Season 5 dissects Kendrick Lamar’s Pulitzer Prize winning album, DAMN.
A direct continuation of To Pimp a Butterfly, DAMN. tells the story of conflicted prophet Kung Fu Kenny who rejects God’s call to prophesy in order to pursue sex, money, and murder. We follow Kenny as he attempts to reverse his curses into blessings.
I’ve teamed with artist/Dissect listener Hannah Sellers to create a book called The Blacker the Berry, now available for pre-order on Kickstarter. The book is a visual exploration of the social and historical context of Kendrick Lamar’s song “The Blacker the Berry.” Hannah created beautiful graphic collages that accompany my analysis of the song, and it really enhances your experience and understanding of Kendrick’s message. Seriously, this thing is absolutely gorgeous, a true piece of art.
For a limited time, you can back this project by pre-ordering your very own copy. We’ve also set a stretch goal, and if reached, we’ll donate $1 of every book sold to Social Works, a youth empowerment charity started by Chance the Rapper.
Throughout Dissect Season 1, we collected donations to benefit Compton’s Centennial High School music program. This was Kendrick Lamar’s alma mater, a school he’s since donated money to in an effort to keep off the streets and in the music studio.
On Friday, April 7th, the Centennial High Jazz Band traveled to Palo Alto, California to perform in the World Strides competition. After their performance, they went sightseeing in San Francisco.
For many of the kids, the trip was the first time traveling such a distance outside of Compton. Dissect funds were used for those kids could not afford the trip on their own, but were able to attend due to our support.
I had the opportunity to travel to Palo Alto, see the performance, and meet the band afterwards. Band director Manuel Castaneda was very gracious, and the kids themselves were very polite and appreciative. It was a beautiful experience, something I’ll never forget.
Thank you to all the Dissect listeners who donated to this cause. You helped to provide a memorable life experience for those would otherwise could not have attended. Small acts, big rewards.
I began constructing a Dissect Season 2 fundraiser to help offset some of the costs for the podcast. But the more I thought about it, and the more asked myself “What Would Kendrick Do?” I’ve decided instead to donate all fundraiser proceeds* to the Centennial High School Music Program in Compton, CA. This was Kendrick Lamar’s high school, and he’s since made significant contributions to the music program in an effort to keep kids in the studio and off the street. Given all we’ve learned from To Pimp a Butterfly, I thought this would be an appropriate gesture of gratitude.
I have a goal of raising $1,000 by the end of Season 1. I think we can easily achieve this goal! Updates will be given weekly.
Dissect T-Shirt (S-XL)
Riz Apparel “Levitate” Hat. Riz Apparel is a brand of dad caps curated by culture.
Printed and Signed Season 1 Manuscript
(to be made upon completion of Season 1)
All donation perks will be sent digitally or physically upon completion of Season 1 in late January.
$1-$29: Dissect Season 1 MP3 Download + PDF manuscript
$30+: 1 Donation Perk of your choice + mp3/PDF
$60+: 2 Donation Perks + mp3/PDF
$100+: All 3 Donation Perks + On Air Recognition + mp3/PDF
You will receive a confirmation e-mail from me within 24 hours. If you experience trouble using the link above, please e-mail DISSECTPODCAST@GMAIL.COM.
*Proceeds=all money after recouping shipping and perk production costs. Each Donation perk = $15 (includes shipping in United States**)
For example, if you contributed $30, $15 goes to cover the cost of donation perk, and $15 goes to music program fundraiser.
**For international shipping, additional cost will be required depending on location. Please contact email@example.com to arrange your order.
The song was the album’s second single and released amidst the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s incredibly potent, packed with references to the historic oppression of the black community, race relations in contemporary American society, police brutality, the US penitentiary system, and the complexities of black identity, among many others. Continue reading “S1E15/16 – The Blacker the Berry by Kendrick Lamar”