Turns out Kendrick DID drop two albums
Music blog Ambrosia For Heads has solved the Easter weekend mystery of Kendrick and his rumoured second album. The speculations surfaced just hours after DAMN.'s release and dominated the internet for two days.
Fans belived that DAMN.'s Good Friday release represented Kendrick’s death and that a second album would be released on Easter Sunday, titled NATION, representing his resurrection. When put together, the entire project would then be DAMNATION.
When NATION didn't arrive, the theory died down. However, in his interview with Zane Lowe, the only interview Kendrick has done since DAMN.'s release, Kendrick revealed two very telling points about the two album concept.
The first was in their discussion about 'BLOOD.' The opening track that sees Kendrick shot dead at the end of the tune.
Lowe asked: “Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?” “I can’t tell you that. That’s what I can’t tell you,” Kendrick grinned. “Come on, now. That’s the whole thing!” he continues.
Ambrosia For Heads explains: 'BLOOD.' opens with “Is it wickedness. Is it weakness. You decide. Are we going to live or die?” That is the key to the entire sonic journey that Kendrick has architected with DAMN."
The second hint that Kendrick dropped during his Zane Lowe interview was about how to experience the album. “You have to listen to it over and over and over and over again to fully understand the direction and the message.”
Ambrosia for Heads explains: When Kendrick says “direction” it’s easy to assume he means the tones, themes, etc. However, for a man who makes a living using words extremely precisely, and often with double meanings, Kendrick may have been being quite literal when he chose to use the word “direction,” in connection with how to listen to DAMN.
Essentially there's an entirely different story if you listen to DAMN. in reverse.
Infact, near the beginning of 'DUCKWORTH'. the final track of DAMN. DJ Kid Capri explicitly instructs: “We gonna put it in reverse.”
More from Ambrosia for Heads: "The theme of “wickedness or weakness” is one that plays out through the entire project. Kendrick asks the question multiple times. It is a deeply philosophical question akin to whether our paths are determined by destiny or whether we have free will to make our own choices. We all sin. There’s no debate about that."
"What Kendrick wants to know is are our transgressions a result of wickedness that is native to us or do we just have moments of weakness that can be overcome by choosing to walk the righteous path. Kendrick never gives us a definitive answer to the question, but he made 2 albums with 2 different endings—one where the answer is wickedness, which leads to his death, and another where the answer is weakness which finds him alive and flourishing because weakness was overcome."
"When Kendrick says “You decide. Are we going to live or die,” on 'BLOOD.,' those words are deeply intentional. He is literally telling us as listeners that, as many of us did as kids when we read books that allowed us to pick from multiple endings, we have the choice to experience DAMN. 2 completely different ways."
The song titles are a massive indication of the "weakness" evolution. When you listen to the original order you move from 'PRIDE.' to 'HUMBLE.', 'LUST.' to 'LOVE.' Conversely, when played in reverse, the second album shows a transgression into "wickedness".
Amborsia for Heads expands even further: "The first album, the forward version, is the Red album, since it is one of enlightenment. Humans succumb to their weaknesses at times, but are also able to overcome them and live righteously. The second album, which plays in reverse, is the Blue album since it ends in death (and was the second color Kendrick uploaded on his Spotify profile). It is one in which wickedness is fateful and fatal."
Check out the full Ambrosia for Heads article here. It's lengthy, but the insight is incredible. No surprises, this goes real deep.