Kendrick Lamar Addresses Critics Of "The Blacker The Berry"
It’s no secret that Kendrick Lamar Duckworth has had an epic 2015. With 11 Grammy nominations, a wildly revolutionary sophomore album and a song, “Alright,” that has become a #BlackLivesMatter anthem — K Dot still wasn’t immune from those with disdain for the Compton MC.
In a sit-down chat with NPR, Lamar addressed the backlash from some members of the black community pegged to his song “The Blacker The Berry,” which was a standalone release. The black community took umbrage with Lamar’s usage of such unfavorable terms as “victim blaming” and respectability politics,” saying, “We don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us?”
That comment, which was said after the Michael Brown killing, made K Dot a target by the black community. Kendrick spoke about the criticisms with NPR, saying that his words on “The Blacker The Berry” were not meant to be viewed as a condemnation of his entire race. “It’s not me pointing at my community; it’s me pointing at myself,” said Kendrick. The 28-year-old California native followed that up by saying, “I don’t talk about these things if I haven’t lived them, and I’ve hurt people in my life. It’s something I still have to think about when I sleep at night.”
Admitting to NPR and himself that the message he was delivering was to him, Lamar reflectively said that he couldn’t change the world until “I change myself first.”
Kendrick Lamar has used his artistry and his platform as a superstar to address racial, societal and political issues. On To Pimp a Butterfly, he shifted the discussion from bandos in the trap to remarking about complexion and easing the wounds that others have inflicted on the black community. Despite the issues that were brought up by those within the black community, Kendrick plans on continuing to make music that speaks to what is happening in the greater world around him.
“There’s a lot of other artists doing things outside of that depth that I enjoy — that music that I can actually have fun to, and not be in depth and think about, then I appreciate that,” Kendrick stated. “But as long as I’m doing it right now, I’ma continue to say just a little bit more that pertains to what’s going on.”
Listen to the chat for yourself below!