Review #175: DAMN., Kendrick Lamar

Karla Clifton
2 min readSep 20, 2021

#175: DAMN., Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar albums make me feel so unqualified to be writing these reviews. I love listening to his stuff! But I feel a little bit like I’m trying to analyze a William Faulkner novel here. “I don’t know, man! There was sound, there was fury, there was some other stuff, too. I loved it, isn’t that enough for you?”

I can pretty much fake a basic understanding of every album I’m hearing, but I’m not even gonna pretend to be smart enough to “get” Kendrick Lamar. I’m just gonna vibe to it.

We’ve already seen two Kendrick albums, which is kind of crazy when you think about the fact that this is the album that nabbed him the Pulitzer Prize for Music (the first rap artist to do so, by the way). Shouldn’t this one be the highest?

Well, I actually think To Pimp A Butterfly, #19 is my personal favorite of his, so I don’t take issue with it.


“BLOOD.” — As always, Kendrick Lamar is confrontational in all the right ways. This sample is from Fox News’ show The Five, where they criticize one of his performances. That’s so brilliant and hysterical.

“DNA.” Kendrick Lamar is on the right track/Baby, he was born this way!

“YAH.” — He has never sounded more like Lil Wayne.

“ELEMENT.” — He said the name of the album!

“FEEL.” — Awwww. I’ll pray for you, Kendrick Lamar!

“LOYALTY. FEAT. RIHANNA.” — I appreciate his commitment to the caps lock & punctuation schtick. Also hooray, it’s Rihanna!

“PRIDE.” Love’s gonna get you killed/But pride’s gonna be the death of you.

“HUMBLE.” — This is it, this is the hit! Bitch, sit down! Be humble!

“LOVE. FEAT. ZACARI.” — Idk who Zacari is but what a voice!

“XXX. FEAT. U2.” U2? Did you say U2?? Is that Bono’s voice, making an itty bitty appearance at the very end of this very insane track?

“FEAR.” — He said the name of the album again!

“GOD.” — Am I crazy or does this sound just like a less dark version of “***Flawless”?

“DUCKWORTH.” — God, the music on all this sounds so good! This song specifically feels a bit like a FrankenSong, but in the best, most unexpected way possible.


“LUST.” — Gross!


Kendrick is nearly my favorite rapper, so I don’t have much to add in the way of criticism.

Review #174: The Harder They Come, Jimmy Cliff & Various Artists

Review #176: Fear of a Black Planet, Public Enemy