Under the name “Dame D.O.L.L.A.,” Damian Lillard transcends the definition of the normative definition of what a basketball player is by dropping a very revealing project, entitled The Letter O. The “O” in question is a nod to the persistency of the “O” shape and letter in Lillard’s life- the number he wears, his youth in Oakland, his Trail Blazers in Oregon, and more- and a testament to the subject matter which acts as the engine for the project.
Tales from the very crime and poverty ridden Oakland, California and pressures about what it means to be a black man in America today are only a couple of the topics Lillard dabbles in over the course of his debut project. With these topics in mind, it’s no surprise that sonically, as well as lyrically, Lillard takes influence from 90s hip-hop, where the sociopolitical stories and diagnoses were put on display for the wider hip-hop audience. Essentially, the album sounds like it could’ve easily been released sometime in the 90s.
Rhyme scheme and beat wise, Lillard definitely takes a step back into time. The project features Jamie Foxx, Raphael Saadiq, Lil Wayne, and plenty others. Clearly many hip-hop and R&B legends were down to help Lillard artistically portray his story.
Stream the album above, and keep updated on Lillard to keep up with his basketball and his music.
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