The day has finally come: Kendrick Lamar released DAMN. on Friday, April 14, and I have to say, I'm more than impressed with it. Initially expected on April 7, I was completely annoyed when I found out the album would be pushed back another week. But, in true Lamar fashion, the Compton rapper did not disappoint with this one. Not to mention, all of the rumors of Lamar releasing a second album on Sunday has turned my fandom up a notch. As with any K. Dot project, I've adored listening DAMN. in the order that he's laid out for us, but I definitely have my favorites. And since it's harder than ever to keep my opinions on this piece of work to myself, I've ranked Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. tracklist — from my least faves to the ones I can't stop playing over and over.
For the record, it's literally been a few hours since the project was released. And with each listen, my ranking seems to change. There are, however, songs that are so undeniably good that they have "top 5" written all over them. Those particular tracks have managed to keep their slots, no matter how many times I redo the list. And trust me, I've "redone" this list more times than I'd like to admit. But, a Kendrick Lamar album will do that to you.
I wish I could've been in the room when Kendrick Lamar decided on his final track listing. If I were, this one would've never seen the light of day.
"LOYALTY." isn't terrible. It's just a little too mainstream for my palette. You'll definitely be hearing this one on the radio. And it will annoy you.
It's a very different sound for Lamar, but it's not bad. But, as an O.G. fan, I can't find it within me to give "LOVE." any love.
I get lost in "YAH." And I don't know if it's a good or bad thing just yet. It's a nice and smooth track — something you'd listen to in the summertime with the windows rolled down.
He's brilliant, I tell you! "XXX" delivers nothing but heat from beginning to end.
He's not one to bite his tongue, and his vulnerability as an artist is what keeps many fans coming back for more. If it were possible for Lamar to let his guard down any more than what he already has, "FEEL." did just that.
I live for those moments when K. Dot lets us into his warped mind.
Since we're counting the interlude in the ranking, I'm going to place smack dab in the middle. The FOX News sample and the powerful storytelling throughout set the tone for the entire project. And I'm here for it.
The March 30 release is still garnering a ton of attention. And I. Can't. Stop. Listening. To. This. Song.
Lamar breaks down what happens when Venus is in retrograde all too well.
You asked for a banger, and Kung Fu Kenny gave you one. Well, a few... But "Element" is for those who live for dope storytelling, a hot beat, and a new catchphrase.
The fact that you can decode Lamar's first few bars by listening to it in reverse alone is mind blowing. And the story within is way too familiar. He takes his creativity to a whole new level with "FEAR."
It's currently on repeat. Need I say more?
If you listened to the album, you know that K. Dot's storytelling is unmatched in this track. And his revelation at the end brought tears to my eyes.
This was honestly the hardest thing I've ever had to do since childbirth. DAMN. is such a great body of work. I'm sure that my ranking will switch up as I continue to replay this masterpiece, but for now, this is how I'm feeling.