60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #36


DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar (2017)

As with the Go-Betweens, the album from today’s featured artist is not his ‘best’. In this instance, I’m restricted by the rule about time of purchase.

It was SWC who brought my attention to Kendrick Lamar.  He put up a number of postings about the latest superstar of rap music that got me listening and thinking that there was something worth delving into.  I can’t really explain why I missed out on all that was written at the time about Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012) and To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) other than I wasn’t paying attention.  Maybe I had a sense of being too old and too white to look to pursue any further interest in the genre.

But I am very grateful to SWC.  He didn’t go into any overdrive about Kendrick Lamar other than to point out that he had a lot to say about the social, political and economic injustices facing black communities in America, and that he was doing so through what was not a new form of rap but instead was one which seemed to take things to a different level.  My interest was piqued.

I eventually bought DAMN. a few months after its release in April 2017.  The fact I was now aware of his name meant that I did pay attention to what was being written about the new record.  Kendrick Lamar seemed to be featuring everywhere, with all sorts of media outlets falling over themselves to offer up views, thoughts and opinions.    There was near universal acclaim.  I wasn’t sure if the praise was truly merited, or the result of everyone jumping on a particular bandwagon and creating massive hype.

With the album taking its place in this rundown, I think it’s fair to assume that I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t all about hype.

However, this is one of those instances where the cliche “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture” comes to mind.  I’m not really skilled enough to analyse what it is about this record that made it so special that it became the first non-jazz or classical album to earn a Pulitzer Prize for Music.  I just find it to be a compelling listen.

mp3: Kendrick Lamar – DNA.


2 thoughts on “60 ALBUMS @ 60 : #36

  1. You are welcome.

    DAMN is a glorious record from start to end. Even the bits with U2. ….

    DAMN is a glorious record apart from the bits with U2

  2. I felt similar about being too old and too white when a colleague of mine pushed a copy of To Pimp A Butterfly into my hands and almost shouted at me how wrong I was to not be paying attention. He was right. The record was stupendously good.

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