Kendrick Lamar ended his two-year period of silence with D**N, an album which has quickly become widely regarded as a new rap classic.
The album, which was announced through another of his songs, quickly garnered success and critical acclaim. Even though it was released at the beginning of 2017, it continues to grow a reputation as the best rap album of the year.
The album seeks to examine many different ideas, most of which are personal to Lamar,. Lamar discusses personal issues like how his sudden rise to fame has affected his life, how it has changed the way people he grew up with act around him, the idea of his status in the rap community, and how his past continues to affect him today.
The album also has a different music styling to it, skewing away from his last album, which heavily utilized jazz beats and instrumentals for the background. Some songs use more modern, bassy, and hard-hitting backgrounds, while others feature piano or other instruments in softer backgrounds.
The album also includes artists whom Lamar has previously expressed an interest in working with, such as Rihanna, U2, and Zacari.
Most of all, what makes this the best album of 2017 is that it feels like the most genuine album to be released this year. Lamar examines himself and those around him. He uses his platform to express the challenges that come with sudden stardom. He also tells us he is the best rapper of this time and calls out those who think otherwise.
This makes the album feel less like a compilation and more like a heartfelt conversation with Lamar. Overall, the album has many great qualities, while simultaneously seeming to have no downsides, and that is what makes it a truly remarkable album.