By Victor Ochieng
“DAMN” comes out as the smallest album so far released by Hip Hop rapper Kendrick Lamar, but it could also be his biggest ever release if the response towards its content and launch is anything to go by. For those who don’t know, Lamar isn’t a gospel rapper despite talking about God and often mentioning God in his lyrics.
In his DAMN’s intro song, BLOOD, the rapper portrays a sordid picture of life and death and how the latter brings a sudden end to the former; two differing events that mark the beginning and end of our lives.
He uses close to one minute of the first part of the song to point out his “killing” by FOX News, a depiction of when FOX tried to twist his “Alright” lyrics after his 2015 BET Awards.
Even though the lyrics were warped by the outlet so that some people got agitated, the public came to learn that the song was more inspirational and motivational than hate filled. The song tackled hate head-on and gave hope to the Black community.
The dawn of DAMN is clearly a new dispensation for the rapper. His timing is equally befitting. He released the album on Good Friday, a time associated with the death of Jesus Christ, and the song painted his own killing; being killed when all he was doing through his song was to give hope to the hopeless.
The newly released album goes beyond mere entertainment; it touches listeners both emotionally and spiritually and is a no-nonsense piece that digs into contemporary challenges faced by the Black community, including police brutality and racism. Lamar, 29, is clearly appreciating his God-given talent and is using it to advocate for social justice, peace and reforms, particularly in the oppressed and under-served communities.
In an article posted on bravity.com, 26-year-old Kyle Walcott says the album motivates him and works to make him a better Christian.
“DAMN distinguishes itself from the norm by using each track as a means to educate listeners about the most crucial lessons God wishes to teach us through his word as well as through societal experience,” says Walcott. “As Kendrick places great intention on fostering faith, he simultaneously weaves in the wish that our generation will step up to be the activists and martyrs that are needed.”
In the second song of the album, Lamar celebrates the African-American heritage and condemns entities whose sole purpose is to undermine the Black culture as a result of their personal ignorance, systematic cultural appropriation and malicious efforts to oppress prosperity in the black community.