Rap albums come a dime a dozen nowadays, and conscious rap albums are becoming more common as well, but a conscious rap album that those who aren’t avid rap listeners can enjoy is very rare. Only a few come to mind when discussing the topic Mos Def’s Black On Both Sides, The Roots’ Game Theory, Common’s One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, and J. Cole’s For Your Eyes Only are some of top contenders when it comes to the best conscious rap albums. One thing that all of these albums share with each other, including DAMN., is that they create a voice for the culture of hip-hop and the feelings of those who enjoy the music.
Lamar’s most recent release has already created big buzz in the music industry, and it has produced a sound that is as raw and unfiltered as rap was intended to be. Tracks like FEAR, ELEMENT, and DNA give fans fierce rhymes with stunning lyrics that make the listener process and digest his words. Each track successfully introduces a theme that Lamar himself can relate to and wants to share with his fans. The feelings of urgency and necessity tie into his lyrics, calling his fans to take note of the world around them and begin to comprehend what is important.
Songs like LOVE, LOYALTY, and PRIDE take a less aggressive approach, but the general feelings of being aware of the world around them are still very prevalent. Many songs off the album take the listener into Kendrick’s mind, and we are allowed to revel in his creativity.
The album as a whole shows that conscious rap is alive and well; it is a sound that many can relate to and take important lessons from the words of Kendrick.
Check out the video for DNA below: