Exactly 24 hours ago, the internets were trembling with anticipation/anxiety/sheer thrill in the build-up to Kendrick Lamar‘s big day. But here we are on the other end of midnight, April 14th, with DAMN. and all of the noise that typically follows a new album from Compton’s king. Step outside and put an ear to the air. That low nervous rattle is the sound of a thousand music writers collectively curled over laptops banging out their thinkpiece (Top Coulda Killed Kendrick Lamar’s Father, But Made His Son A Star Instead)
So while they torment themselves with brain-breaking analytics, it’s the perfect time for a little DAMN. breather, for all parties involved. Kung Fu Kenny may have finally roundhouse kicked the shit out of rap, but let’s not forget that the day is not slim in non-Kendrick offerings. Little Dragon‘s back with their most dance-floor-friendly project to date (Season High) and John Mayer‘s finally completed his waves with the full-length The Search For Everything (with help from Steve Jordan, Pino Palladino and James Fauntleroy, no less.) Fresh Selects newcomer, Braxton Cook, dropped his debut full-length, Somewhere In Between, in all its jazzy lovelorn glory, while artists like PJ Morton, Logic, Hoodcelebrityy, Mr. Jukes and Jay Prince delivered potent new cuts from their respective upcoming projects. All promising to be well worth the wait.
We even got a recalibration or two worth celebrating, with Karriem Riggins‘ swung-to-hell remix of Gabriel Garzon-Montano‘s “Crawl” and a new take on Gucci Mane and Drake‘s East Atlanta Santa standout with a new verse from evergreen rap-game extraterrestrial, Lil Wayne. Selections from all of today’s releases can be found in this week’s installment of The Round-Up below. Cause there’s a lot to celebrate even outside of DAMN., and you should probably cleanse that palette once or twice if you’re gonna obsess over Kendrick’s latest with any endurance.