“Damn,” the latest album by Kendrick Lamar, cements his place as the greatest rapper alive, believes Corbin Reiff of Uproxx. In his view, the personal and rich narrative, combined with Lamar’s prodigious rapping skills, create a masterpiece. Lamar recites terrifying moments from his life and expresses worries about losing a loved one. Reiff emphasizes his unique vocal skills that set varying moods for each of his songs. Voices like those of Bono and Rihanna join him and embellish the album without distracting from Lamar's qualities. “Damn” demonstrates Lamar’s position at the top of the rap world, communicating that he intends to stay there.
Kendrick Lamar’s album incites more tension between black Americans and the police, argues Geraldo Rivera of Fox News. Ruthie Hawkins of Rollingout documents him saying that Lamar is continuing a trend in rap of vilifying the police, to the detriment of black communities. The violent language that Lamar uses creates an us-vs-them mentality that perpetuates tension and violence, according to Rivera. He accuses Lamar of trying to profit from the current political situation, rather than trying to make things better. Rivera asserts that the message "Damn" conveys misses the point and doesn’t change anything.