Kendrick Lamar Responds to DJBooth Article About ‘DAMN’ Album

“I didn't expect anyone to catch it.”

Over the past 30 days, we’ve run 40 news and feature-length stories covering Kendrick Lamar and his highly-acclaimed new album, DAMN. 

From the producers who worked on the album to the Easter eggs in his “HUMBLE.” video, to the message and meaning behind the 14-track LP, our writing staff has tackled every possible journalistic angle on Kung Fu Kenny’s latest effort.

Last Friday, in between publishing stories about Kendrick not listening to his albums after they’re turned in to the label for mastering and DAMN. becoming the highest-selling debut of 2017, DJBooth scribe Miguelito penned ‘Praise & Questions: How Kendrick & Chance Talk to God in Different Ways,’ a think piece that breaks down the different ways the two biggest mainstream religious rappers display their faith.

To our surprise (and excitement), less than 12 hours after publishing Miguelito’s article, Kendrick wrote us a letter, acknowledging that he had read the article and offering an explanation as to how he expresses God. Rather than think piece his response to a think piece—Lord knows, we don't need another think piece—we asked Kendrick for his permission to print his full, unedited message below.

He said yes...



Stepping Into Cico P’s Texas

East Texas native Cico P makes a case for not sleeping on his city. He breaks down his sound for Audiomack World.


Juls’ Journey Through the Diaspora

Juls helped build up Afrobeats from a footnote in global pop music into a full and highly-cited chapter. He breaks it down for Audiomack World.


Don Toliver, Tame Impala & 5an: Best of the Week

Don Toliver, Tame Impala, 5an, and more, all had the best new songs on Audiomack this week.

"Long time no talk. Congrats on the work. Honored to say I still enjoy the write-ups. Y'all accuracy lets me know this site has a deep respect for the culture. Much appreciated. 

Your latest read is really interesting to me. I didn't expect anyone to catch it. How I express God. I went to a local church some time ago, and it appalled me that the same program was in practice. A program that I seen as a kid the few times I was in service. Praise, dance. Worship. (Which is beautiful.) Pastor spewing the idea of someone's season is approaching. The idea of hope. So on and so forth.

As a child, I always felt this Sermon had an emptiness about it. Kinda one-sided, in what I felt in my heart. Fast forward. After being heavily in my studies these past few years, I've finally figured out why I left those services feeling spiritually unsatisfied as a child. I discovered more truth. But simple truth. Our God is a loving God. Yes. He's a merciful God. Yes. But he's even more so a God of DISCIPLE. OBEDIENCE. A JEALOUS God. And for every conscious choice of sin, will be corrected through his discipline. Whether physical or mental. Direct or indirect. Through your sufferings, or someone that's close to [sic] ken. It will be corrected.

Hence the concept "The wages of sin is Death." It shall be corrected. As a community, we was taught to pray for our mishaps, and he'll forgive you. Yes, this is true. But he will also reprimand us as well. As a child, I can't recall hearing this in service. Maybe leaders of the church knew it will run off churchgoers? No one wants to hear about karma from the decisions they make. It's a hard truth. We want to hear about hope, salvation, and redemption. Though his son died for our sins, our free will to make whatever choice we want, still allows him to judge us.

So in conclusion, I feel it's my calling to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD. The balance. Knowing the power in what he can build, and also what he can destroy. At any given moment.

I love when artists sing about what makes Him happy. My balance is to tell you what will make Him extinguish you. Personally, once that idea of real fear registered in my mind, it made me try harder at choosing my battles wisely. Which will forever be tough, because I'm still of flesh. I wanna spread this truth to my listeners. It's a journey, but it will be my key to the Kingdom. And theirs as well. I briefly touched on it in this album, but when he tells me to react, I will take deeper action. 

So thank you for your great work. It inspired me to reply with this long ass message. Hopefully, you'll take the time to read mines like I do yours."



Have You Played Kendrick Lamar's 'DAMN.' in Reverse?

Kendrick Lamar reveals yet another layer of a project that we've been talking about all year long.


“The World Is Endin‘”: Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’ Premonition Came True

“With every fresh listen, ‘DAMN.’ sounds more and more like a premonition of the end of days, an album made for this exact uncertain and imperfect world.”

Kendrick Lamar is Hip-Hop's Trojan Horse

Kendrick Lamar Is Hip-Hop's Trojan Horse

One of hip-hop's very best, most popular MCs has one of the darkest, mainstream discographies.


James Blake’s Work on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN.’ Was Blind Trust

"I just knew that I could trust them with my music because they have a flawless record of production."


Kendrick Lamar 'DAMN.' 1 Listen Album Review

Kendrick delivered a rap album that is unlike anything he’s ever created and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.