Artist of the Week: Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar surely knows how to treat his fans. After much anticipation, K-Dot has finally made his comeback in the hip-hop music industry with the release of "DAMN", the long-awaited project since his critically acclaimed effort "To Pimp a Butterfly" in 2015. Preceded by its lead single "Humble", the album was released on April 14 via Top Dawg Entertainment.
Described as "very urgent" album, the new record is a pronounced departure from the soul-jazz symphonies of Lamar’s previous album. In an interview with the New York Times' T Magazine, Lamar said he was inspired by "a little girl" when working on the album. "This is what goes on my mind as a writer," he shared, adding, "One day, I may have a little girl… She's gonna grow up. She's gonna be a child I adore, I'm gonna always love her, but she's gonna reach that one point where she's gonna experiencing things."
He continued, "At one point in time I may have a little girl who grows up and tells me about her engagements with a male figure -- things that most men don't want to hear. Learning to accept it, and not run away from it, that's how I want this album to feel." Though it doesn't look like there will be any bangers on the album, Kendrick surprises fans by enlisting A-list acts on some tracks off "DAMN".
Laced with 14 songs in total, the album boasts appearances from Rihanna and U2. RiRi contributes to a song titled "Loyalty", on which she and Lamar team up to address allegiance from a variety of angles through boastful rhymes and flows. "Loyalty", which also pulls inspiration from Ol' Dirty Bastard's 1995 single "Shimmy Shimmy Ya", is his first collaboration with the Bajan songstress.
U2, meanwhile, appears on "XXX", on which Lamar criticizes America's treatment of people of color. The four-minute track is basically two songs in one, with U2's Bono coming out in the second half of the song. Accompanied by mournful piano riff, Bono sings about the original version of America on the hook.
On the heels of releasing the album, Lamar performed at the 2017 Coachella on Sunday, April 16. The 29-year-old rapper was a headliner at the annual desert music festival along with Lady GaGa and Radiohead.
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