Kendrick Lamar's 'DAMN.' Is Introspective And Unforgiving
opens with Kendrick Lamar narrating his own shooting death at the hands of a blind assailant.
This seems to be a tradition amongst Los Angeles rappers: Lamar's most obvious predecessor, Ice Cube, rapped about dying at least three times on his first two albums.
Lamar isn't a Christian rapper in the conventional sense — his songs aren't in explicit exaltation of His glory — and though DAMN.
, the soulful spareness works well with the song's themes and Lamar's understated performance.
Lamar's wordplay has always been intricate, but he's finding new ways to push its limits: The way he super-stacks rhyming couplets rivals Eminem in his prime, while his constant modulation of voice and pacing allows him to play different characters within a single song.