Man, this post was a difficult one for me. When asked what my favorite book/movie/song is I have so many that it’s hard to choose just one. But for this post, I chose Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Kush & Corinthians.’ I’m a huge music lover & I don’t discriminate against any music but I listen to a lot of hip-hop. Oh and country but seeing as I chose a hip-hop song for this week’s post…. 😉 This is off Kendrick’s first studio album that came out in 2011 so it was obviously before he linked up with Dr. Dre & became as huge as he is these days. Now, I’m a huge Kendrick fan & I love his whole catalog but I think that a lot of his older music is some of his best work. This song, in particular, is one of his standouts.
“Music soothes us, lulls and comforts. And then there’s the perfect song – the one in which the artist says exactly what you need to hear at a specific moment in your life.” Now, I’m sure I’m not alone when I say there have been times (so many!) in which you question life & what you’re doing here. If you were raised in a religious household, as I was, then you’re taught to believe in God & to live your life according to what’s in the Bible. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve strayed away from that & started making my own judgement & opinions to my experiences. Not that I don’t believe in a God or even what the Bible says. I just don’t agree with EVERYTHING you’re taught in church. That is what this song is about. It’s about dealing with struggles in morality & temptations & how to live a good life.
To the meaning of life, what’s my purpose/Maybe this Earth ain’t a good place to be/ How far is heaven/Let’s see/Is it in the clouds like they said it would be/I wonder when I die will he give me receipts/ I wonder will the eyes of the Lord look at me?
Raised in a Christian household I can relate to what Kendrick is saying. You want to believe that there’s something else out there especially when hateful things are happening everyday (most recently the massacre in Orlando.)
Are Recording Artists Honest? Now, I think this is subjective as topics such as music is. Compared to a lot of modern rappers Kendrick is one of the few rappers that is honest in his music. He started off his career with that honesty & he’s maintained it to this day. Don’t believe me? Check out his songs, ‘Swimming Pools’ off the good kid, m.A.A.d city album and ‘u’ off the To Pimp A Butterfly album. With what rap has evolved to (or devolved to) it’s refreshing to hear a rapper be unapologetic about his struggles. It’s not all about money, weed, and girls which is a misconception a lot of people have about rap music. Kendrick has said in multiple interviews that he identifies as a Christian but has questioned his faith many many times especially when you’re from a city like Compton where violence is so commonplace.
I’m a loser/I’m a winner/I’m good/I’m bad/I’m a Christian/I’m a sinner/I’m humble/I’m loud/I’m righteous/I’m a killer/What I’m doing/I’m saying that I’m human.
Is Recorded Music Independent? I’m a little unclear on what it was saying about this in the article. I guess compared to other artists like Taylor Swift or Katy Perry where you hear their music in commercials then Kendrick would be considered independent. He hasn’t allowed his music to be played in order to sell a product to consumers. To the best of my recollection the only commercial I’ve ever heard his music played was a Beats commercial & I’m sure his relationship with Dr. Dre was a factor in it.
Can Recorded Music Be Productive? I do think artists have the potential for their music to be productive. It may not “change the world” but I do think it can influence a person & their beliefs & what kind of person they choose to be. But it’s not a justification for behaviors such as in the article about Marilyn Manson and the Columbine murders. I do listen to a lot of rap but I have no inkling to join a gang or start selling drugs. Music is a reflection of the artist’s reality & I think that’s what a lot of music critics are forgetting. Kendrick is a socially conscious rapper (as his idol Tupac was) and if you listen to his To Pimp A Butterfly album you can hear it. ‘Alright’ featuring Pharrell Williams is a good example of it.
Overall, Kendrick is awesome. He’s one of my top 5 rappers & I guarantee even if you don’t like rap music but happen to hear a Kendrick song you can’t help but vibe along to it. 😉 That is what I think makes particular musicians endure throughout the years.
“Linton argues that music can be a productive force in some ways – It can help a human endure repetitive chores, encourage learning, & provide a means of self-reflection or illumination.”