By Joseph Hernandez

Damian Lillard, the NBA player best known by his stage name “Dame D.O.L.L.A.”, released his second studio album, “CONFIRMED”, this past week. Lillard burst onto the hip-hop scene late last year with a respectable debut album, “The Letter O”, paying homage to his Oakland roots. Like this release, Lillard’s newest album is certainly something any fan of hip-hop should check out.

“NO PUNCHES”, the album’s first song, instantly sets the mood for the 13 track album. The beat is mellow, and the lyrics are filled with personal experiences. They’re mainly centered around his life growing up in Oakland and his life now multi-tasking as a rapper and a professional basketball player. Those three topics are maintained throughout the duration of the album. While that’s a solid base to cover, it does get repetitive hearing the man reiterate parts of his life, even if the lyrics are different.

Lillard prepares to take a shot on the basketball court.

Dame D.O.L.L.A, or Damian Lillard (pictured left), performs one of his favorite hobbies. Lillard plays for the Portland Trail Blazers. (Source: Wikimedia)

The production is by far the best piece of this album. On songs such as “BOSS LIFE”, “Run It Up” and “WONDERLAND”, the beat selection is at its best. A bad selection of audio would make any song difficult to sit down and listen to. This album does a good job of making every song sound unique and exciting from a production standpoint. In this modern era of hip-hop, a good beat will take a rapper a long way and will attract people to listen to their music. The producers on this album recognize that and craft songs that are nice to the ears.

Features from artists such as Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz and BJ The Chicago Kid truly standout. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz have both been some of the most consistent rappers in this millennium and their appearances on “Run It Up” and “ANOMALY” only add to their consistency. BJ, best known for his appearances on songs with superstar Chance The Rapper, adds a nice vocal element to “THE LET DOWN”, a song influenced by R&B sounds.

Lillard’s flow throughout the album sounds raw. It’s easy to tell that Lillard hasn’t had as much time to perfect his craft as a rapper, although he has quite the excuse for doing so. His flaws as a rapper are noticeable on first listen. Even though that’s not a huge issue, it does make the album a bit challenging to listen to.

The album itself is good. Compared to other hip-hop albums that were released this year, it sounds rough, but it’s still worth listening to. It’s music that definitely works best when you’re working out, walking on the streets, or performing some other task. It’s nowhere near the top 15 hip-hop albums of the year, but if you’re a fan of the genre, it’s something you should check out.

7.5/10

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