DAMN is right.
With only two weeks notice, King Kendrick is back with another studio album and he’s not messing around. He’s the best and he is not afraid to tell you or anyone else.
This isn’t that hot of a take but the cinematic quality of Kendrick’s in unparalleled by any rapper, or pretty much any artist, at the moment. He makes movies, not albums. GKMC and To Pimp A Butterfly were albums that took you to a place, whether familiar or unfamiliar, and made you feel like you were next to him through these experiences and DAMN. continues that trend.
What may be a hot take is that DAMN. is his most well-rounded album in terms of sonics.
Let me explain:
Whereas To Pimp A Butterfly had a cohesive jazz-influenced sound, DAMN. has a wide array of sounds. Production from modern hitmakers Mike Will Made It and DJ Dahi and legends like The Alchemist and 9th Wonder give the album a plethora of different textures, decades, and drum patterns. DNA and ELEMENT are reflective of the modern trap sonic aesthetic whereas FEAR. and DUCKWORTH. are indicative of a classic rap story-telling model with a coordinating 90s-sounding beat (produced by the aforementioned legends).
The debate on whether Kendrick is the best rapper of this generation or even of all time will continue to rage on for the foreseeable future but this album could prove to be the tipping point.