Kendrick Lamar Lyrical Controversy
Were Kendrick Lamar's lyrics in HUMBLE. really that offensive?
There I was, working from home like I usually do when I got the typical every-15-minutes email refresh. Most days the notifications are filled with Living Social Deals or Air Fare Watchdog Fares (I told you I'm a frugal dreamer), but this time there was something different. It was *gasp* my first booking request!
My friend and I have had an inside joking running about this very thing (insert link in bio), but never in my wildest dreams would I have thought it would happen the way that it did and so soon! It was a request to appear live on MINDSTREAM RADIO as a guest discussing the, what has now been deemed controversial, Kendrick Lamar lyric from his recent video release HUMBLE. I definitely heard the lyric and had seen the commentary, so I happened to be prepared.
I'm so fuckin' sick and tired of the Photoshop
Show me somethin' natural like afro on Richard Pryor
Show me somethin' natural like ass with some stretch marks- Kendrick Lamar, HUMBLE.
The Power of A Hastag
What I didn't realize was how Jennie from MINDSTREAM RADIO even found me. I wouldn't find out until after the show that she found me via searching a hashtag. A HASHTAG people! The power of social media. So, I dug in and did my "research", a.ka. headed straight to Twitter. I found a few think pieces as well as numerous tweets that ranged from inspiring to appalling. My first reaction, which I speak about on the show, was that with advent of smart phones and social media, we are so often offended in our daily lives that we sometimes forget that not everything is meant to be offensive.
This article was good because it summed up my feelings on the topic:
KENDRICK LAMAR'S PRAISE OF 'NATURAL' BEAUTY SPARKED MORE MISOGYNY BETWEEN WOMEN THAN HIS 'HUMBLE' LYRICS DID via Newsweek
This article was an interesting perspective that I hadn't considered before:
Kendrick Lamar's lyrics about photoshop and stretch marks are sparking a lot of feelings via Mashable
It was an exciting day for me as I bumped the new album DAMN.the entire drive over. Upon my arrival I met the other guests, YouTube star and natural hair guru Yolanda Renee from ETCBLOGMAG and artist and Rapper Devon Beck
ETCBLOG on YouTube
Devon Beck's album "The Resistance"
The show -- which is hosted by Adam Butler with Paul, Clarence and Chris -- got off to a start, and although I was nervous at first, there was also something familiar and comforting about the whole experience (I must get it from my DJ daddy). As to not put words into anyone's mouth, I urge you to check out the show yourself here. The easiest way to tune in live every Saturday at 2pm is via either Facebook or on Blis FM. You can also subscribe to the podcast.
Kendrick Lamar's Lyrics vs His Legacy
In hindsight, I definitely understand the feelings of those who took offense to the lyrics. There is something to be said about being able to look past some of the negative framing of certain people's opinion and employing a bit of empathy. I am also extremely appreciative of those who are able to discus their disagreements in a constructive and understandable way. We can agree to disagree, folks.
If you know me well, you know that Kendrick Lamar's album good kid, M.A.A.D. city was the impetus for me to start on this journey. I wrote a poetry book called "Hip-Hopped", I did a few freestyles on SoundCloud, but ultimately, what I am chasing is that feeling. The feeling I had when I first heard that album is the high I chase now. My standards were set and awaiting to be surpassed: music is my therapy and my drug of choice.
This entire exercise has brought me to a point I want to dive deeper into: when is it okay to hold artists to a higher standard? After all, this is art that we are talking about. Why does it seem that some are placed on this pedestal where we feel as though it's okay breakdown every word said and place them under microscopes? Maybe it is a byproduct of greatness. Perhaps when an artist gets thrown into the line of fire that comes with being "hip-hop's savior", scrutiny and nitpicking inevitably follows.
To me, this is a game only the strong survive and maybe why subject matter that causes us to actually think and examine our own moral compasses are so few and far between. One line of a song does not make the artist just like one good or bad decision does not make the man/woman. In 2017, we are all still entitled to our opinions, it's just that social media makes certain opinions louder than others.
Again, I want to thank the MINDSTREAM RADIO team for extending the invitation as well as for the thoughtful and engaging conversation. Several topics were discussed, and it was encouraging to hear the perspectives of folks who not only know their stuff, but are able to articulate it in such a way that everyone can understand. Please make sure to subscribe to their podcast and find them on all social media outlets.
Did you tune in? What did you think? Your comments are appreciated!