THERE probably won’t be a more anticipated release in 2017 than Kendrick Lamar’s fourth album Damn. To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) made the 29-year-old the most important hip-hop artist of his generation and a musical spokesman of the Black Lives Matter movement.
If Butterfly was Lamar’s political mainifesto, then Damn. is the human consequences. Lamar rages against Fox News’ criticism of his music (Blood. and Yah.) and also addresses groupies (Humble.). However, Lamar’s success has also led to more high-profile collaborators in Rhianna (Loyalty.) and Bono (XXX.). Musically there’s major differences too. While Butterfly was a genre-hopping beast of ‘70s soul, funk and hip-hop, Damn. is more straightforward, but no less cutting.