A Deep Dive into DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar's Darkest Opus

Published 2023-11-03
In 2017, Kendrick Lamar released his 4th studio album, DAMN. However nobody knew that what Kendrick had for us, was his darkest project to date.

Filled with strange religious concepts and mysterious structures hidden within the tracklist, DAMN tells the twisted journey of a man who’s cursed, without really knowing why. As he retrospects on his past, his rap career and his many sins, he realizes all of this ties back to one terrifying thought: being damned to hell.

This album is a damn puzzle (no pun intended), there’s no other way of putting it, and in this video you’re gonna learn all about it.

Wickedness or Weakness?
You decide...

Follow me on:
Twitter: @TennisThom
Instagram: @thetennisthom
Twitch: twitch.tv/tennisthom
Bandcamp: kendlan.bandcamp.com/

Subscribe for a delicious Cheez-it (mailed to your front door of course)

0:00 INTRO.
2:30 BLOOD.
6:26 DNA.
9:41 YAH.
13:38 ELEMENT.
15:41 FEEL.
18:46 LOYALTY.
20:38 PRIDE.
24:08 HUMBLE.
25:58 LUST.
28:59 LOVE.
31:08 XXX.
34:46 FEAR.
39:37 GOD.
50:36 THE TWIST.

All Comments (21)
  • @TennisThom
    Thank you sooo much for the kind words on the video and most importantly, 10K SUBS!!! ❤ It really means the world to me :) Btw, what artists would you like to see next on the channel? 🤔
  • @lwyerup
    as a reminder: there are genuinely people out there that think Drake is better than this
  • @McFlyIncognito
    kendrick is the only dude where you need an 1 hour explanation for his album
  • @eddienicx
    DAMN. being your first rap album is setting a very high bar for your rap taste
  • @theKaizen1
    we need mr morale and big steppers version
  • @Wositap333
    I feel like the blind lady was a reference to weakness or wickedness, lemme explain. He helped the lady without knowing what would happend trusting and showing her weakness WHICH GOT HIM KILLED. But if he didnt helped her he would be wicked, or "a bad person" but not get killed. Showing how unfair the world it's, bad people have it all, they do whatever they want and it comes out however they want. While good people are usally punishes or suffer too much in their life.
  • @Shiny_mewtwo4
    He’s feeling cursed and then his newest album he mentions the generational curse being broken. Kendrick is an absolute genius and the best rapper alive
  • @user-iw6eb2nv4d
    Respect for Kendrick's father! He found a smart move that changed whole history
  • Duuuuuude, this is one of the best album breakdowns I’ve ever seen. Also the animations were on point. Definitively following you and hope you can do more of Kendrick in the future!
  • @nick_hunter00
    the amount of symbolism and theme, the quality of this album… its one of the greatest albums of all time
  • @MonkeMusicMan
    In PRIDE, he says “I wasn’t taught to share, BUT care.” Maybe, he’s saying that he cares, but nobody else does. Maybe that other life is where people DO care.
  • @Stooks22
    One thing I'd like to add! In blood, you can see the old blind lady as Lady Justice. You can see the interaction as a court case or police brutality. With blood leading off, you can see Lady Justice as a corrupt cop, playing as judge, jurry, and executioner. The story of a young black man walking down the street and being shot by a cop for no reason. This could act as a metaphor for the things Kendrick may have heard growing up. To cope with this idea, he begins to believe that's the way of life for black people in America. This manifests in the next track DNA, with him ending "sex money murder in our DNA". This sets Kendrick up to believe murder is part of who he is, and there isn't anything he can do about it, and hell just die in a gun fight regardless. Queue Yah next and it plays along with idea 'i got so many theories and suspicions' On the flip side of things, ending with blood, you can see a corrupt, wealth, rapper Kendrick in a court battle of sorts. One that he ultimately loses and is sentenced to death. The gunshots even works as the gavel the judge would use to end it all. Then Kendrick becomes just another headline for Fox to use. We know Kendrick is deeply worried about he's legacy he will leave after his time on earth. We see this in the previous album, even ending on the thought of 'if shit hit the fan are you still a fan?' That was the last thing Kendrick said to us before this album. Blood works both ways in this context. Blood could refer to a story of a black man being killed in Compton being told to a young Kendrick. This is the solidified by what he sees on the news. It could also be the end of Kendricks life as a wicked rapper who never focused on what was important until it was too late, becoming just another headline. This also still fits with all the other ideas in the video! I'd re listen to the album both forwards and backwards with this context! It fits surprisingly well.
  • @eddybagajevs
    5 minutes into this video and your interpretation of story-telling and editing is actually amazing dude! Never stop making vids :)
  • @annesnow8015
    I hope my homies are ready because i'll definitely be presenting this video as my own ideas for the next 5 years
  • @YoJayvon
    dont see drake making albums like this
  • @trapzone707
    The quality of this is fucking wild, definitely looking forward to seeing more! Update: I just relistened to DAMN. Because of this video. It was always my least favorite Kendrick project and this let me give it a second chance with new context and it elevated it a whole lot. Thanks for this
  • @bumpy742
    One thing that could be point out. In the regular album cover in DAMN, DAMN is above Kendrick as he’s wearing a blank white T-shirt, indicating his journey to salvation and being free from damnation. In the collector’s edition (reversed order) DAMN is on his shirt which could indicate his path into damnation and where he becomes cursed.
  • @lexxblack5392
    Looking at an album breakdown like this truly makes you realize that Drake in all of his vapidity, hubris, and piddling pseudo introspection NEVER stood a chance against someone like Kendrick. Wow