Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN: A Classic Example of Music Mastery

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN: A Classic Example of Music Mastery

Modern populations face complex challenges that compromise their performance and quality of life in different ways. Through their creative works, artists explore the problems and suggest sustainable intervention measures that can be used to address them effectively. Thus, in addition to entertaining and informing, music educates the society about alternatives that can be pursued to deal with the emergent as well as existent problems. In order to have a positive impact on the target audience, it is imperative for artists to package the messages effectively. One of the artists whose works have had a significant effect on the American perceptions, decisions, and value system is Kendrick Lamar. His latest album DAMN is particularly informative and entertaining and explores a wide range of social issues. The album is a true reflection of America’s compelling urge to address the problems that the world is experiencing. Kendrick presents the message creatively through his fourteen musical hits. Undoubtedly, he is a talented rapper who seizes this opportunity to showcase his skills and communicate important messages to the public. On a scale of one to five, the album can be rated at four.

As indicated earlier, the album contains fourteen tracks with first one being the shortest. BLOOD introduces the audience to the underlying theme of the album. This is followed by DNA that explores the racist treatment that Blacks are exposed to by the American society. The third track YAH has a religious connotation and revolves around the notion of duality of life. According to the message contained herein, humans have inner conflicts that they struggle with and which have diverse implications on their wellbeing. This hit is followed by ELEMENT whose message reflects the life of the artist and his experiences and struggles. He lashes out at his rivals and reminds them of his talents and ability. FEEL explores the principle of duality of life and its advantages and disadvantages. In LOYALTY, Lamar features Rihanna and centers on his life experiences. This is followed by PRIDE that presents the artist’s best qualities. Through this song, he recognizes that he is one of the leading rappers in the industry because he has a perfect mind. In HUMBLE, Lamar puts down modern popular culture and his rivals aggressively. In LUST, Lamar reminds the audience to make every activity that they engage in to count while in LOVE, he tells them about obsession and infatuation that he feels for a particular girl. In this, Cooper (2017) indicates that he emphasizes on the importance of love. XXX reflects America’s big picture with regards to the values and philosophy that the population ascribes to and the widespread violence. FEAR is the longest track that addresses the aspect of anxiety. GOD has a weighty message that cites the importance of inner peace. Finally, DUCKWORTH recounts the strange relationship that the artist had with his father and how this made him to cope with the social problems including violence.

The rapper’s previous albums titled GOOD KID and MAAD CITYTo PIMP A BUTTERFLY were both conscious and thought provoking. They addressed sensitive themes including racism and violence towards Black Americans.DAMN continues to expand his creativity and through the songs, he explores social and political injustices through self- reflective messages. He expands the themes of the previous productions and improves on the quality of his presentation.

Notably, the two songs that are likeable include DNA and HUMBLE. In DNA, Kendrick recounts his past experiences and humble beginnings. Seemingly, he feels humbled by his own success. He is proud of his past and is not afraid of talking about it. He insists that loyalty and royalty are part of his being. Put differently, he knew that he was destined for success and greatness. The song brings out his true personality and presents him as an individual who stands up for the values of the American society. HUMBLE’s visuals and lyrics are incredible. The rapper takes the audience through his mind and accompanies the journey with a classic beat. He advises the listeners to humble themselves and embrace integrity.

Arguably, the worst songs in this album are YAHand ELEMENT. In YAH, the message revolves around religion but the rapper does not bring out the theme clearly. In addition, its beat is not refined and as such, it compromises effective delivery of the message. In ELEMENT, Kendrick attacks his rivals and is overly boastful. The theme of the song is inconsistent with the value of the American society. Arguably, it steers animosity amongst listeners.

In conclusion, artists play an instrumental role in highlighting social issues. Through music they inform, educate, and entertain the public about the nature, complexity, and implications of the problems. The messages that they relay trigger public debates and inform decision making at different levels. Through DAMN, Kendrick explores social injustices that have adverse effects on the wellbeing of Black Americans. The themes are relevant and underscore the efforts that the American society is making in resolving the social issue. Admittedly, racism is a social ill that has adverse effects on the quality of life of the Black Americans. As indicated earlier, he develops these themes from his previous albums. The fact that he improves on the musical attributes makes the tracks relevant in the contemporary setting. Most importantly, he presents the interrelated themes harmonically. This goes a long way in enhancing understanding and triggering response from the public as well as relevant stakeholders.

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