“You’re gonna fear me if you don’t fear no one else,” Kendrick Lamar proclaims on “FEAR.,” the 12th track on his newest album, DAMN.

Like his previous three albums, DAMN. is a conceptual record. The story is told in flash-forward format, opening with “BLOOD.,” which depicts Lamar being shot. The following 13 tracks represent the events leading up to him getting shot.

DAMN. contains themes of politics, socioeconomic equality, and the black American experience. Several of the album’s 14 tracks contain audio clips from news anchors criticizing hip hop music. On “YAH.,” Lamar makes it personal with Fox News anchor Geraldo Rivera, saying “Fox News wanna use my name for percentage. Somebody tell Geraldo this [man] got some ambition.”

On “ELEMENT.,” calls out cultural appropriators, saying “there’s a difference between black artists and whack artists.”

If Lamar’s last three albums have not given him legendary status, DAMN. crystallizes it, especially with collaborations with the likes of U2 and Rihanna. The album’s combination of multiple flows, abrasive rhymes, sound bite interludes and legends-only-limited collaborations make DAMN. an instant classic.

If a track has “(featuring Migos)” in its title, this means it’s now Migos’s song. Such is the case with Lil Yachty’s newest single “Peek a Boo,” which features the ATL trio.

While the Ricky Racks-produced tracks gives all three Migos a chance to shine, Yachty rests on his laurels.

Yachty has been named a promising act by several music publications, however, on “Peek a Boo” he shows that he lacks the means to justify why he’s earned such recognition.

While the repetitive “play with the pussy like peek-a-boo” chorus is cringeworthy on its own, perhaps the worst line of the four-minute track is “she blow the dick like a cello.” Maybe a flute, or a harmonica, or even a recorder would’ve made sense, but a cello?!

After her debut single, “Make Me (Cry),” failed to crack the top 10, 17-year-old rising star Noah Cyrus is back with “Stay Together.”

The track, produced by Digital Farm Animals, tells the story about falling in love with a stranger at a party.

Unlike her older sister Miley, Noah didn’t grow up under the Disney spotlight, allowing her to sing about substance use, while dropping f-bombs throughout.

“Stay Together” is a pleasant combination of rock, pop, and EDM, which set’s Cyrus’s sound apart from that of her older sister’s.

Cyrus’s debut album NC-17 is slated to be released this summer.

Whether you like it or not, DNCE is back. This past Friday, the Joe Jonas-fronted band released a new single called “Kissing Strangers,” which features Nicki Minaj.

As the title suggests, the song is lyrically about a man kissing strangers until he finds someone he loves. The song is a breath of fresh air from previously released DNCE tracks, which essentially consist of Jonas shouting through a megaphone, reiterating the fact that he’s had sex before.

Minaj seemingly takes shots at her rivals during her verse, proclaiming “Me, I’m Jem, and these bitches is the holograms.”

Its ’80s style pop-rock instrumental give the track a bouncy, nostalgic feel. Nostalgic, largely due to the fact the production sounds nearly identical to that of their debut single, “Cake by the Ocean.” But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, I guess.

Surprisingly, the combination of DNCE and Minaj makes for a fun pop collaboration, giving “Kissing Strangers” the potential to be a hot summer anthem.

 

 

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