damn 2

DAMN.

That is the blunt title of Kendrick’s mysterious fourth album that will be released this Friday, April 14th (after everyone got teased on the supposed release date of April 7th that just turned out to be the announcement date of the April 14th date).

He revealed the album name by releasing the album cover and the back of the physical copy that shows the tracklist. A few things stand out. One is that the only features are Rihanna and, shockingly, the band U2. Absolutely no rappers are to be found which isn’t surprising to me. The common narrative from Kendrick’s recent two songs and people around him talking about the album is that Kendrick is coming for the rap game’s neck. His goal with this album seems to be proving that he’s the greatest rapper alive, which I’m not sure if he even needed to release this album to prove that.

The second thing that stands out is that the track names seem to all have some relation to religion. From my K-12 Catholic education (hey, thanks Mom and Dad, it’s coming in handy) I easily recognize a couple deadly sins, specifically Pride and Lust. Each of the 7 deadly sins has a contrary virtue. Pride’s contrary virtue happens to be Humility (aka Humble). It’s very interesting to see those two tracks right next to each other since they are opposites, they also happen to be right smack dab in the middle of the album. The contrary virtue to Lust is Chastity (definition: “the state or practice of refraining from extramarital, or especially from all, sexual intercourse”) which I’m not surprised Kendrick isn’t making a song about. Loyalty could definitely be his own contrary virtue to Lust. With that being said the pattern doesn’t seem to continue with Love/Feel and especially not XXX/Element. I also do not know where the fuck “Duckworth” fits into any of this but I guess we will find out.

Third thing is there’s something weird with the track names where the last letter of each track is singled out with the background.

The internet is going crazy trying to figure out if these letters stand for a long phrase or if the letters are an anagram. I’ve seen a lot of different anagrams come out of this including DEATH 2 TH LEADER, EARTH LED 2 DEATH, and HEART LED 2 DEATH. You can read more on this Reddit page.

I’m not sure what’s going on with the album but here’s some other facts. The album comes out on Good Friday, the religious “holiday” where Jesus is remembered dying on the cross and Kendrick performs at Coachella on Easter Sunday this weekend.

Oh and this.