Shortly after Kendrick Lamar released DAMN. earlier this year, it didn’t take long for fans to concoct various theories about everything from the album’s religious undertones to playing DAMN. in reverse order. Lamar confirmed the latter theory in a previous interview with MTV News. On Monday night (Dec. 4), DAMN. theorists rejoiced as a new version of the album surfaced online on Microsoft’s music website with a reversed track list and new artwork.
The new version of DAMN. flipped the initial track list that began with “BLOOD.” and led with “DUCKWORTH.,” the albums original closer. The collector’s edition also remained at just 14 tracks with no additional bonus tracks.
Lamar told MTV News that listening to DAMN. backward “plays as a full story and even a better rhythm. It’s one of my favorite rhythms and tempos within the album.” He says that while the stories and sounds remain the same, the feeling is what changes. “The initial vibe listening from the top all the way to the bottom is … this aggression and this attitude. You know, ‘DNA.,’ and exposing who I really am,” he explained. “You listen from the back end, and it’s almost the duality and the contrast of the intricate Kendrick Lamar. Both of these pieces are who I am.”
As of publishing, the alternative of DAMN has since been removed from Microsoft’s online marketplace. Billboard has reached out to Kendrick Lamar’s reps for comment.