Will Kendrick Lamar Drop an Album Sunday for This Religious Reason?

Is 'DAMN.' an exercise in cryptography?

Instagram/ @kendricklamar

On Easter Sunday, Kendrick Lamar could release a new album just two days after his most recent one, DAMN., came out — on Good Friday. This timing is no coincidence, say internet detectives who put their conspiratorial minds together to predict an Easter Weekend pair of albums.

Here’s the theory, which surfaced on r/KendrickLamar this week:

DAMN. came out on Good Friday, the Christian holiday that marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. According to Christian mythology, Jesus died at the hands of Roman authorities for his radical teachings. Redditor scottvosper, who proposed this hypothesis, says Lamar “‘crucifies’ the entire [rap] game” on DAMN. with lyrics that take aim at other rappers like Drake and Big Sean, as well as the rap industry at large.

Beyond the thematic connection, DAMN.’s album cover shows Lamar against a black and white wall. The last letter of each track’s title is on the white portion of the wall, spelling “DAHTLAEETE2RDH.”

This is probably not a phrase or acronym anyone would recognize.

Nope. Nothing here.

But if you rearrange the letters, as scottvosper suggests, they could form the phrase “EARTH LED 2 DEATH,” a possible reference to the Good Friday story in which God sent Jesus to Earth, which led to his death. This seems relatively straightforward, even for a theory that’s based on an anagram.

Other listeners have offered their own interpretations of the anagram:

This one is a little less obvious, but it could be another Christian reference. If “the dad” is God, the father of Jesus, then perhaps Lamar made the album to profess his faith, or maybe to loudly highlight the sins of his fellow artists. Or possibly the album is meant to bang so loudly that God could hear it.

Whatever the case may be with the anagram, these cyber philosophers have decided that the forthcoming album, to be released on Easter Sunday, the day Jesus Christ was resurrected, will figuratively perform the same feat: to raise the rap game from the dead.

The new album’s name? NATION.

“When put along side the other the duel album becomes ‘Damn Nation’ aka ‘damnation.’” writes scottvosper.

It’s not the worst internet hypothesis we’ve ever heard. After all, in the video for ‘HUMBLE.,’ one of the songs on DAMN., Lamar appears in Jesus’ position at the Last Supper, which, according to the Christian Bible, was the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples before his crucifixion.

This isn’t the only hypothesis floating around. Some have suggested that the dual set of albums is more political commentary than religious message. In this case the anagram could spell “DEATH 2 TH LEADER,” a possible reference to President Donald Trump. In that case, the double meaning of “DAMN NATION” and “DAMNATION” could still hold, though the missing letter in the rearranged words makes this hypothesis ring less true than the Christian one.

Whatever the case may be with Kendrick Lamar’s follow-up to DAMN., fans will find out on Easter Sunday whether their hypotheses were true.