Kendrick Damn artwork

Kendrick Lamar

Damn. INTERSCOPE/TOP DAWG ENTERTAINMENT | CD DL LP

Compton rap storyteller’s tightly wound fourth LP; with Bono in tow.

IF FOLLOWING 2015’S OBAMA-APPROVED, sprawling jazz odyssey To Pimp A Butterfly was always going to be a hard ask, Lamar makes light of it. Replacing its organic, live feel for tauter traditional beat-making ideally suited for booming car stereos, his confidence positively gleams across dexterous modern-day parables whose fierce reflections, anxieties and grievances jab but never jar and rarely miss their targets. As soon as momentum is sparked by the invigorating DNA Lamar is in authoritative command, whether putting a personal spin on America’s woes alongside a crooning Bono (XXX), summer jamming with Rihanna (Loyalty) or spinning a masterly closing fable about rare coincidence and chance (Duckworth). A return to fundamentals closest in kin to Lamar’s 2012 debut, proving that, questionable sleeve design aside, he’s in imperious form.

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