King Kendrick


Sarah Sore, Intro Reporter

“He can paint pride and agony with the same brush.” These were the words Christopher R. Weingarten – a writer for the Rolling Stones- used to describe Kendrick Lamar’s songs/songwriting abilities. With 13 Grammys under his belt, Kendrick Lamar is unarguably one of the greatest rappers the world has ever seen. 

      On April 14, 2017, Kendrick Lamar released one of his greatest albums: DAMN. It won 11 awards in total, including the “Pulitzer Prize for Music ” and a Grammy for “Best Rap Album” in 2018. DAMN is 55 minutes long and consists of 14 songs: BLOOD., DNA., YAH., ELEMENT., FEEL., LOYALTY. (which features Rihanna), PRIDE., HUMBLE., LUST., LOVE., XXX., FEAR., GOD., and finally DUCKWORTH.  In DAMN, Kendrick Lamar often uses wordplay in songs by saying the title of another song in the album as shown in FEAR

When singing FEAR, Kendrick says:

“….I’m talkin’ fear, fear of missin’ out on you and me

I’m talkin’ fear, fear of losin’ loyalty from pride

‘Cause my DNA won’t let me involve in the light of God

I’m talkin’ fear, fear that my humbleness is gone

I’m talkin’ fear, fear that love ain’t livin’ here no more

I’m talkin’ fear, fear that it’s wickedness or weakness…”   

The line “I’m talkin’ fear, fear that it’s wickedness or weaknessis referring to the first song, BLOOD. I believe the wordplay enhances the song. The basic premise of DAMN is about Black struggle or more specifically, strife Black individuals endure in today’s world.  

     The best songs in DAMN are DNA, FEEL, PRIDE, and FEAR. DAMN is so good; there are no inferior songs on the track. When the whole album is played in one sitting, the music is a metaphorical journey. When top to bottom, the belligerence of the music is evident yet there are hints of hope, and when bottom to top, it’s the same but his story and experiences are messier.