Attention, Kendrick fans: we still gon’ be alright! Kendrick Lamar just announced his North American DAMN tour kicking off this July, and we’re v. v. stoked. Not only is he touring with Travis Scott (!) and D.R.A.M., but the rapper is giving his Canadian fans some love and performing in Toronto on July 25 and Vancouver on August 2. The exciting news comes only weeks after the release of his critically acclaimed album DAMN, which is Billboard‘s biggest debut album of the year.
THE DAMN. TOUR pic.twitter.com/RK89UlBayi
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) April 24, 2017
DAMN dropped on April 14 after much teasing and speculation. In a series of Instagram posts on April 11, days before the record’s release, the rapper revealed the title of his highly anticipated album and shared DAMN‘s cover art and track list, which included songs featuring Rihanna and U2.
DAMN also features Lamar’s most recent single, “Humble.” On March 30, Lamar released the music vid for the track which caused the internet to lose its mind. “Humble” is a visual masterpiece (think cuts between Lamar’s head in flames to fisheye lens shots of him riding a bicycle) that features some serious religious imagery (like Lamar in a pope-like robe and a Last Supper recreation scene). Woke as always, Lamar raps that he’s “so f-ckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop” and wants to see “something natural like ass with some stretchmarks.”
But the video wasn’t the only clue that an album was on its way. On March 23, Lamar dropped a track called “The Heart Part 4” where he rapped, “Y’all got ‘til April 7 to get y’all shit together,” causing fans to think the record would be released then—he tricked us all. He also wiped his Instagram account of all previous posts on March 23, and shared a now-deleted solitary pic of “IV” (the roman numeral for four) in white on a black background, leaving his 4.1 million followers to wonder if his hotly-anticipated fourth album was imminent. We now know it was.
Earlier this year, the “King Kunta” rapper told T Magazine his next release is “urgent.” While his hometown pride is no secret (in the first-ever ep of VICE’s music docuseries Noisey, he gave host Zach Goldbaum a tour of where he grew up in Compton), Kendrick added, “My focus is ultimately going back to my community and other communities around the world where they’re doing the groundwork.”
K Dot’s previous albums include 2011’s Section.80, 2012’s game-changer good kid, m.A.A.d city and his 2015 political smash To Pimp a Butterfly. Since then, he also dropped the compilation album untitled unmastered, previously unreleased demos and tracks recorded during his To Pimp a Butterfly sessions.
While he wasn’t been gone for long—he’s continued to rack up features on songs by DJ Khaled, Sia, and Beyoncé—fans were hungry to see what he was cooking up. We saw him open the 2016 BET Awards amid flames and splash-dancing with Beyoncé, then watched him perform as a headliner at Coachella last week. With his tour dates now boldly circled in our calendars, we’ll keep listening to DAMN on repeat.
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