Despite some heavy-duty hype over Easter weekend, Kendrick Lamar didn’t wind up dropping a second album to accompany his latest release, DAMN., as many of his fans had speculated he might.
Due in large part of DAMN.’s Good Friday release date (coinciding with the biblical crucifixion of Jesus), theories began to emerge online that the rapper had something in store for Easter Sunday as well. Speculation on sites like Reddit emerged that a second LP would be likely be called NATION. and would combine with the first album to create a Jesus-like saga of death and resurrection collectively titled DamnNation.
It was a compelling theory — and an enticing one. Kendrick is no stranger to surprise releases, dropping 2016’s untitled unmastered. without any prior warning. And the idea of yet another brand-new Kendrick Lamar album seemed too much for diehard fans to discount.
Even as the weekend went on without any sign of NATION., hope still persisted. It was false, Photoshopped hope.
Faux tweets emerged, showing a supposed intro track titled “RESSURECTED,” to add fuel to the fire. People speculated and hoped that Kendrick might reveal the new album during his set at Coachella.
Anticipation grew throughout the day as people gave in to the hype. Ultimately, though, NATION. never emerged and eager fans were left disappointed.
Easter weekend is over, and we’ve seen neither hide nor hair of the mythical NATION. It seems pretty safe to say at this point that it isn’t real and it won’t be coming.
DAMN. is comprised of 14 tracks, nearly half of which are over four minutes long. Creating something like that alone — not to mention working in collaborations with artists like U2 and Rihanna — takes a lot of work, and the vast majority of that in the past year after untitled unmastered. To record a second full-length album of comparable length and substance — as many suspected NATION. would be — would have been a substantial undertaking, even for a prolific artist like Kendrick. That’s not to say it’s never been done before, but that fans may have been hoping for a little more than they could have reasonably received.
Still, there is one way for those who still want to believe that NATION is out there somewhere to read some deeper meaning into its failure to emerge on Easter. Perhaps Kendrick doesn’t think America is ready for its resurrection yet. Until then, we’ll just have to make do with what he’s already given us: the complex, weighty, and personal DAMN.