Following King Kendrick’s highly-anticipated DAMN.release earlier today, it could have been expected that the internet was just waiting to explode and offer its ever-hilarious, yet surprisingly accurate opinion on the rapper’s latest studio album.
For some reason, the internet seems to be riddled with rumors, jokes and remarks pertaining to a potential follow up album, but for the time being, we can pin such noise on hearsay and continue enjoying what we now have. What we do know however, is that DAMN.‘s reception across the board is astonishingly positive, with very little negativity being voiced, outside of the aforementioned skepticism which seems to debate whether or not we are getting too excited over something that might be a mere warm-up for another project.
Enjoy our selection of some of the internet’s best user-generated comments below, and be sure to stream the full version of DAMN. right here.
Tom Breihan, Stereogum
It’s hard to imagine an album more ambitious than that one[To Pimp Butterfly], and Kendrick hasn’t tried to make one. Instead, he’s just made a motherfucking rap album. He’s used DAMN. to show that he is the best rapper we have right now.
Luke Morgan Britton, NME
‘XXX.’ does the pretty much unimaginable in producing a Kendrick/U2 collaboration that isn’t completely terrible. Dare we say it: it’s actually pretty good. There’s no guitar solos courtesy of The Edge, instead Bono sings about America and drum and bass (sounding like swing-era Robbie) as the song descends into smooth lounge-jazz ruminating about the loss of the American dream.
Sheldon Pearce, Pitchfork
More notably, lead single “HUMBLE.” takes on new meaning within the album. As a standalone cut, it seems like an admonishment of lessers from the rightful king. But here there is a clear yin-yang relationship between the song and the track that precedes it, “PRIDE.” The latter is standoffish and holier than thou, weighing a hypothetical perfect world against the one we’ve got.
Elias Leight, Mosi Reeves, Christina Lee, Rolling Stone
The simple, vicious loop at the center of “DNA” sets the musical tone for Damn. – a marked contrast with the elaborate, shape-shifting instrumentals that were common on To Pimp a Butterfly. Fox News appears again as a punching bag.
Alexis Petridis, The Guardian
As if to underline it, DAMN. arrives bearing an old-fashioned backwards message, of the kind seldom heard since the mid-80s furore about hidden calls to satanism and suicide on heavy rock albums. Played backwards, a track called “FEAR.” finds Lamar bemoaning “the pain in my heart carrying the burden for the struggle.
Jude Brewer, Cultured Vultures
The track listing features two of the Seven Deadly Sins from Christian mythology (PRIDE. and LUST.), but one could argue that all seven sins are present. BLOOD. is wrath, and as for envy, sloth, gluttony, or greed, well, they’re sort of peppered all throughout the album. But that’s difficult to avoid when you’re coming off a Grammy, a platinum-selling record, and overwhelming adoration from fans and critics.
Yoh on DNA., DJ Booth
THIS BEAT IS FUCKING MONSTROUS. Holy shit, this album just took the most sudden twist. I haven’t been this shocked since the deer collided with the car at the beginning of Get Out. I must focus. This is thumping. More Kendrick over trap beats, please.
Maeve McDermott on PRIDE., USA Today
This isn’t the album’s most memorable track, but its enjoyable mix of influences sees Lamar borrowing the warped guitars and pitch-shifted vocals from Frank Ocean’s sonic toolbox, before attempting his best Andre 3000 falsetto on the chorus.
Christopher Hooton on PRIDE., The Independent
Huh. Musically this is like an indie track – washed out, major chord, Mac Demarco-style guitar smiling over a simple drum beat.