Kendrick Lamar Thinks ‘DAMN.’ Plays Better Backwards “As A Full Story”


On the cusp of his 2017 Video Music Awards performance (Aug. 27), Kendrick Lamar shared an interesting fact on his current studio album DAMN. While the average listener presumably ingests music from Track 1 to the compilation’s finale, the Compton native said his fourth studio project is just as effective if you play it from the bottom to its apex.

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“I think like a week after the album came out, [fans] realized you can play the album backward,” he said to MTV News. “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.”

The TDE signee then pondered if changing the course of the album takes away from the soundscape’s storyline. “I don’t think the story necessarily changes, I think the feel changes. The initial vibe listening from the top all the way to the bottom is… this aggression and this attitude,” he said. “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.”

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In an interview with Zane Lowe, Lamar shared his thought-process while making the album. “It’s not easy telling your truths and stating your fears from when you were seven, 17 and a couple years ago,” he said. “But I know at the end of the day, the music is not for me, it’s for somebody else.”

Watch the full interview below.