I love myself. Easy to say…tough to do most times. Even tougher to convince generations of youth to accept and believe in themselves when it seems the world is against them.
I love music. The ability to connect on the same emotional level as another human being you have never met on a lyrical and instrumental plane is incredible. I love many types of music for many different reasons. But it seemed of late there has been one genre that lacks the emotional connection I seek. That is until I heard Kendrick Lamar ‘ s I.
When the rap industry produces clones of the drug/gang hustle game who’s male chauvinistic and ignorant hate filled lyrics souring an image of a late great artist, K dot tells the hood, the city, the country, the world to learn to love themselves.
His words at first can be dismissed as the typical egotistical rhymes of an ignorant rapper, but when you dissect you realize the artist who lives as Kendrick Lamar.
He says in one part of the song:
Peace to the fashion poilce, I wear my heart
On my sleeve, let the runway start
You know the miserable do love company
What do you want from me and my scars?
Everybody lack confidence, everybody lack confidence
When other rappers talk about how tight they look and how others look whack, he exposes them to the fact they do this only because of the inner hate they might have. He is saying “judge me” but know you only do it because of the inner hate.
He then says:
How many times my potential was anonymous?
How many times the city making me promises?
He is exposing the vicious circle of society. It’s not just government, not just the upper class, not just our community, but also ourselves that contains the level we could reach.
He is not the only rapper either. Others like Wale, Lupe Fiasco, and J Cole have expressed the same sentiment. This same sentiment was expressed in probably the most influential artist of our time: Tupac Shakur.
Tupac could make a song celebrating the chauvinistic views of rap one song and then make a song denouncing them and address it stating that he’s only human.
All these gang banging/drug slanging rappers who are called merely clones of Tupac are not. They missed the message that these rappers I have mentioned found.
For awhile, I thought the message from Pac got lost….I was wrong. It was found in some of the harshest environments. They truly are the roses that grew from concrete.
Tupac said he might not be the mind who changes the world, but he would spark the mind who changes the world. He was right. We have that power. All of us. I urge everyone to read Pac’s poetry and to learn the passion this man had for the youth to make a change, to not celebrate the hate, the hurt, the death, and violence but the love.
Please check out some of these artists today.