Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Powerful Hip-Hop...or So It Seems

My post is also a way-to-long comment in response to Peter’s post about Kendrick Lamar.  I first heard Kendrick Lamar’s music during the summer before my freshman year here at Rhodes and I was very pleased with his music.  He definitely seems to offers a new spin on modern hip-hop and rap.  I was very drawn to his lyrics because they seemed a little more substantial than a lot of the more popular songs today.  However, I was very disappointed when I saw him at a music festival called Bonnaroo this summer. 
            Needless to say I was excited to find out that Kendrick Lamar was playing at Bannaroo.  I had been listening to his album Section.80 for a while and was impressed the apparent thoughtfulness of his words.  When the time came for him to perform I was very dissatisfied when about half of his performance was him singing/shouting “Pussy and patron make me feel alright,” and then having the audience repeat it back.  I had never heard this song of his and honestly it really offended me.  It didn’t offend me so much because of the words (although they are very derogatory) but because I thought Kendrick Lamar was deeper than that.  It made me think that maybe, contrary to what he says in a lot of his music, he is writing music just to make profit. 
As I think more on Kendrick Lamar and his music I feel that if I was in his position I may do the same thing.  If I can write some music songs to appeal to people that like songs like “P & P (Pussy and Patron)” and other songs like “HiiiPower” to appeal to others listeners that like songs with a deeper meaning, then that would mean doubling my profits.  Plus, songs like “HiiiPower” will appeal to most black people because of all the black references such as Martin Luther, Malcolm X and Huey Newton.  I feel as if those leaders did so much during the civil rights movement that it is hard not to rally around them.  However as I read the lyrics that Peter bolded it seems to me that the words were just thrown in the song and don’t have any real meaning except to identify him as a black man.  It’s almost as if references to black history masks the true lyrics.  To me it seems that a lot of the popular rap artists today, even some like Kendrick Lamar who come off as unique, seem to portray themselves as stereotypical rappers that just want some “pussy and patron” and have their “finger on the motherfucking pistol.” 
I am still a fan of Kendrick Lamar, however, I don’t give him as much credit as I once did.  Below are the lyrics to his song “P & P.”  Enjoy.

"P & P"
(feat. Ab Soul)

[Kendrick Lamar:]
Oh, what up hoe? Oh, what up?
I said, oh, what up hoe? Oh, what up?
I said, oh, what up hoe? Oh, what up?
Well alright

[Chorus x2: Kendrick Lamar]
I'm going through something with life
Where pussy and Patron make you feel alright
Pussy and Patron make you feel alright
Pussy and Patron, that's some great advice

[Kendrick Lamar:]
Welcome to my diary, stressing got me gray hairs
Something to inspire me, rather than society's
Woes, let me go, let me shine a lil' bit love
I want diamonds too, Ronnie on Player's Club
I used to have a nine-to-five, fresh out of school, that was '05
That bitch was racist, got me fired, ever since then, I had no job
Pushing in my mama van, stop for gas on Rosecrans
Trust me, these niggas rushed me for something my cousin probably did
Guilty by association, story of my life nigga!
You gon' make me flip, then split yo' shit, judge give me life nigga!
Pain since my grandma's death, uncle killed at Louie's Burgers
Hold my tears, I tried my best, let it go, drench my pullover
Cycles of a starving artist tryna go beyond the margin-margin
Maintaining my modest-modest as I dream
So while I go through all-this-all-this, bullshit what you call it
Life itself, I know it helps, let me scroll through my Blackberry

[Chorus x2]

[Kendrick Lamar:]
I said, keep reading my diary when my life's entirely
Surrounded by the irony of living in the city
I said they wouldn't hire me, I said I got my ass beat
And the only thing can help is ass and some titties
So what's up baby? I said what's up?
I had a long day and I really wanna fuck
See I ain't tryna think about no phone bills, credit card late fees
Capital One popping up on my caller I.D.
Pawning my chain in the shop, watching for hollow tip shots
Watching my vehicle break down on another man's block
Man, that's my worst fear, ain't that your worst fear?
You know when your transmission go out and can't switch gears
Or run through a pothole at two in the morning
Scared to hit your emergencies, cause then they'll be on it
See I know, when the harsh reality takes toll
Open up your contacts, then scroll ("hey what's up daddy? ")

[Chorus x2]

Welcome to my diary, hmm, where should I begin?
Finna get a swisher and fill it with at least a gram
Crackers watch my every step, better yet they work my every nerve
Cutting me this worthless check, the concept is so absurd
Like a church in debt, a turtle in a turtleneck
Convertibles with turbo jets fueled by 7 Up and Prometh'
I feel like death's around the corner like the quickest wide receiver
So I took another shot, tequila hit me like a nina (blaow!)
My sky's gray, my bitch is brighter
Always saying "Lights Please", J. Cole's her ghostwriter
And I'm the God MC, join my diocese
Free ya mind, don't mind so-ciety
And finally, everyone got their own problems
Everything's subject to change like broken dollars
I'm a, drown in my drink and swim in woman's vagina
Like a Pirahna fin, it gets harder than Rihanna when

[Chorus x2]

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