kendrick lamar damn cover

Top Dawg emcee Kendrick Lamar’s third – or fourth, depending on how you count it – studio album, DAMN., has officially arrived.

Unintentionally, Kendrick Lamar’s third studio album, DAMN., actually leaked on the internets ahead of its release at 10:30 PM EST. Many eager ears got to sample the Compton emcee’s latest ahead of schedule, but others opted to be patient and wait for its actual drop. Now, DAMN. is out, and awaits the verdicts of critics and fans alike.

Fourteen tracks in length, DAMN. seems to merge elements of every project that’s come before it – the narrative style of Section.80 exists on the intro cut “BLOOD.” Kendrick wears his city proudly the same way he did on good kid on early standout cut “ELEMENT” (on which Dot proclaims, “I don’t do it for the ‘Gram, I do it for Compton!”); and brings back the emotional storytelling that defined “Sing About Me” on “FEAR.” “LUST.” and “PRIDE.,” meanwhile, dip into the jazz and funk-soul elements that defined To Pimp A Butterfly. 

But for folks who hungered for more of Kendrick the rapper vs. Kendrick the “artist,” they do get most of that on DAMN. Lead single “HUMBLE.” rests firmly in the middle, so it neither interrupts the flow of the album nor acts a slightly weird end placement. Expect the Rihanna-assisted “LOYALTY.” – which hides a heavy message within a catchy tune – to get all of the burn this summer… and its “Damn, that p*ssy good – it’s to die for” punchline to pop up on Instagram in the next week or so.

We’ll leave it to you to debate in the comments what your favorite tracks are and whether this is the Kendrick people wanted (“DNA,” we’re hearing, is an early fan favorite). For now, stream Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN LP for yourself down below, by way of Apple Music. The album will be out on digital formats by midnight, and can be copped off  iTunes here.