“The only way out the ghetto, you know the stereotype, Shooting hoops or live on the stereo like top 40″ Kendrick ‘Black Boy fly”
The Genius track pick for this week goes to ‘Black Boy Fly’ by Kendrick Lamar.
This is a bonus track from his fist debut album Good Kid Mad City, the song focuses on Kendrick Lamar growing up in the hood and watching people rise out of their cocoon to achieve greatness. In the song he mentions Rapper (The Game) and Basket ball Player (Arron Afflalo) who are both Compton natives. He explains that growing up he used to feel jealous of what this individuals had achieved as him and his boys where hopeless, as all they did was ditch classes and drink ‘heading nowhere fast’.
“I used to be jealous of Aaron Afflalo
He was the one to follow
He was the only leader foreseeing brighter tomorrows
Determination ambition, plus dedication and wisdom
Qualities he was given was the shit we didn’t have”
“I used to jealous of Jayceon (The Game)
Taylor made a career out of music from writing songs
A Buick had driven past bumping him when I mowed the lawn
Money laundering hustling, homies pondering up against
Schemes to make a million even if doing you harm”
The two guys he was most jelous of, one played basket-ball and the other made his money via rap music, Kendrick goes on to highlight that the black man has become a prisoner to the streets that conceived him as the stereotype cuts deep that the only way for niggaz to make it out of the ghetto in his hood is via playing basketball or becoming a rapper.
“The only way out the ghetto, you know the stereotype Shooting hoops or live on the stereo like top 40”
Kendrick geniusly sums up the entire song explaining that the “jealousy” he felt didn’t come from a place of hate but instead, from fear that they would be the last people to make it out of Compton. Now he bears witness to his own rise to fame…..
“I wasn’t jealous cause of the talents they got
I was terrified they’d be the last black boys to fly…
Out of Compton
Black boy fly, watch that black boy fly“
If you try think about it, this track is very much linked to the poem he resides at the end of ‘Mortal Man’, talking about the black man being caught up in the streets, but eventually realizing his worth and potential and breaking free of his cocoon and thus becoming a butterfly…. hence the last line in the song “Now watch that black boy fly”…
“When trapped inside these walls certain ideas start to take roots, such as going home, and bringing back new concepts to this mad city
The result? Wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations that the caterpillar never considered, ending the eternal struggle” To Pimp a Butterfly
IT’S NOT JUST MUSIC!!.. Listen…