By: Ralph White, Contributing Writer
Straight outta Compton comes the rapper who kills his opponents with words and enlightens our minds.
As his March 16 album announces, Kendrick Lamar has returned with a vengeance.
Last album, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,”
Lamar left us with head bangers such as “Backseat Freestyle” and slow jams like “Poetic Justice.”. That was almost three years ago.
Since then, social injustice sparked riots throughout America, creating a collective sense of strife the black community has not felt since almost 50 years ago. As Lamar expresses, they are sick and tired: Sick and tired of the deaths of their fellow man, in particularly children and young adults, sick and tired of being mistreated and then being ask to extend a hand of love
While many celebrities shy away from these issues, Lamar takes them head on in “To Pimp A Butterfly,” a play on words from the famous novel “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Jumping into the funk-based album, Kendrick presents “Wesley’s Theory,” stating the dreams of a black man from the hood and how “the man,” Uncle Sam can make that happen… but only at a cost.
Lamar then begins to tell the story of the Black man and his inner struggles to conquer. In “For Sale,” he addresses the Black man’s the courage to do something for himself within institutionalized systems of temptations to indulge in his deepest desires.
An expedition for the mind and soul, the album ends with an interview between Kendrick and the late Tupac discussing America and hip-hop as a whole in “Mortal Man.”
This is a warning: this album is a food for thought piece. Yes, there are some funky grooves to dance to, including “King Kunta” and “I,” but this album is crafted to make its listeners think. What has happened so far in America and what will happen in the future if we keep going the way we are?