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Genius Level Kendrick Lamar (Good Kid Mad City- An Album about The Streets, Gangs and Finding God)

08 May

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Kendrick Lamar, K Dot or Good kid. Call him whatever but one thing remains clear about him, he’s a genius; a musical, lyrical, song writing genius. Rumor has it he’s ghost written for a couple of famous acts in the industry. His music always has a message and that message can be seen in the way he sets up his albums. From Section 80 to the recent Good Kid Mad City album. In my opinion, the later is the best album of our time. I’ll even take in further and say its not an album it’s a movie, how? Well just listen………. Here’s what Drake had to say about the album

“The last great concept album was Kendrick Lamar’s good kid m.A.A.d city—still obviously true to his life but very conceptual. Very specific stories that need to be told. I always say hats off to that album, that album’s incredible, what an undertaking” Drizzy Drake

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As tempting as it is, I will avoid going into the control verse controversy. I got shocked the other day when someone told me ‘Swimming Pools’ is a commercial track, really? Let me not get too excited, let’s dump it down from the start.

Good Kid Mad City the Album centres around the negative environment Kendrick Lamar grew up in. Hence the name ‘Good Kid’, growing up in a ‘Mad City’. Everything becomes much clearer when you start from the beginning, although I must say it’s a bit confusing when the very beginning gives you a taste of the ending. Confusing much? Well just listen………

Track 1: Sherane A.K.A. Master Splinters Daughter

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The intro which gives us a taste of the Outro starts off with a prayer

“Lord God I come to you a sinner and I humbly repent for my sins, I believe that Jesus is Lord, I believe that you raised him from the dead, I will ask that Jesus will come to my life and be my Lord & savior. I receive Jesus to take control of my life and that I may live for him this day forth. Thank you Lord Jesus for saving me with your precious blood. In Jesus name, Amen”

Now let’s rewind back to the start………

Sherane! This is the girl that Kendrick describes in the song. “She had the credentials of strippers in Atlanta, Ass came with a hump from the jump she was a camel I want to ride like Arabians Push an 04 Mercedes-Benz”. He heads over to her, introduces himself and they instantly hit it off. Only problem was she stayed in a different neighborhood than Kendrick, so given the different gangs around the City dating a girl from another hood might just be a bit of a problem for the guys who stay there, especially for a “bad girl like Sherane”.

The summer had past after meeting her and Kendrick is already in love with her, This goes in line with the whole trend of guys denying it but really they do like bad girls, anyway.

 “The summer had passed and now I’m liking her
Conversation we having probably enticing her
Who could imagine, maybe my actions would end up wifing her
Love or lust, regardless we’ll fuck cause the trife in us
It’s deep rooted, the music of being young and dumb
Its never muted, in fact it’s much louder where I’m from
We know a lot bout each other, her mother was a crack addict
She live with her granny and her younger two brothers
Her favorite cousin Demetrius has a reputable
History of gang banging did make me skeptical
But not enough to stop me from getting a nut
I wanna come over, what’s up?
That’s what I told her soon as this episode
Of Martin go off
I’m trying to get off
I was in heat like a cactus, my tactics of being thirsty
Probably could hurt me, but fuck it I got some heart
Grab my momma’s keys, hopped in the car, then oh boy”

At this point you can imagine Kendrick is deep in, even thinking about marrying her.

In the classic case of a Morgan Freeman narration, let’s step back from the Sherane story and have a look at the Mad City that Kendrick grew up in and the type of influences it had on him.

Track 2: Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe

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In this song Kendrick tries to fend off all of his homeboy’s negativity against his choice of dating Sherane who they say is bad for him. He then tries to get them to stay away from his business “Bitch don’t kill my Vibe” the chorus also highlights what he already knows, Sherane is bad for him  but he does not care about that right now, if he had to re-write his wrongs  he’s choose to re-do them over and over again,

“I am a sinner
Who’s probably gonna sin again
Lord forgive me
Lord forgive me
Things I don’t understand
Sometimes I need to be alone
Bitch don’t kill my vibe
Bitch don’t kill my vibe”

Track 3: Back Street Freestyles

This next part flows over from the previous song, where he is chilling with his homeboys and they decide to ride out with him. Kendrick is the only one amongst them who isn’t a gangster so most of the time he freestyles for them. All of his friends aren’t as ambitious as him, he is the dreamer in the group.

“Martin had a dream, Kendrick have a DREAM, all my life I wanted money and power” This signifies his dream to make it big in the music industry and get the money and respect that comes with it.

Track 4 & 5: The Art Of Peer Pressure & Money Trees

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With these two songs Kendrick continues to narrate the “MAD” things he does when he is with his gangster friends in the Mad City.

“Look at me, I got a blunt in my mouth, usually I’m drug free, but shit I’m with the homies”

The two songs centre around him and his friends driving around, looking for bad things they can get into, robbing houses and all. The two songs also highlight their love for money and how Sherane is a bad girl (She once gave Kendrick an STD)

“Me and my niggas tryna get it, ya bish
Hit this house lick tell me is you with it, ya bish
Home invasion was persuasive
From nine to five I know it’s vacant, ya bish
Dreams of living life like rappers do”
“Back when condom wrappers wasn’t cool
I f***** Sherane then went to tell my bros
Then Usher Raymond “Let it Burn” came on”

Track 6: Poetic Justice

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Now to get back to the Sherane story. There she was sending Kendrick naked pictures and as a result all Kendrick was thinking about was sex with her; then off he went headed to Sherane’s hood even playing love songs in the car, “Poetic justice”, bare in mind that this track is a sample from a Janet Jackson love song. Now remember the Mad City has a mix of gangsters who don’t necessarily like each other, once they see someone they don’t know they jump him.

That was the case when Kendrick arrived in Sherane’s neighborhood, the guys around there jumped him and beat him up. Two things here, they assumed he was affiliated with a different gang and secondly because he was dating Sherane who I assume one of them wanted to date.

Track 9: Swimming Pools

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Now following the beat down he received at the hands of Sherane’s homeboys, he drove home were he met up with friends who offered him alcohol to sort of help in dealing with the pain. Hence the name of the song is swimming pools, which speaks of how people drown their sorrows in alcohol in hopes of healing the ‘pain’.

“Nigga pass Dot the bottle” this is from the previous song, track 8.

I hope this kills off the claims of this being a commercial song, Kendrick did not “Let Nas Down”. See what I did there?

Kendrick does not smoke nor drink, the song does not encourage alcohol consumption contrary to popular believe.

“Now I done grew up
Round some people living their life in bottles
Granddaddy had the golden flask
Back stroke every day in Chicago
Some people like the way it feels
Some people wanna kill their sorrows
Some people wanna fit in with the popular
That was my problem”

Kendrick actually advices against drinking and especially drinking to fit in with the popular. True meaning of music only comes to you when you listen, so just listen…………….

Track 10: Sing About Me

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Now after his homeboys found out of what had happened to Kendrick, they immediately drove to Sherane’s neighborhood to go find the guys who beat up Kendrick and then do something about it.

Upon arrival, they jump out to shoot a couple of bullets to try scare the dudes, unexpectedly they retaliated and this resulted in one of Kendrick’s friends being killed. The relevance of the song? Well one of his friends knowing that the gangster life will eventually get him killed tells Kendrick that when he one day makes it big in the music industry, he must Sing About Them, tell their stories to the world. Which funny enough is what Kendrick did with the whole album, he tells the whole world of the Madness of his city, but the message he passes on is that your environment should not be a limiting factor to what you can do, don’t let your environment define you.

“he tells the whole world of the Madness of his city, but the message he passes on is that your environment should not be a limiting factor to what you can do, don’t let your environment define you”

Dying of Thirst

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Now after the killing of his friend, they wanted to go get revenge and kill the person who killed him. One of them after realising that they were all “dying of thirst” adviced against this. This has a profound meaning in that, the thirst entails they needed Jesus in their lives. Regardless of them jumping into alcoholic drinks “Swimming pools” they were still “Dying of Thirst” and needed the holy water to help rid them of the evil that was clinging onto them

“Dying of thirst, dying of thirst, so hop into that water and pray that it works”

What this says is, turn to God and pray that he helps you change your way of life.

The story ends where they all decide to turn to God, the preacher in the church they went to had a special prayer he wanted them to say……………….

“Lord God I come to you a sinner and I humbly repent for my sins, I believe that Jesus is Lord, I believe that you raised him from the dead, I will ask that Jesus will come to my life and be my Lord & savior. I receive Jesus to take control of my life and that I may live for him this day forth. Thank you Lord Jesus for saving me with your precious blood. In Jesus name, Amen”

After turning to God the rest was taken care of. Kendrick’s friends changed their ways and Kendrick went on to become a music superstar. Maktup!! It was written!!

Music is inspirational and has so much meaning.

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Article by Kagiso Maloma covering the deeper meaning behind Kendrick Lamar’s Good Kid Mad City Album.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Art, Genius Individuals, Music

 

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One response to “Genius Level Kendrick Lamar (Good Kid Mad City- An Album about The Streets, Gangs and Finding God)

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