Kendrick Lamar - "Element"
After the density of To Pimp A Butterfly, it's refreshing to hear Kendrick deliver something comparatively straight-forward. "Element" isn't a simple song by any means, but it's not the incredibly lyrical, rapping-over-multiple-musical-movements-Kendrick that many expected. That works in the track's favor, with Kendrick providing memorable verses and a sticky hook over some sparse but gorgeous production.
It's unfiltered and direct in the way his 2015 work wasn't. "Element" is a prime example of what makes Damn an immediately appealing body of work that is just as rewarding as his more challenging output.—Joe Price