Let’s be honest, you won’t likely hear many of Kendrick’s tracks bumping in the club. Because for Mr. Lamar, making hype tracks to get wasted to is not one of his main priorities. Kendrick consistently stays true to his classic vibe – jazzy instrumentals, spoken word, intricate layers of beats and verse, and undisputed lyrical genius. For me, his music is like a work of art that requires more than one listen through to appreciate fully. He creates tracks containing messages that stretch far beyond the confines of “booze and bitches”, and like all messages, his music requires time and attention to understand and appreciate.
“Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst”, off his album Good Kid M.A.A.D. City, has hands down, affected me in ways that no other track by any other artists could ever. This track explores neighbourhood gang violence and murder, something that I personally never had to live with as a child. And although I obviously knew that these things existed, the depth, power, and unexpected calmness in his voice catches me off guard, still to this day.
“I count lives all on these songs
Look at the weak and cry, pray one day, you’ll be strong
Fighting for your rights even when you’re wrong
And hope that at least one of you sing about me when I’m gone”
Kendrick pulled me into a world saturated with anger, vengeance, and sorrow with this song and forced me to recognize how fortunate I am to have a peaceful upbringing and made me realize how much of my life I took for granted. Kendrick humbly reiterates how precious life is, and how that for many people who die too young, they leave no legacy besides their name – their memory only carried by those that will continue to sing about them.
Kendrick Lamar stays true to his love for music, and expresses it through his thoughts that pour through your speakers with a sound that is uniquely his. The roller coaster of emotions and provocative questions his music takes me on all but inspires me to take a step back from the world we live in and look at the big picture – to critically consider your life through the eyes of Kendrick Lamar.
No other artist has affected me the way Kendrick has, and this is why I love Kendrick Lamar.