Kendrick Lamar has confirmed a long-held fan theory about his latest record ‘DAMN.‘ to MTV News.
The theory posits that the record – which features reversed lyrics – is meant to be played backwards, telling two distinct stories.
The theory’s been making the rounds in painstaking detail on Reddit since the record’s official release back in April. Like these fans get really deep into the lyrics and even the album art and try to extricate a sense of narrative.
But the short version is that everyone is very excited, because another theory ahead of the album’s release held that Lamar would release two complete records, one on Good Friday, representing Kendrick’s death, ‘DAMN.,’ and another chronicling his resurrection (at the time people thought it’d be called ‘NATION.‘.
Arguably the now-revealed record in reverse is that resurrection record, a separate work that is entirely different sonically.
Anywho, in the MTV audience, Lamar came clean.
I think like a week after the album came out, [fans] realised you can play the album backwards.
It plays as a full story and even a better rhythm. It’s one of my favourite rhythms and tempos within the album. It’s something that we definitely premeditate while we’re in the studio.
As Lamar continues to explain that it’s not so much the narrative as the vibe of the record that changes, the word “duality” comes up – one that Lamar fans have been throwing around for months now when talking about the theories.
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. 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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Image: Getty Images / C Flanigan