The hype around Kendrick Lamar‘s huge 2017 album DAMN. has barely died down since its release four months ago, but Kendrick himself has confirmed one of the most popular conspiracy theories around the album; that it was designed to be listened to backwards.
Not in the same way that Led Zeppelin’s song ‘Stairway To Heaven’ supposedly spouts satanic messages when played in reverse, but in that DAMN. apparently tells a completely different story if you start with the final track ‘DUCKWORTH’ and work your way through the album finishing with track #1 ‘BLOOD’.
So not like this…
Speaking with MTV Lamar addressed the backwards theory, confirming that the record was originally designed to be listened to both forwards and backwards.
“It plays as a full story and even a better rhythm,” he said. “It’s one of my favorite rhythms and tempos within the album. It’s something that we definitely premeditate while we’re in the studio.”
According to Kendrick, DAMN. takes on a new sonic feeling and narrative when you start with the final track and reflects the duality of his personality when listened to in both ways. “I don’t think the story necessarily changes, I think the feel changes,” he said.
“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.”
So with that being said, go forth and experience DAMN. in a way you’ve (probably) never heard it before.