Our season long analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s final song “Mortal Man”.
Part 1 examines the song “Mortal Man” while Part 2 dissects the conversation between Kendrick and 2Pac that concludes the album.
Our season long analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s thirteenth track “The Blacker the Berry.”
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”
Our season long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly continues with the album’s eleventh track, “How Much a Dollar Cost?”
Plagued by Uncle Sam (the American Dream) and Lucy (temptation), Kendrick has stood at a metaphoric crossroads for most of the album, deciding whether to use or pimp his talent for good or evil. “How Much a Dollar Cost?” will force Kendrick’s hand. Continue reading “S1E13 – How Much a Dollar Cost? by Kendrick Lamar from To Pimp a Butterfly”
Our season long examination of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s tenth track “Hood Politics.”
Our season long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly continues with the album’s seventh song “Alright.”
In the context of the album’s narrative, “Alright” takes place the morning after the drunken confession heard on the previous song “u.” After a therapeutic confrontation of his demons, it seems Kendrick has awoken with a more optimistic outlook and seems determined to overcome his anxieties.
We begin our season long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the album’s opening track, Wesley’s Theory.
Listen to Episode 3 on iTunes: iTunes.com/dissect
To Pimp a Butterfly is a concept album that documents Lamar’s journey from caterpillar to butterfly (metaphorically, of course). Wesley’s Theory introduces the album’s protagonist, Kendrick himself, a young, naive rapper that has achieved stardom and escaped from the cocoon of Compton. We also meet the album’s antagonist, Uncle Sam, who looks to exploit young Kendrick for profit.
Through the lens of this song, we’ll cover topics like the American Dream in modern society, the origins of the phrase “40 Acres and a mule”, Dave Chapelle’s exit from his hit TV show, and Wesley Snipes’ tax evasion conviction.
We’ll also examine how Wesley’s Theory is written cinematically and sets the stage for the narrative that unfolds throughout To Pimp a Butterfly.
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We begin our season long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the history of Compton, California and Lamar’s transformation from K Dot, a young mixtape rapper, to Kendrick Lamar, a true artist.
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