My Takeaways from "DAMN." by Kendrick Lamar
Alright, it has been over a week since "DAMN." dropped, so I feel fully equipped to publish this now. For all the K.Dot fans out there, I vibe with you! Let's make this one a classic. If not for the fact that this is literally the ONLY thing I have been listening to since it was released, let me tell you why else I love this man's art and this album.
- It tells a story. Now I know..I know..most albums do, but this one...it tells a multi-dimensional, culturally rich, politically accurate, past/present/futuristic story. Kendrick makes the kind of music that speaks to his testimony growing up, but can also be shaped to your very own.
- Exhibit A) Track 12. FEAR - what does this song say to you? To me, it was growing up with fear of the unknown. It was being submersed in the what-ifs of what could happen should I turn the wrong corner. I didn't grow up in the hood, but when I made it on my own, I had to experience it. To me, it's...here's what I always feared...now in what form can I shape that fear to? Art? Poetry? Herbal Relief?
- Exhibit B) The spoken word in the background. Listen to that shit and pay attention. Does he paint out his own death? Does he paint it using the colors of those who in fact, have, fallen victim to everything that could have killed them?
- It speaks to millennials in relationships, friendships and "situationships" who blur the line between love or lust. (I even wrote about this exact blur a few posts back-here.)
- Exhibit C) Tracks 9 & 10. LUST and LOVE (FEAT. ZACARI) - his words ever so eloquently tell the story of what is going through almost all of our heads when we fall in lust and yearn for love. "Am I asking too much?"
- Exhibit D) Track 6. LOYALTY (FEAT RIHANNA) - "it's a secret society, all ask is trust, all we got is us". These lines, to me, are more than just loyalty between two people, but loyalty for the love of your passion. Loyalty to our people, loyalty to our struggles and our outlets for expressing it all.
- We learn more of him in this album. We FEEL him, submerge in his ELEMENT and HUMBLE tone....and then there are the visuals. Watch HUMBLE again, I had to watch it a good 10-15 times before I really saw it all. Then watch DNA....then watch DNA w/ our friend Mary, it's great. He's talking to "the man" who lost his way.
- Track 2. DNA - I meannnn...is it okay if we all write these lyrics on the summary section of our resumes for our next job interview?? The next time someone asks me what I love about being black? I'm just throwing this on repeat. "I got loyalty, got royalty inside my DNA." "I got power, poison, pain and joy inside my DNA" "I got realness, I just kill shit, cuz it's inside my DNA"
- The title in itself is layered. Why did he call the album "DAMN."? Until I sit down in a room with him and ask that, no article, theory or social media post can answer that....but...think about it. DAMN :
They're all quite fitting, don't you think?
I'm not finished with this yet...but it's nearing midnight and got-DAMN that 9-5 tomorrow requires sleep. Off to catch some Zzz's - BRB.