“DAMN.”–Album of the Year

Trent Osborne

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2017 truly was the year of Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick dominated the Billboard Top 100 all year long, ending up as the second highest selling artist of 2017 (second only to Drake, who took the top spot for the third consecutive year). Despite taking the silver medal in the singles category, Kendrick’s smash hit “DAMN.” ran away as the top-selling album of the year, and it’s not hard to see why.

“DAMN.” is the perfect storm of Kendrick’s musical style, acting as a perfect mixture of the mainstream accessibility of 2011’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” and the artistic innovation of 2015’s “To Pimp A Butterfly”. TPAB cleaned up at the Grammy’s that year, winning six awards in total, but Kendrick is looking at even more success this time around. Even though the category is stacked with great albums from the past year, I believe that “DAMN.” is undoubtedly the best rap album of 2017.

One of the main reasons the album is so great is because there isn’t a bad song to be found at any point on the album. All 14 songs from the track list landed within the top 65 of the Billboard Top 100 at some point, with hits like “HUMBLE”, “DNA”, “LOYALTY”, and “LOVE” all landing in the Top 15. Added on to the chart success, songs like “FEAR”, “XXX”, and “DUCKWORTH” are three of the most thoughtful narratives Kendrick has ever penned.

Kendrick Lamar is at his apex in 2018. He is at the height of his popularity, and he just released one of the best albums of the last decade. It would be a shame if he did not bring home the album of the year award this Sunday.