Kendrick’s most recent album has gained wide popularity. These are a few suggestions for anyone interested to hear music similar to “Damn”.
You Enjoyed Damn.
If you liked the beats…
“Forest Agates” by Deca (2016)
“Forest Agates” is an underrated hip-hop instrumental album by New York rapper and producer, Deca. Best described as J Dilla meets prog rock, this album resembles Kendrick’s 90s influences while also incorporating hard drum beats found in his modern trap-influenced tracks. Standing out from its contemporaries, “Forest Agates” is much needed in this musical scene of jazz-laced piano instrumentals.
“Minders” by Rubix (2004)
“Minders” is a track off the lively compilation album “Superappin, The Album Vol. II). This song features a playful chopped and twisted vocal sample reminiscent of Kendrick’s use of similar vocal samples. The strong beat, perfect for strutting down the street, gives “Minders” the coolness that Kendrick always brings.
If you liked the style…
“Free Lunch” by Isaiah Rashad (2016)
MEAL TICKET TICKET MEAL TICKET TICKET. Isaiah Rashad can turn out a great single, “Free Lunch” being his best from his most recent album, “The Sun’s Tirade”. Although his rapping style is more similar to that of J Cole’s, Kendrick wouldn’t be as critically acclaimed if other modern rappers sounded like him. The lyrical themes and the overall feel of the song reflects Kendrick’s enough to where most Kenny fans will enjoy this single.
“Sucka Nigga” by A Tribe Called Quest (1993)
The clear vocal resemblance between Kendrick and Tip is undeniable, and the two rappers have influenced each other as they connect stylistically. “Sucka Nigga” is my personal favorite track from Tribe’s third album, “Midnight Marauders”. The iconic “Red Clay” sample and the clever and insightful lyrics from Q-Tip makes this a standout track from the classic album.
If you liked the lyrical content…
“Born Sinner” by J Cole (2013)
Everyone compares J Cole to Kendrick Lamar, but this time we’re only comparing the lyrics rather than comparing their musical attributes. Both “Damn” and “Born Sinner” have religion (specifically Christianity) at the center of their albums. Their personal journeys through and reflections on religion are laid out on the table. If Damn’s resolution was not satisfying enough for you, then Born Sinner will fulfill that ending.
If you liked “DNA”…
“Imperial” by Denzel Curry (2016)
“DNA” seems to be the most popular song from Kendrick’s new album. As a person who doesn’t always like the latest banger (including DNA), “Imperial” has some really good bangers. Denzel Curry goes hard on this album, and he’s definitely someone to play on aux along with Kendrick Lamar.
If you like “Damn” and want to listen to other genres…
“Handcuffs” by Parliament (1975, funk)
“Handcuffs” is an overlooked track off of Parliament’s most famous work “Mothership Connection”. Obviously, Kendrick worked with George Clinton on TPAB, but his influence remains in pieces on “Damn”. Honestly can Kendrick sample this bass line? This song is a jam that you can easily groove to and sing along with. “I don’t care about looking like chauvinistic whatever” gets me every time.
“Sorry Sorry” by Femi Kuti (1998, jazz)
“Sorry Sorry” is a funky Nigerian jazz song by son of jazz icon Fela Kuti, Femi Kuti. Femi Kuti not only looks just like his father, as seen above, but he also is musically talented and politically active like Fela. If you like how Kendrick reflects his thoughts and you like use of jazz in his music, you’ll probably love the Kuti family’s work.
“Rotala” by Juris Karlsons (unknown, classical)
“Rotala” is a sixteen-part Latvian choral song from Juris Karlson’s “Neslegtais Gredzens”. This song goes hard. Just listen to it. If you like bangers, this is a classical banger.
“Shen Khar Venakhi” by Cantus (2001, classical)
“Shen Khar Venakhi” is a Gregorian chant covered by the vocal group, Cantus. The harmonies are reminiscent of the R&B vocal samples Kendrick used in songs like “BLOOD.” and “DUCKWORTH.” . “Shen Khar Venakhi”, like many Gregorian chants, is a beautiful song that has become lost in time. If you like Beach-Boy-style harmonization you’ll appreciate Cantus’s rendition of this song.
If you want more Kendrick…
“Section .80” by Kendrick Lamar (2011)
Although Kendrick himself thinks this is his worst album, I personally enjoy “Section .80” more than “Damn”. You don’t have to chose which you like better, but I just don’t hear people I know talking about or listening to this album.