Grammy award-winning rapper hits the road in support of his fourth studio album
When Kendrick Lamar released his chart-topping third album To Pimp a Butterfly back in 2015, it was a verifiable indication that the whispers and mumbles of 'greatest rapper alive' surrounding the record had some truth to them. From his skills as a storyteller to his eclectic sampling of jazz, rock and pop, Lamar has succeeded in cementing his position in the rap world with his distinguishable sound and his ability to interrogate current events and complex themes with an air of honesty that is unconventional in the wider realm of hip hop.
DAMN. takes his storytelling prowess one step further, with fourteen tracks of inward-looking meditations on the personal as well as political. As he explained in an interview with Zane Lowe, 'TPaB [was] the idea of changing the world and how we approach things … DAMN. [is] the idea of: "I can't change the world until I change myself".' From the thumping piano riff of lead single 'HUMBLE' to the lyrical dexterity of 'DNA', DAMN. is a masterclass in flow, wordplay and innovation.
Lamar's latest project sees him taking on production duties for the curated film soundtrack to Black Panther, for which two singles 'All the Stars' (with SZA) and 'King's Dead' (with Future, Jay Rock and James Blake) have already been released. The soundtrack underlines his versatility as an artist and producer, as well as a discernible ambition that bodes well for the future of contemporary hip hop.
Kendrick Lamar plays the SSE Hydro, Glasgow, on Sun 11 Feb, with support from James Blake.