The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Music Review – Lamar’s new album provides social challenge to listeners

By Brandy Voirin/reporter

Kendrick Lamar’s full of surprises, from performing on a moving truck in Los Angeles last week to releasing his highly anticipated sophomore album To Pimp a Butterfly an entire week early.

To Pimp a Butterfly, a play on Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, is a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. Unlike his first album, Section 80, that spoke from the experiences of the babies from the ’80s, drugs, Ronald Reagan politics and the cut-and-dry injustice of the world, the new 16-set track talks about Lamar’s current views on America now.

To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar
To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar

Lamar’s album is reminiscent of getting hit in the face with a baseball, fast and hard. As he said in a Rolling Stone interview, “If the world was happy, maybe we’d give you a happy album.”

This profanity-laced unapologetic confrontation of the black issues in America is a call to action for all.

His album carefully orchestrates a poetic story with true-crime lyrics, God-awakening self-reflection undertones meant to enlighten the masses about our country.

In the upbeat song “King Kunta,” Lamar draws references from Alex Haley’s Roots and details how slavery is still alive today.

The lyricist then raps about his disgust with the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson and the way some black men are inadvertently institutionalizing themselves. He champions working together for the good of brotherhood while putting political views aside.

In “How Much A Dollar Cost,” he writes that he selfishly climbed to the top and needs every nickel he’s got.

But Lamar has learned a lot. He talks about what he knows for sure and what he thinks he knows while fans are invited along for the ride.

He’s wide awake now, and he’s challenging everyone to wake up as well. He cautions fans to humble themselves, let go of insecurities and focus on what matters.

In “You Ain’t Got To Lie,” he spouts off about others’ insecurities, performing circus acts to impress others, from press agents to girls, and even the homies.

He clearly says this is all unnecessary as “You Ain’t Got To Lie” to kick it. In the end, Lamar wants everyone to “be real.”

In “Complexion (A Zulu Love),” he says, “Beauty is what you make it, I used to be mistaken, different faces. Women love the creation. It all came from God.”

In the album-closing song “Mortal Man,” he says, “We ain’t got time to waste, so appreciate the time you got left.

In the end, the overtones from Lamar’s album challenge us all to make a difference.

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