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‘DAMN.’ disappoints

Quinn McCabe, Staff Writer

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At this point, it seems that Kendrick Lamar can do no wrong in his fans’ eyes. The hype that comes with anything he puts out is ridiculous—people automatically think everything he does is godly. It’s just that rap has taken a horrible turn towards mumbling (Lil Uzi Vert and 21 Savage, anyone?) so when someone, especially Lamar, drops music that is even the slightest bit meaningful or deep, the world goes crazy because they have been starved of real hip-hop.
“DAMN.,” Lamar’s newest album, is decent compared to his other albums. The track list is disorganized and it seems like a bunch of songs with different moods were just randomly placed together.
The single that dropped prior to the album’s release, “HUMBLE.,” has now reached number one on the charts. While that’s impressive, the song has an extremely repetitive beat and doesn’t really showcase Lamar’s poetic abilities. He sounds like someone trying to rap while running a 5K. But, because he’s Kendrick Lamar, people love it.
The most disappointing part of this album is the lack of complex beats. The songs “YAH.” and “XXX,” are overwhelmingly amateur.
Lamar employs subpar lyrical talent. In “ELEMENT.,” Lamar raps with somewhat impressive lyrics but then practically ruins the song with a trash chorus of pointless profanity. Another issue is that almost half of this album is pop, not hip-hop, with songs like “LOYALTY. (FEAT. RIHANNA)” and “LOVE. (FEAT. ZACARI).”
He dropped one of the greatest rap albums of all time, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” in 2012, which revolved around his struggles while living in Compton. But since then he has gone downhill. He released “To Pimp A Butterfly” in 2015 which was injected with jazz, soul and funk, but then disappointed fans with “Untitled Unmastered” in 2016. “DAMN.” is a step in the right direction but only because its predecessor sounded like an asthma attack.
There are a few good songs like “FEAR.,” which is eight minutes of Lamar opening up about how fear runs peoples’ lives in the hood. “FEEL.” is the deepest song on the album as Lamar slows it down and recalls times when he almost gave up because he “feel[s] like there ain’t no tomorrow.” “DNA.” is also pretty good and has a flare that is easy to bump to.
Overall, “DAMN.” is disappointing. Lamar has the potential to become the king of rap one day, but mediocrity like this will not get him the crown.

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