A Darn Good Album.

A Darn Good Album.

Katie Jones, Staff Reporter

“DAMN.” is Kendrick Lamar’s fourth rap album, released on Apr. 14, 2017. “DAMN.” is made of 14 tracks and talks about the sins that tempt men, racial problems in America, and Lamar’s struggle with faith. The album follows a little more than two years after the release of Lamar’s critically acclaimed achievement “To Pimp A Butterfly,” which helped make him a household name. Kendrick Lamar is known to listeners as one of the greats rappers of our era and possibly of all time, and it shows not only in his work but the reconnection he got in return. “Damn” won a Grammy for Best Rap Album and was nominated for album of the year; Lamar also became the first non-Jazz or classical artist to win the Pulitzer Prize for music.

Rap On. Lamar wins rap’s highest prize on Jan. 28, 2018. He beat out other iconic albums like Jay-Z’s “4:44”; Tyler, the Creator’s “Flower Boy,” and Migos’ “Culture.”

The first standout on this album is “PRIDE.” which Lamar raps like a slow jam compared to other songs on “Damn.” The song also includes religious tones, quoting Proverbs 11:2 and the internal struggle Lamar has with the pride of being one of the greats while keeping his actions in line with his ideals.

Another standout song is “XXX.,” which features U2 singing a chorus later in the tune. This song talks about violence’s within the black community and the economic failure presented to black people from America. The song has a great rhythm after the opening that will keep you swinging side to side and listening all the way through, and impactful words that show some of the capabilities of Lamar’s storytelling.

“DNA.” is another showstopper on the album, focusing on Lamar’s struggles of growing up poor in Compton, his family’s past of drug dealing, and the loyalty his mother taught him from a young age. Parts of the song keep a low sound but focusing on Lamar’s words before bringing in a bass rhythm.

Rhianna features on “LOYALTY.” and raps with Lamar about the importance of loyalty not only in everyday life but also in relationships. The music that accompanies the musicians on this track is a bit unusual. The bass is not as prominent as “DNA.,” but the artist’s harmony is just as enjoyable to listen to as other works on the album.

“HUMBLE.” is the most popular song of this album and has become just as popular as Kendrick’s crowing achievement “Alright,” from his previous album. The song has a now iconic piano and bass, which gets the listeners grooving right away. Along with the great backtrack, the lyrics make for an unforgettable listening experience. Kendrick raps about his humble upbringing into becoming an icon in the rap world while also throwing shade at his rivals.

The most pop-like song on the album is “LOVE.,” which is why you can still hear it on the radio almost daily. Zacari joins Lamar on this track and provides some beautiful and catchy vocals while Kendrick raps. This song revolves around Lamar’s admiration for the woman in this life and questioning what he can do to keep their relationship solidified.

All of these songs and the rest of Lamar’s work is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and many other media outlets. This collection of works have proven to be, in my opinion, his highest achievement to date. Following the release of “Damn.” Kendrick got to make the “Black Panther” Soundtrack, working with many inspiring artists and getting an Oscar nomination for “All the Stars,” with SZA.