

Capri’s drops help make the album feel fresh and alive even after several listens, as if a DJ were premiering the album for the first time in a nightclub.

It’s far too early to discern exactly where “DAMN.” ranks among both “To Pimp a Butterfly” and “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.” However, it is clear that these three projects are Lamar’s most perfect bodies of work and have contributed to the lexicon of all-time great albums in the genre’s history.

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