Kendrick Lamar’s had (another) banner year in 2017, having released the excellent DAMN. (his favorite of his albums and one of our favorites of the year). He’s also toured the country, gotten parodied on South Park, and collaborated with the likes of Rihanna, Chance the Rapper, Vince Staples, James Blake, Mike WiLL Made-It, and even U2. Now, he’s capping off the year with a new collector’s edition of DAMN.
In addition to a new, black-and-white cover, the album quite literally the order of the tracks as they played on the original release, with “DUCKWORTH.” now opening the album and “BLOOD.” closing it. This revamp aligns with comments Kendrick made to MTV in August. “I think like a week after the album came out, [fans] realized you can play the album backwards,” he said. “It plays as a full story and even a better rhythm. It’s one of my favorite rhythms and tempos within the album. It’s something that we definitely premeditate while we’re in the studio.”
“I don’t think the story necessarily changes, I think the feel changes,” he continued. “The initial vibe listening from the top all the way to the bottom is … this aggression and this attitude. You know, ‘DNA,’ and exposing who I really am. You listen from the back end, and it’s almost the duality and the contrast of the intricate Kendrick Lamar. Both of these pieces are who I am.”