Kendrick Lamar - 'DAMN.'

8/10

As is the custom these days, album releases are getting less and less promo time behind them. When April began, we had no idea a new Kendrick Lamar album was on the way, and now here we are with it all in our laps. Yet despite this very sudden release, Lamar has never really left our minds since releasing his incredible 2015 album 'To Pimp A Butterfly'. But if you are beginning to think that was beginning of a new Kendrick, 'DAMN.' will make you see that he has moved on once again.

While 'To Pimp A Butterfly' was no doubt an incredible achievement in both political commentary and musical influence, it was very much a reactionary record to the harrowing police brutality that plagued America in the months previous. Now Lamar has returned to being a more contemporary sounding artist, but not without holding on to his biting social awareness. 'DAMN.' manages to take the formative sounds of Kendrick, mainly from his seminal 'good kid, m.A.A.d city' record, and evolve them into something even more challenging for the listener.

Kendrick Lamar has always thought of himself as the thinking-man's rapper, and this new record displays that brilliantly. With more emphasis on the state of today's culture, with nods to body consciousness, the news media, and religious beliefs throughout, this new album proves that he still has plenty to say, all within a masterfully produced record.

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