He’s Baaaaaack! Kendrick Lamar returns with yet another hit with DAMN. With his enthralling wordplay, intellect, and lyrical prowess, Kendrick explores melodically God, religion, and self discovery.
Released on April 14, 2017, DAMN. features production from a variety of record producers, including Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, The Alchemist, 9th Wonder, Sounwave, Mike Will, and Ricci Riera among others. With production that leaps between genres, the tracks on DAMN are explosive, yet episodic and expansive. Ultimately, DAMN is a hip hop masterpiece full of pulsating beats, Kendrick’s trademark vibrant rhymes, and intriguing storytelling. Even the album’s cover art is thought provoking. Despite its perceived dismal appearance, Photographer Vlad Sepetov described Damn’s cover as loud and abrasive, yet energetic.
Released March 30, 2017, the Mike Will produced lead single”HUMBLE.” debuted at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and Canadian Hot 100 charts. It is his second highest charting single altogether behind his collaboration with Taylor Swift, “Bad Blood“. Selling 111,000 copies in its first week.
The song’s second single DNA, seems to be gaining popularity as well. With its flawless wordplay, “DNA”, is simply Kendrick’s energetic motto about identity”.
The song’s music video features American actor Don Cheadle. Directed by Nabil and The Little Homies, The video begins with Cheadle entering an interrogation room, where Kendrick is being held captive and attached to a lie dectector machine. After Cheadle makes fun of Kendrick, he turns the machine on where he’s overtaken with Kendrick’s life force and begins rapping the track. From here, Cheadle and Kendrick switch back and forth from rapping the song, mirroring each other’s body language until Cheadle finally succumbs to Kendrick and releases him. Afterwards, Kendrick is shown rapping along with some of his friends, including Schoolboy Q. The video concludes with an outro that’s slightly different than the album version of the song.
Within its first week of release, DAMN surpassed over 200 million streams. Spotify and Apple Music contributed to 120 million streams combined.