THAmusic: Kendrick Lamar's DAMN.
Updated: Feb 24
This is not a review of a great piece of work. Kendrick Lamar’s album, 'DAMN.' has already proven itself.
For the third week in a row, Kendrick's album has every song on the Billboard charts. Not to mention, Interscope Records, Kendrick’s record label, has tweeted that the album has achieved platinum status, meaning that it has already moved 1 million equivalent units in less than a month. This is only a confirmation of what you feel when you hear it. We are not here to talk good and bad, left or right, or ups and downs. At this point, Kendrick is casually thrown in the greatest who has ever done it. It does not matter if the conversation starts at the lunch table or if you are bumping shoulders in the hallways at work; if you are a fan of Hip-Hop this topic will pop up.
So now that we have established that 'DAMN.' is a great album, let us talk about something
that is not talked about often, replay value. How hot will this CD be the first round? Will a person in 15 years from now listen to the album for the first time and feel as moved like we are now?
To be honest, 'DAMN.' is hot, and will probably stay insanely hot for the next few months. Then, it will
cool down to regular hot levels. Most of the B-side tracks are extraordinarily good. The singles
bring you in and the CD keeps you around with relevant topics, lyrics, and great production. In a recent interview with GQ, Kendrick's producer, Soundwave said, "Every producer who was on this project literally had to sleep in the studio. We were not leaving until this was a perfect sound to us.” With the album trending the way it is, it seems like the sacrifice of sleeping on studio couches and sleeping bags paid off.
Now, let us set the scene and take a moment to fast forward to the year 2032 where someone is picking up Kendrick's 'DAMN.' album for the first time. In comparison, would they get the same feeling us Millennials did when we played Nas' 'Illmatic' (1994) album for the first time? Well, I am here to say, "Yes, somewhat."
The things that make a CD become a classic throughout time is personal perspective and hype.
Hype is an important factor in pushing a CD to legendary status. A great body of work still needs hype to transcend the generations. While people 15 years from now will vibe to this and most likely love it, the hype is still on 'Good Kid' and 'M.A.A.D City'. So, it is hard to top the hype of your first major label release. It can be done, but for the person discovering Kendrick’s discography in 15 years, this will be a pleasant surprise. Going off of the hype alone, this CD gets 2.5 out of 5 compared to 'Illmatic'. 'DAMN.' will be talked about, but it may not be the CD people tell you to play if you never heard of Kendrick Lamar. Regardless of what the future holds, you will definitely hear about this project for months to come.
Do you think Kendrick Lamar's album will have high a replay value in 15-20 years? Let us know what you think in the comments below.