Kendrick Lamar – ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’

By | March 20, 2015 at 4:19 pm | No comments | Editors Choice, MUSIC | Tags: , , , ,


Album: To Pimp a Butterfly
Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Released: March 16, 2015
Label: TDE/Aftermath/Interscope

“My People”

The night is beautiful,
So the faces of my people.
The stars are beautiful,
So the eyes of my people
Beautiful, also, is the sun.
Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people.

– Langston Hughes

Kendrick Lamar is to Los Angeles today in the same fashion that Langston Hughes was to the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920’s & 30’s.

In this turbulent world of modern pork barrel politics, police shootings, institutionalized racism and gang banging… Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” is a positive affirmation that black is beautiful. This album is unapologetically black, but not in a manner that ostracizes other ethnicities. K.Dot’s mission statement with this project is to “enlighten you without frightening you.”

This album is the “Fear Of A Black Planet” for a new generation. It’s the voice of a good kid who got out of a mad city, saw the world and came back home.

The dialogue between Kendrick and 2pac at the end of “Mortal Man” frames the delicate balance that is keeping peace on the streets of our country. The disparity between the poor and the rich continues to grow by the day. The discourse this album creates is crucial to understanding the epidemics of ignorance which could engulf our cities with violence. This work of art is not a call to arms, it is a reflection of the struggle our youth faces.

To Kill A Mockingbird is a sin because mockingbirds exist purely to sing, and by doing so, to make the world a better place. A butterfly is beautiful in a similar manner. And to pimp and capitalize off of such innocence is a reflection of how AmeriKKKa can socially and culturally castrate black men.

The reinterpretation of funk and jazz on this project serve Lamar’s purpose of challenging the listener to think. He dares us to rise above, to float like a butterfly. Muhammad Ali would be proud. K.Dot is constantly raising the levels of expectation, and with this project, he doesn’t disappoint.

“The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it. Its only job is to eat or consume everything around it, in order to protect itself from this mad city. While consuming its environment the caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive. One thing it noticed is how much the world shuns him, but praises the butterfly. The butterfly represents the talent, the thoughtfulness, and the beauty within the caterpillar. But having a harsh outlook on life the caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak and figures out a way to pimp it to his own benefits. He can no longer see past his own thoughts. He’s trapped. When trapped inside these walls certain ideas start to take roots, such as going home, and bringing back new concepts to this mad city. The result? Wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant. Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations that the caterpillar never considered, ending the eternal struggle. Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.”

This is the growth of one man’s consciousness painted for the world to see. Walk in his shoes, listen to the game given within and absorb the wisdom as it reflects on our instinctive travels and paths of rhythm.

You know ya man’s @DropJewelz.

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