Lamar is born storyteller

Joke Adanri, Reporter

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Listening to Kendrick Lamar’s new album “DAMN” painfully reminded me about how much  mainstream music needs better rappers. Released just one month after Drake’s new album/playlist “More Life,” Kendrick reminds us why he’s the best and the rest of his peers need to step up.

The album overall is Kendrick reflecting on his current status as “The greatest rapper alive,” he raps about religion, his family, his fears, politics.

There is a lot more anger and remorse in his lyrics and delivery, which results in a more honest unapologetic rap.

The album intro had me shook. In “BLOOD” Kendrick sets the scene by telling us the story of helping an elderly blind woman who shoots him in return. It ends abruptly and three seconds into the next song, “DNA,” I already know it’s the best song on the album. The flow intensely picks up an the lyricism is superb.

This is Kendrick’s direct response to anyone who tried to criticize him on up speaking about racism. He responds to a news anchor stating “hip hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years” by stating “I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA.”
The three songs with collaborators all have a different flow to them, but each are unique to the album.

“LOYALTY” featuring Rihanna is good, but not really. The song is definitely meant for radio play. It is better than most songs on the radio, but it is not better than any other song on the album. The best part is that Rihanna kind of raps on this track and it’s incredible.

“LOVE” features Zacari, a newcomer in music who will definitely receive more attention with the smooth vocals he gives. The rest of the song is Kendrick doing what Drake does better than Drake could ever do.

“XXX” is constructed of 2 parts. The first half goes hard with a vibe similar to the work on his previous album “To pimp a butterfly.” The second half becomes a much jazzier U2 feature. Bono’s verse was so short and simple that no one would know it was him. Kendrick’s verse on the second half is probably the best he’s ever rapped.

From “BLOOD” to “DUCKWORTH” there’s never a misstep. “DAMN” is everything you’d expect in Kendrick album. It’s artistically, sonically, and lyrically unique compared to anything he’s ever done.

When you think about great rappers, you think about who can create exciting stories, and Kendrick Lamar is a natural born storyteller.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Lamar is born storyteller”

  1. Vish B-K on May 4th, 2017 5:39 pm

    Yes! Drake and Big Sean may have catchy tunes and radio friendly songs, but Kendrick’s lyricism and story telling cannot be matched. The story and message in DUCKWORTH. is astonishing, but my favorite song has to go to DNA. because of it’s aggressive tone and beat switch.

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Lamar is born storyteller