Kendrick Lamar is back at it again with his fourth album “DAMN.” This album discusses the themes of wickedness and weakness, lust and love, and it centers on the complexity of contradictions that Lamar feels. He writes about important issues such as racism, equality, media, fame and so forth. His lyrics allow readers to gain an insight on how Kendrick feels in regards to his success as well as how he attempts to deal with it through his lyrics.
There are three parts to this song, the first is that of Lamar’s mother instilling fear in him at the age of seven. The second part discusses how Lamar thinks he will die at the age of seventeen. At the age of twenty seven, Lamar speaks about the fear that he feels in regards to being a successful artist. What I like about this song is that Lamar uses storytelling and allows the readers to view different scenarios in his life where he has dealt with fear. I also like that Lamar highlights issues such as his mothers fears of being low-income and feeling like she might not be able to feed her children, how wearing colors can predetermine ones fate, and how police brutality could also end his life.
I beat yo ass, you know my patience runnin’ thin I got buku payments to make County building’s on my ass Tryna take my food stamps away
I’ll prolly die because these colors are standin’ out, I’ll prolly die from one of these bats and blue badges Body slammed on black and white paint, my bones snappin’
When I was 27, I grew accustomed to more fear Accumulated 10 times over throughout the years, At 27, my biggest fear was losin’ it all
Lamar goes through a catharsis in “FEEL.” A recurrent theme in his album is that of prayer. He cares about others and speaks the truth about what is going on in the world, but feels like no one cares about him. This could also represent the fame that he has gained as a means of being perceived as him being “saved” from Compton, but he ensures his audience that he still has to deal with other things. Lamar discusses the topic of loneliness, of being one of out a few that have made it out of Compton, having survivors guilt, and the feeling of being lonely as an artist. His style of writing is fast paced it makes one picture an image and then another one. For example, the third line of the quotes speaks about the dangers of the streets and how society uses POC to make money and how they do not care about whether or not they hurt POC families.
Ain’t nobody prayin’ for me
I feel like it’s just me Look, I feel like I can’t breathe Look, I feel like I can’t sleep
Streets is talkin’, fill in the blanks with coffins Fill up the banks with dollars Fill up the graves with fathers
Fill up the babies with bullshit Internet blogs and pulpit, fill ’em with gossip
These are just two songs, but I hope that you will read and listen to all of Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’ album lyrics. I was originally going to write about more songs but they are so complex which is another thing I also enjoy about Lamar’s lyrics. Kendrick is definitely a hip-hop lyricist and a poet who is not afraid of challenging the hip-hop scene or telling others how he feels about the world.