DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar
And here we are again. If you recall, the last time I featured Kendrick Lamar on the Top 31 (his third album To Pimp a Butterfly was a reluctant #29 in 2015), I was conflicted. While I enjoyed listening to the music, it’s deep-seated (and appropriate) anger was too much for my liking, and pushed things too far.
And now DAMN. Every bit as angry and difficult as Butterfly, this album has done little to make Lamar’s music less confrontational to my core being. I’m convinced that most of my difficulty with it centers around my inherent white male privilege, and there’s nothing I can do about it. A white man talking about his privilege is in itself problematic, and I’m not proud of myself for leaning on that crutch, especially in this day and age.
This album is good. Lamar is clearly and infinitely talented. He’s even being tasked with producing the score to the new Black Panther movie, of which I am most excited. And I’m sure I’ll continue to listen to him, and continue to question everything about that action. Such is my lot.
Lamar has created many videos for this album. In addition to “Element,” above, you can watch the rest here:
I’m curious what you think about this album, and about him. Please share!
23. Capacity by Big Thief
24. The Tourist by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
25. CCFX EP by CCFX
26. Woodstock by Portugal. The Man
27. MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent
28. On the Spot by Hot 8 Brass Band
29. A Deeper Understanding by The War on Drugs
30. Planetarium by Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Bryce Dessner, & James McAlister
31. A Moment Apart by Odesza