Kendrick Lamar recently released his fourth studio album, titled “DAMN.” This album focuses on the major vices that cause us to be a Damned Nation. The idea is taken literally when speaking about our current political issues, as well as metaphorically comparing our country as one that is similar to different nations of the Bible that were punished by God.
This album, released on April 14, provided a perspective on what it means to live a fulfilling life in the eyes of the Political and Christian Law.
Lamar, who has openly professed his Christian faith as well as his political views, continues to blur the line between secular and Christian music while sharing raw scenarios of his experience as a follower of Christ. On “Good Kid M.A.D.D. City,” mostly produced by Dr. Dre with Beats that pay homage to old school 90s West Coast Hip Hop, we follow Lamar on what seems to be the journey to salvation and repentance. Lamar’s sophomore album, “To Pimp A Butterfly,” and junior album, “Untitled Unmastered,” are both filled with jazz and funk inspired production, paying homage to African American artistry of the past, while focusing on his current struggle of being a successful African American artist.
Using a more modern Hip Hop production approach, “DAMN” focuses on issues of personal vices that lead us to our own destruction. “DAMN” directly confronts different topics like lust, love, pride, humility, and fear that play a crucial role in our personal lives, our politics, and even within our faith. The song FEAR opens with Lamar’s uncle reading from Deuteronomy 28:28 and talks about how there is a reason as to why everyone feels like we have a chip on our shoulders. The song focuses on the journey of what fear looked like during different stages of Kendrick’s life and highlights what fear looks like for him as well as many other African Americans. XXX, featuring U2, is Lamar’s political statement on what is happening today to the black community in this country and how things will continue to get worst unless we, as a united people, truly commit to looking at ourselves and making necessary changes.
DAMN is a breath of fresh air for those who seek the truth and a voice from the Hip Hop community. Time and time again, Kendrick Lamar’s storytelling through vulnerability and willingness to be honest is convincing and provides a unique perspective into the world today. DAMN challenges his fans — and the American government — to do better so that we are able to truly live life abundantly and to take responsibility for our shortcomings.