On Good Friday (April 14), Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar released DAMN., his fourth studio album. The Compton rapper didn’t disappoint – first week sales were about 603,000 – exceeding expectations and surpassing his main competitor Drake. Following the release, Jordan from Dead End Hip Hop (@xobrodieszn) and I decided to discuss our opinions about everything K-Dot and collaborate for a mini review.
What is your least favorite track? Why?
Jordan: I really can’t say I have a least favorite, I love all of the songs, they’re all fire to me.
Jessika: None of them really stick out to me in that way but if I had to pick I’d choose GOD.
Favorite track? Why?
Jordan: XXX featuring U2, because this song has 3 different beats. It starts off lowkey and trap flavored, and then it kicks up into this NWA style song, it’s absolutely maniacal, it makes me feel like I can punch an eagle outta the sky, and then it goes into a lowkey and introspective song I love it so much.
Jessika: DNA because of the beat changes and the intensity of the song. The video is ass though.
Are you surprised by the sound?
Jordan: I can’t say I’m surprised because a Kendrick album is never the same sound over and over, and he had never done an album with this much trap/radio influence. When I saw Mike Will Made It on the production credits i knew we’d get a few bangers
Jessika: A little bit. From hearing the first single I could tell the album would sound how it did. I love the way Kendrick tells stories in his music and his flow on this album is effortless.
Best guest feature on the album?
Jordan: Rihanna, and something was telling me that she may or may not take away from the track, so I was a little worried, but she did her thing and her features are always good I should’ve never doubted her.
Jessika: Having Rihanna on the album was a nice touch. I don’t know why we haven’t heard them on a song together before but they came together beautifully.
Has Kendrick transcended the genre?
Jordan: EASILY. Kendrick Lamar has reached that rare space and stratosphere where he feels pop/radio without having to sacrifice his true hip hop west coast roots and being a lyricist.
Jessika: Of course. I haven’t been disappointed by an album of his yet.
Jordan: I think it’s way too early to place this album anywhere but I will say this, TPAB is his best.
Jessika: Section.80, GKMC, DAMN, TPAB (worst to best)
Is he the best rapper of the generation?
Jessika: He’s the best rapper right now. The Kendrick/Drake debate everyone is having lately is pointless because I don’t think Kendrick or anyone in TDE can really compared to others. Kendrick is obviously a way better rapper than Drake, it’s just that Drake seems to be more popular.
If you could compare him to any rapper from back in the day, who would it be?
Jordan: I don’t think he compares to anyone, Kendrick Lamar has carved out his own lane for hip-hop, back in the day there were the Nas comparisons and then there were Tupac comparisons but this guy is just different.
Jessika: Honestly can’t think of anyone.
Where could Kendrick possibly go from here?
Jordan: Who knows…who knows. Every time I don’t think he can go further he finds a way to reach new heights, but as a fan of him and a man who cares about the culture I’m excited to see.
Jessika: No idea but I’m definitely looking forward to hearing the greatness.