3 Kendrick Lamar: DAMN

The C.O.P.O Gonna Kill Me In the Street, For Sho’


Number 3 is as low as I’m legally allowed to place ‘DAMN’. Listening to it now, I’m not even sure it deserves to be this high.

Wait, wait, wait! Before the Court of Public Opinion (C.O.P.O. Do you see what I did in the title there, hmmmm, do you?) strikes me down as being shamelessly unappreciative of modern art, let me just get a few truths out in the open:

Click click click…

  • ‘DAMN’ is, by some distance, the most important. It will definitely be looked back on in the future as the ‘best’ album of 2017 simply because of its impact and significance. I’m absolutely OK with that. It is definitely 2017’s ‘Lemonade‘.
  • Musically, it isn’t even half as fantastic as ‘Lemonade’
  • ‘DAMN’ was named the best album of 2017 by Q and Rolling Stone magazine, two sides of the same Atlantic crossing coin that have in the past been almost entirely concerned with white guitar rock. It may be the first hip-hop album by a black artist to be truly recognised as legitimate artistic genius by the wider music press (or, at a push, second after Lamar’s previous album ‘To Pimp a Butterfly‘.
  • I wasn’t won over by ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’, but accepted that this was because I simply didn’t have the time to properly unwrap and study its overwhelming depth and staggering amount of content. ‘DAMN’ is far more focused, stripped down and inclusive. I accept that I am a late adopter of Kendrick.
  • ‘DAMN’ is a spectacular album in places.
  • These spectacular moments are so spectacular that they can blind you to the fact that there are definitely moments on ‘DAMN’ that are extremely forgettable, and not every song is inspired.
  • The three standout songs on the album are tracks 2, 8 and 13. That is smart ordering.
  • There is absolutely no doubt that Kendrick is- technically and scientifically- the greatest rapper in the world. There are moments on DNA especially where I honestly don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone make the human voice sound so exciting. He would still be regarded as the world’s best rapper if he had the writing skills of Lil Yachty.
  • “Let’s lay on the hood/And look at the stars/And name them whatever/You always call that one Trevor/Since a young one, you always been clever“. Kendrick would make even that sound thrilling.
  • But it just so happens that, lyrically, Kendrick is untouchable (uncrushable). He is the greatest lyricist working today, in any genre. He will be looked back on with the same reverence as Bob Dylan. I have neither the time nor talent to explain why, just check out his Genius annotations or read some of the articles about him. He is good. he is important.
  • I think the quality of his writing has blinded some people slightly to the fact that some of the songs on ‘Damn’ are not that great.
  • This is an absolutely amazing album, its importance and significance is not in the least bit overvalued. It is by a long way the biggest album of 2017.
  • It definitely isn’t the best. It’s ever so slightly overrated, but I am absolutely OK with that


Kendrick also appears on the SZA album- because he’s on literally every album released in the last 3 years- on the lovely song Doves in the Wind. On it, Kendrick claims that “If she fuck a young nigga like me, it’s over for you”, and I was preparing to make some hilarious joke about how I was happy that Kendrick considered himself ‘old’, considering he was some grizzled old sage with obviously several years on me.

Then I checked his age.

He’s younger than me. He’s younger than my youngest brother, Jonny. He would have made this gamechanging album when he was in his late 20s. It’s entirely possible that Kendrick is just getting started


Age: 30 (+0)

I mean… that is… ridiculous…

Album Number: 10 (+120) 

Album Length: 54 minutes (+0)

It’s too long. Admit it. Admit it!

Very Good Songs: 3 (+36)

Brilliant Songs: 6 (+120)

AMAZING Songs: 3 (+120)

% of Album Worthwhile: 85.7142857

Admit it!! Are you really desperate to get to DUCKWORTH or FEAR when you put the album on??


00 (alexanderlpalmer@hotmail.co.uk)

Yeah. Good. I am so tired of ‘reviewing’ album covers.


Previous Entries: 2015 No.14


Meta Critic: 95

That… is fucking astonishing… have another +700 in recognition

Importance Points: +800

Listen, I know how important it is. I just think it’s slightly overrated…




8 thoughts on “3 Kendrick Lamar: DAMN

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