In less than 48 hours, Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. will drop. We at SpeedontheBeat.com (read: me, Drizzle, and anyone else who contributes) are most likely somewhere between optimistic and rabid fanboy status for this project. But, there are some things we (read: I) want from this project. Here are the top five.
5. An eclectic mix of energies
From the U2 feature to the production styles, we're already slated to get an album unlike most rap albums. While it follows the typical K Dot style of keeping features to a bare minimum, the "hard rap meets Memphis" stylings are sure to turn some heads. The thing I want from the project is this: I want those hard raps, but I want a Kendrick Lamar who's willing to take risks that even the most devout fanboy would gasp over. I want "HUMBLE." to be the start of some sort of sonic revolution.
We all know that Kendrick, from album to album, never keeps the same style (see the evolution between GKMC and TPAB for an example). But, for this album to be as "classic" as some are already proclaiming it, we're gonna need everything including the kitchen sink thrown into this one (and done so in a way that doesn't feel forced).
4. Surprise guest spots
Look at the production notes on GKMC and you'll see a bevy of folks who didn't get "proper" credits on the album. We know that Kendrick always has tricks up his sleeve in this regard, but we're going to, again, need spots from people you'd never expect. Look at TPAB. The man managed to get George Clinton on a track for an album that was a culmination of Kendrick's admiration for those who came before him (especially Tupac).
Judging from "The Heart Part IV," Kendrick is pissed at the world for trying to shit on him. Appropriately so, since the man has put out classic albums and people still want to gravitate towards foolishness. Now, I'm not saying that Kendrick is the greatest rapper of all-time bar none (there are still some that'll give him a run for his money, like Lupe Fiasco). But, it's time for the HUMBLE-r to humble some folks...again.
When "The Heart Part IV" dropped, my face was screwed the whole time listening to it like "damn, this man just went in." We're gonna need more of that on this project. Now, I damn sure don't want Kendrick to spend an album giving the finger to detractors, haters, and people who try to discredit him. That'd be a bitter-ass album. Instead, I just want more barbs at wackness. It's good for "the culture" and all that writer-y bullshit people spout when they're trying to sound smart.
2. Ignorant conscious rap
What I mean by "ignorant conscious rap" is this: I don't want him to recycle GKMC, but I want him to continue to give us "reality-based" bars that still feel as absurdly gritty as some of the "real" rap we hear out here. Essentially, dumbing it down without really dumbing it down. In other words, do kind of like Lupe did on DROGAS Light, but less polarizing. We're getting tastes of that from "HUMBLE." and other inklings about the project. It's slated to be an album that's ignorant in its approach, but elevating in its message to reach more heads' mental. Because of this, overall, I'm excited to hear Kendrick's evolution.
1. I just want Kendrick to be himself
That's not hard considering he's an open book on a lot of things in his life. I feel that, if he maintains everything that's made him one of the greats thus far, evolves, but still remains true to himself, DAMN. will be an album that goes hard sonically but also mentally. With production from a wide spectrum of folks, I feel we're going to get that.
Will DAMN. surpass GKMC or TPAB? We'll find out. But, even if it doesn't, Kendrick Lamar hasn't made a wack project yet (unless you count his K Dot days when he was a Lil' Lil' Wayne, but even those were cool to me). So, we're surely going to get something that'll impact the world. I'm, for one, excited, to see just how DAMN. will impact the world, hip-hop and otherwise.
What do you want from DAMN.? Feel free to comment below or hit me up on Twitter