Culture Clips: The Rock Is Dead, Rap Reigns Edition

Kendrick Lamar

Rock is dead. Rap reigns.

So say music charts, YouTube views, Spotify play lists and Washington Post contributor Marc Weingarten. His opinion piece yesterday, “Sorry, rock fans. Hip-hop is the only genre that matters right now,” unpacks the significance of rapper Kendrick Lamar winning this year’s Pulitzer Prize for music. Though rock fans may be loath to admit it, it’s hard to argue against the evidence. Weingarten writes,

No one who has heard Kendrick Lamar’s stunning album D–n could be at all surprised that it is the first nonclassical or jazz recording to win a Pulitzer Prize. More than that, it is further proof—if any is still needed—that American culture has at last fully moved beyond the hegemony of rock-and-roll and the electric guitar-driven sound that dominated 60 years of popular music. … Hip-hop has also become the musical soundtrack of millennials’ lives.

Then again, that’s assuming people are really listening to music at all these days. Who has time to listen when we have so much stuff to watch? We hardly go a week without an article about our collective compulsivity when it comes to screens. This week’s edition focuses—for once—not on children or Millennials but on GenXers as the biggest screen addicts.

Meanwhile, Gizmodo suggests that conscientious parents trying to monitor their teens’ screen usage may perhaps be doing more harm than good, depending upon how they go about it. The title of Ed Cara’s article delivers that message bluntly: “Teen Monitoring Apps Don’t Work and Just Make Teens Hate Their Parents, Study Finds.”

The study in question was conducted by researchers at the University of South Florida. Senior author Pamela Wisniewski, an assistant professor of engineering and computer science there, told Gizmodo, “The takeaway here is that parents should not treat parental control apps as a magic bullet to keep their teens safe online.” She also emphasized that technology can never take the place of good old-fashioned relationship-building: “If they use the apps as a tool to supplement positive parenting practices, not to take the place of them, then these apps could be beneficial. However, they should not be used as a ‘set it and forget it’ solution because they are imperfect and cannot replace talking with our children and teaching them how to engage with others online meaningfully and safely.”

Academics elsewhere this week released yet another study correlating excessive smartphone use to a host of negative outcomes, namely anxiety, loneliness and depression.

That said, I wouldn’t expect a mass exodus from screens or entertainment. Disney certainly has no such expectations, this week ponying up a cool $52.4 billion for most of 21st Century Fox (pending an antitrust review by the Justice Department). The New York Times parses the significance of Disney’s move, saying, “With this deal and the wealth of movies, TV shows and sports programming it provides, the company will now have the muscle to challenge Netflix, Apple, Amazon, Google and Facebook in the fast-growing realm of online video.”

Not everyone is so crazy about streaming these days, though. Like, say, the rule makers at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, who’ve decided that movies that don’t screen in French theaters won’t be eligible to enter the competition. If you’re wondering, that rule is aimed directly at original movies streaming on Netflix, which will not be eligible for awards there. Netflix has chosen to boycott the festival.

Some folks who spend their time thinking about such things (which, I guess, includes us) suggest that this conflict between the purists (Cannes’ gatekeepers) and the innovators (Netflix) is just heating up. Writing for The Atlantic, David Sims observes, “The famed festival is trying to strictly define cinema as a theatrical experience, but it may be fighting a losing war.”

Speaking of Netflix, you can add that company to the list of big tech firms paying close attention to what consumers are viewing through its online portal. And—surprise!USA Today suggests you might be shocked at just how much Netflix knows about you and your viewing habits. Marc Saltzman writes, “We’re finally getting paranoid about our online data. But why stop with Facebook? Netflix knows a ton about us, too.”

Obviously, the backlash against big tech’s surveillance of anyone who’s using it—which is almost all of us—continues to grow. That negative publicity has led Microsoft, Facebook and 32 other tech firms to sign on to the CyberSecurity Tech Accord, a document that Microsoft president Brad Smith likens to a “Digital Geneva Convention” intended to protect users’ data from illegal cyberattacks.

Finally this week, important news from the world of … Scrabble. The official dictionary for the iconic (and, in its analog form, non-screen-based) word game has added some 300 new words to celebrate its 70th anniversary. Among the tech- and social media-inspired new entrants this year are the bon mots emoji and facepalm, as well as the simple-but-evocative interjection ew.

And that last word is good news for those of us whose addiction to screens has eroded our ability think beyond short words, emojis and facepalms.

Who wrote this?

Adam R. Holz is a senior associate editor for Plugged In. He also writes for Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine and has been a Boundless contributor. In his free time (which there is sometimes precious little of) Adam enjoys playing guitar and constructing LEGO kits with his son. Adam and his wife, Jennifer, are the proud parents, in fact, of three children, one boy and two girls.

Have something to say? Leave a comment.

Ed Corps More than 1 year ago
Before I say this I want to point out that it is my belief that we are all one race and one people descended from Adam and Noah. I have no ill intention toward any race. However, I do believe that the entertainment industry is pushing out the various rock and metal genres because they are associated more with "white males" than the other genres. The entertainment industry can absolutely control what is popular culture by controlling the channels through which popular music is distributed. In fact, there are many phenomenal artists out there that will never see the light of day simply because of this fact. The powers that be in the entertainment industry are very much of the same mindset as those who are currently pushing the idea that white people are not only privileged, but have created a world were no other culture can thrive. Whether or not there is any merit to that, there is a push from politicians, entertainment, and academia against anything deemed to be part of the white culture, especially if its also associated primarily with males. I have no ill intention to drive wedges between people, simply pointing out that is exactly what is going on in our culture. I believe even this 'rock' is dead narrative is part and parcel with what is going on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honestly, I think it's perfectly okay to (respectfully) disagree about what's art and not, I believe that one of the main things about art is to encourage debate over its merits. However, I cannot stress enough that you need to be respectful of others opinions on the matter when they disagree with you.

As for you,  @bobed , I remember reading a really interesting booklet at a Christian convention about rap and the Bible written by a Christian Rapper. I can't remember the name of it, but it was a really interesting read and I think you should check it out if you can. I think it was called "What would God say about rap" or something similar.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It might actually be giving YouTube a run for its money
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I agree, it is truly amazing...
Abraham Lincoln More than 1 year ago
Wow, this comment section just got huge. Let's get back into it!

1. Apparently the line "My IV qualify T-Rex" is being slammed over and over for being "nonsensical." Here's a lyric breakdown from Genius:

"Intravenous therapy, or IV, is a way to administer nutritional or medicinal fluids directly into a person’s bloodstream. ‘King Kendrick’ continues to boast, this time comparing himself to the ‘Tyrant King Lizard.’ His appetite is so beastly that he qualifies for a T-Rex sized IV."

Huh, maybe it does actually mean something. Not necessarily deep, but not nonsensical.

2. Kendrick's album absolutely deserves the Pulitzer in my personal opinion; I find an immense amount of meaning in the songs. My favorite song on the entire album is FEAR., a haunting vignette of Lamar's childhood upbringing and the fear that comes with fame. Here's a few of the lyrics:

"I'm talkin' fear, fear of losin' creativity
I'm talkin' fear, fear of missin' out on you and me
I'm talkin' fear, fear of losin' loyalty from pride
'Cause my DNA won't let me involve in the light of God
I'm talkin' fear, fear that my humbleness is gone
I'm talkin' fear, fear that love ain't livin' here no more
I'm talkin' fear, fear that it's wickedness or weakness
Fear, whatever it is, both is distinctive
Fear, what happens on Earth stays on Earth
And I can't take these feelings with me, so hopefully they disperse"

He's literally saying he's afraid because despite who he is and what he's become, that's not what makes him good in God's eyes. Although much of rap is built around bragging and pride, those things won't save him or get him into heaven. He's fearful that what makes someone a good person is gone from him. That seems pretty deep to me.

Listening to the song, it expressed a very personal tale and actually did affect me deeply. I found substance in it. I'm not telling other people what to like or why they should like it. I simply recognize that many people (myself included) have found meaning in Kendrick's latest album. There are genres I do not like. That doesn't mean I go around slamming people for not liking them.

3. While I understand Biblical guidelines regarding the words we say, I also recognize that Kendrick Lamar's vocabulary was shaped by his environment from the day he was born. I find a lot of meaning in his songs, and I usually don't let his choice of words detract from that meaning. There are a plethora of other rap songs which expound upon sex, drugs, and violence without the messages of heartbreak, loss, fear, religion, culture, and pain that Kendrick delivers on this record.

Speaking of the Bible, here's a few verses to leave off with.

"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven" - Luke 6:37

"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things." - Romans 2:1

"but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he cameagain to the templeAll the people came to himand che sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adulteryand placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacherthis woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the LawMoses commanded us to stone such womenSo what do you say?” This they said to test himthat they might have some charge to bring against himJesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the groundAnd as they continued to ask himhe stood up and said to themLet him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard itthey went away one by onebeginning with the older onesand Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to herWomanwhere are theyHas no one condemned you?” She said, “No oneLord.” And Jesus saidNeither do I condemnyougoand from now on sin no more.” - John 8:1-11
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AKA you are generalizing a very diverse genre of music
Abraham Lincoln More than 1 year ago
Darn, a deleted reply. Wish I could comment again in response to whatever you thought disproved my post. ;)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Any particular artists or sub genres in rock? I'm a 2000s era kid but that's my favorite type of music haha
Veronica Pyle More than 1 year ago
Is there a reason my comment was deleted...? Oh well...

I'm mainly into the rock 'n' roll stuff from the 60s. The Monkees are my favorite from that era, but I also listen to stuff like Elvis, The Beatles, Herman's Hermits, the Beach Boys, and a menagerie of other artists from the 50s and 60s. My mom always tells me I was born in the wrong time period. XD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh nice! 60s were classic. Keep rocking!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poetry is art.
bobed: Rap is slam poetry over a beat

By that logic, Rap equals Slam Poetry equals Poetry equals Art

If rap is just poetry then it is still art, regardless of whether or not you consider it "music"
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those are some of the hottest rhymes I've ever read, my dawg!
Abraham Lincoln More than 1 year ago
This would be a good reply if anyone thought all poetry was art... or all music... or all anything.

Also it's pretty obvious those "lyrics" are not art. But Kendrick didn't write them, so I'm not sure what your point is. His lyrics aren't random.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rap with meaning is art, and there is plenty of rap with meaning
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ummm, Christian rap? Conscious rap? What did I tell you? Search for the 0.01% They are art and worth listening to. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NF-Got You On My Mind
NF-Let You Down
NF- How Could You Leave Us
Lecrae-I'll Find You
Andy Mineo-Candy Rain
KB-Art of Drifting
KB-Sing to You
Flame-Start Over
These are just a few examples of meaningful, heartful rap  off the top of my head. There are many more. Just thought I would add my thoughts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 @bobed How about you listen to them? Maybe you'll understand how they are art? Now that is a thought. 
"Let You Down"-About the rapper's relationship with his father, and his regret. 
"Got You On My Mind"-About the rapper's love for a girl (without explicit lyrics) and their connection
"How Could You Leave Us"- About the rapper's mother, and her death to drugs.
"I'll Find You"-A song about finding loved ones after death (performed/written for a children's cancer foundation I believe)
"Candy Rain"-A song about the rapper's wife and his love for her
"Notepad"-About the rapper's connection with his music 
"Mansion"-About the rapper's mental struggles and about him breaking away from the prison of his past
"Art of Drifting"- About the jaded, two facedness of Christian music, and calling for change.
"Sing to You"-About hope even in struggle
"Start Over"-About how through God we are free from our past and able to live anew in him. 
I highly encourage you listen to the songs, they are worth the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grits - My Life Be Like
Witt Lowry-Last Letter
Witt Lowry- Coupons
nobigdyl - Suicide Nets
Logic -1-800-273-8255
Logic- Dear God
Tobymac- Irene
Tobymac - In The Air
Token - Exception
Token- Still Believe In Heroes
NF- Oh Lord
NF- Therapy Session
NF- Lost In The Moment
Lecrae- All I Need Is You
Lecrae - Cry For You
Lecrae - Good, Bad, Ugly
116- Man Up Anthem
116- Temptation
Derek Minor- Dear Mr. Christian
KJ-52- Dear Slim
KJ-52- #1 Fan
Social Club Misfits- Misfit Anthem
Futuristic- Epiphany
Jackie Hill-Perry - Dead Preacher
Andy Mineo - Uncomfortable
KB - Not Today Satan
KB- Get Through

These are just a few of the many rap songs with meaning.

Anonymous 9 months ago
Let You Down is actually about his relationship with his mother.

Posted By A-Non-Mouse
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Search for the 00.1%. They are absolute worth listening to and promoting. Support them and introduce others to their work. Who knows, maybe they can make a different on the industry. It's better then sitting back and shaking are fingers that all the bad ones. Forget the bad and promote the good. Don't generalize a genre.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mm yes, I like that approach. Definitely some good stuff out there.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What website is that article on? All the articles that came up didn't have comments
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The only website with the name Vox Popoli is a highly alt-right, anti-Semitic, pro-atheist website...
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am highly conservative and that website was absolutely disgusting. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Alt-right anti-Semiticism has ZERO place in Christianity. Jesus was Jewish, a majority of the Bible's writers were Jewish. How can you be a Christian (which this author claims to be) and hate God's chosen people? 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You asked if anyone on PluggedIn agreed with the comments as well. The comment section was cancer. As for the n-word debate, I don't think anyone should say it, however, Vox Day should definitely not called Kendrick it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At least there is no bad language, racism, antisemitism, or threatening speech in this comment section. Just people who promote websites with all those things. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Most comment sections are cancer. This one, for example"

And whose fault is that? You talk about the evils of rap and then tell us to read a website that's just as problematic. I am absolutely shocked by the irony of it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Apparently more does need to be said. Refuting evil with evil? You're better than that.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kendrick Lamar's album has serious issues, yes. So does the website and comments you told us to go look up. I couldn't finish it; it was too troubling for me honestly.

If you wanted to discuss rap as a genre, places like The Gospel Coalition have great articles on the current culture, and they do so with a much more wholesome point of view than hateful bashing. 

The point is that as believers, we should not be stooping down to the same level as the stuff we're discussing. We have a higher standard.
Natalie L More than 1 year ago
Great discussion going on here! Here's my take:
1. Kendrick's lyrics don't make sense.
2. I wish I could just listen to a song without having to seek "interpretations".
3. Profanity is not necessary to get a message across.
4. Yes, rap is a legit art form. To those that disagree, tell me your definition of "art form."
5. I considered fasting from the Internet indefinitely, but then I couldn't follow this blog. XD
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Modern Country Music is dissonant, overly repetitive, and creatively bankrupt. Rock music is dissonant, overly repetitive, and creatively bankrupt. Modern CCM is dissonant, overly repetitive, and creatively bankrupt. Modern Pop music is dissonant, overly repetitive, and creatively bankrupt. Electronic music is dissonant, overly repetitive, and creatively bankrupt. Alternative music is dissonant, overly repetitive, and creatively bankrupt. 

No music is art. Period. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you even listened to rap? I thought you had seeing your other responses, but now I seriously doubt that you have. The issues you listed with rap as dissonant, overly repetitive, and creatively bankrupt are issues in all genres of music. Period. Even hymns, which I am sure you have no problem with, contain these issues. 
Rap does include singing, as you would know if you actually listened to it. (Side note, rap is not "speaking", there is a difference between rhyming and speaking words. Rap is rhyming words at a rapid pace to a rhythm, speaking is enunciating words without any rhythm). Rappers such as NF, Logic, Drake, KB, TobyMac (he has moved away from rapping now adays, but back in his original albums he was more rap-oriented), Aaron Cole, Canon, Andy Mineo, and others have songs that rely on sections of song that are not simply rap (which they sing themselves, without featuring other artists "who can sing"). Also, I understand we are addressing Kendrick Lamar's music here, but to say that rap is "profane slam poetry" is a bit much, and does an incredible disservice to the Christian rap artists that are talented, and have amazing music to show for it. 
Just because rap does not appeal to you, does not mean it does not appeal to others. I went through a rough bout of depression two years ago, and God helped me to deal with it through NF's rap album Therapy Session. The album literally came out a week before I began to struggle, and without it those dark days would have been even darker. I have been moved, empowered, and found wisdom in the lyrics of rap artists that have truly spoken to me as a Christian and as a person. Just because the same has not occurred for you does not mean it cannot occur for anyone. At the same time, outside of the meaning of the lyrics, rap music can be quite enjoyable to listen to and to sing along with. There are too many songs to name that are beautiful, good, pleasing, real, and powerful that are all rap songs that I have listened to many, many times over the course of my life. To claim that there is not shows an extreme form of ignorance of the entire genre, and makes any remarks you have made about this genre seem very questionable. Please do not speak in blanket statements when you do not even know the material well enough to defend your own arguments. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You obvious have never listened to modern Country or Electronic music. Electronic music is rap with high-pitched squeaky vocals. Modern country sounds bad, is super repetitive, and is one of the most pandering genres EVER. 99% of these two genres is dissonant, overly repetitive, and creatively bankrupt to the 9th degree
Natalie L More than 1 year ago
(I had to look up dissonant. XD)
"Music must not be dissonant, overly repetitive or creatively bankrupt."
I agree with that, but how does one define the line? When does a song become dissonant, overly repetitive, or creatively bankrupt? Does EVERY rap song out there have those three elements? Second, slam poetry by definition is poetry read without music or props. (According to the Internet... I had to look up "slam poetry" too... :/ My education has been seriously lacking...) I know for a fact that not every rap song contains profanity, so "profane slam poetry" isn't the most accurate definition. ;)  I also agree with your third and fourth points, but aren't they at least somewhat subjective? 
Natalie L More than 1 year ago
Just replying to your latest reply to me. I may be young, but even a dumb teenager like me can recognize an ad hominem attack. I'm miffed that you didn't address my points. Must admit, I'm rather disappointed. Even if I'm underage and shouldn't expect to be taken seriously. (P.S. Are my XDs ruining my image here? XD)
Scott Jamison More than 1 year ago
Looking at that Gizmodo article (which wasn't linked for some reason), I suspect that the reason that teens whose parents used those monitoring apps reported *more* online risks than those who didn't is that they're having to use work-arounds to avoid those apps which make risks more likely as opposed to using the more common avenues that have corporate standard-keepers checking in to prevent some of those risks.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loads of rappers are more talented then him, but they don't have the same lyrical themes or message. Eminem is one of the most talented rappers ever, but he would never win a Pulitzer because he rarely raps about meaningful things. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nah, the most insightful genre is either modern country or modern pop. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So I actually wrote an essay for my English II class on the effects of Hip Hop
on American culture and literature which required sources, 7 pages, and took about 3 weeks to write and I got a 97 on it, only losing points for small grammar and citing stuff. And so basically what I’m saying is, you’re wrong :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That's really cool! 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kendrick Lamar is super talented, and this is from someone who isn't even a fan of him. Even is you don't like what he raps about, brushing him and his music off as "not talented" is a weak response. 

Also, some metal is WAAAAY worse then Hip-hop. It just depends on what metal or hip hop you are listening too. Look for good artists, don't just focus on the bad ones
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hip Hop is an art form and Kendrick is a super talented lyricist. Look up a deconstruction of one of his rhyme schemes. He is know for his deep, though-provoking lyrics. 

Hip Hop is more then just people talking ("Hip Hop" with just talking and no rhyming is actually called spoken word). The reason we listen to rap or read poetry (cause that's what rap is, poetry over a instrumental) is because we are looking for someone to express something that we can't, or because we are interested in hearing what someone else has to say. 

You may not like or agree with what Kendrick has to say, but that doesn't mean he isn't talented. Just because you don't like a style of music doesn't mean it's musicians aren't talented. I don't like jazz, however, I know jazz guitarist are some of the most talented guitarists in the world. Do I like to listen to jazz? No. Do I respect the jazz guitarists talent? Of course. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Also, some metal is WAAAAY worse then Hip-hop."

Some is, but its typically far far away from the mainstream. 

Whereas you look at the Top 50 on Spotify, across all genres, its primarily explicit hip-hop
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yo bobed, how you gonna openly admit to not understanding his lyrics but not think that there’s a possibility he’s talented? Is it cuz your brain is shut too tight to possibly let in any other ideas? How on earth is rap not an art form? Are you silly? 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kendrick has some really meaningful stuff though. Swimming Pools (Drank) is about the connection between peer pressure and alcoholism. Kush &
Corinthians is about the struggle between moral/just actions and the flesh's temptations. Keisha's Song (Her Pain) is a warning against prostitution. A.D.H.D. is about the prevalence of drug use in our culture. He has many, many more meaningful songs.

And Kendrick is good at rhyming, just look at his verse on  the Black Hippy remix ScHoolboy Q's THat Part:

And we don't STRESS
A. 38 'til it free yo CHEST
Then PP on the PO's DESK
I'm Jay-Z in a blow out PRESS
Relate me to your blowout's BEST
Can't heat me
I'm remote you're DEAF
I'm HD, causing photo THEFT
My AC antifreeze got a (that part)
Hold your BREATH
I'm 8 feet when I hold this TEC
PROTECT me from the local THREATS
My ID say my eye don't  REST
My IV qualify T-REX
Society KEPT my IQ VEXED
Deny me from an Ivy <school>
Applyin' me <to> the street I SLEPT
I quietly had <to> hold this <tool>
Reminding me of the block I REPPED
The +turf+ I STEPPED, the +church+ and
the +earth+ I BLESSED
The +first+ I GUESSED
The +alert+ was the +murk+ I CHEF
That +hearse+ the +flirt+
with +perks+ of a kill CONFESSED
+Dispersed+ the +worst+ 
The +first+ 48 ADDRESSED
The +search+ and \laws\
And +verse+ of the +birth+ I NEST
The \awe\, the +curse+ of a \pose\ in ZEST
The good, the \flaws\
The pain to +reverse+ what's LEFT 

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you don't understand what the lyrics mean, use All of his lyrics are broken down and annotated so you can get the meaning even if you understand the rap vernacular he uses. 

The Pulitzer Prize association has stated why D-N won the award:
"Recording released on April 14, 2017, a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life." 

For a Christian perspective and an further explanation of Kendrick's music, I recommend reading Kendrick Lamar's Duel with D-nation on Christianity Today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well, that line wasn't even on the album, so it wasn't.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe you should open your mind a hair and think about your definition of music? Maybe actually look into the genre instead of just looking at it from the outside and what’s the media tells you? And maybe not make judgements about an artist from a genre you clearly know nothing about? 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boy are you gonna lose it when I introduce you to Christian rap. 

And what on earth does social media have to do with the rest of what you were saying?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unbelievable!! What about Lecrae? He is one of the most influential Christian rappers of the time and has songs filled with meaning and truth. I see Christian rap as a way to talk about the darker dirtier things Christian pop won't address. Life is not all sunshine and rainbows. Sometimes people need to be reminded of the evil of this world, and also the saving grace offered to us all, no matter what you have done. Lecrae brings real life to his songs, whether it be about mistakes he's made in the past or topics debated in our culture. Listen to Lucky Ones, Tell the World, or one of my personal favorites, Cry for You. There is nothing bad about these songs. and if you say there is then I will be praying for God to open your eyes. Also I doubt you could ever become a good rapper so don't say that it doesn't require talent and is not an art.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christian rap has saved so many lives and souls, saying it's the "worst subgenres of music that has ever been invented" is massively ignorant. Rap is a way to communicate to the youth. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If all you have to show for being "introduced to Christian rap" is Lecrae, I don't think that you have been "introduced to Christian rap". Lecrae was the first artist to break out and show that Christian rap can be successful, but he was far from the first or the last. 
At the same time, to say that Christian rap is one of "the worst subgenres of music that has ever been invented" is just silly. Trying to appeal to people who can only be reached through certain forms of music is silly? Tell that to the kids who listen to rap artists because it is what they love, and are now realizing that life doesn't have to be all about sex, drugs, and alcohol. Tell that to the people who would be listening to secular music and being taught lies of the devil if it wasn't for Christian rap. Tell that to the Christian rappers who deal with horrible experiences of the past through their music. 
Please know what you are talking about before making broad statements that are based solely around your preferences. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 @bobed If people are not open to hearing Christ, they will not hear him. That is just the simple truth. However, if people can hear about Christ through something they love, they may open up and be willing to hear about him. That is the whole reason that Christian films and Christian books exist in the first place. Christian films/books have since been moved into being considered a genre that caters only to Christians, but that is not their original purpose. Part of witnessing is reaching people, and if rap reaches people why can it not be used as a form of witnessing? Rap is just another tool in the hand of God, to claim otherwise is frankly foolish. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great point AR!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What? How can you think that Hip Hop isn't true art with masterpieces like Space Jam? Here, just listen and tell me it's deep lyrics about the human condition don't move you to tears!

Everybody get up it's time to slam now
We got a real jam goin' down
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here's your chance do your dance at the Space Jam
Come on and slam and welcome to the jam
Come on and slam if you want to jam
Party people in the house lets go
It's your boy "Jayski" a'ight so
Pass that thing and watch me flex
Behind my back, you know what's next
To the jam, all in your face
Wassup, just feel the bass
Drop it, rock it, down the room
Shake it, quake it, space KABOOM
Just work that body, work that body
Make sure you don't hurt nobody
Get wild and lose your mind
Take this thing into over-time
QCD, goin' burn it up
C'mon y'all get on the floor
So hey, let's go a'ight
Everybody get up it's time to slam now
We got a real jam goin' down
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here's your chance do your dance at the Space Jam
Wave your hands in the air if you feel fine
We're gonna take it into overtime
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here's your chance, do your dance at the Space Jam
C'mon it's time to get hyped say hoop there it is
C'mon all the fellas say hoop there it is
C'mon one time for the ladies say hoop there it is
Now all the fellas say hoop there it is
C'mon and run, baby run
C'mon, c'mon, do it, run baby run
Yeah, you want a hoop so shoot, baby shoot
C'mon and slam, and welcome to the jam
C'mon and slam, if you want to jam
C'mon and slam, and welcome to the jam
C'mon and slam, if you want to jam
Slam, Bam, Thank you ma'am
Get on the floor and jam
It's the QCD on the microphone
Girl you got me in the zone
C'mon, c'mon and start the game
Break it down, tell me your name
We the team, I'm the coach
Let's dance all night from coast to coast
Just slide, from left to right
Just slide, yourself the night
QCD, drop the base
3-point-1 all in your face
Jam on it, let's have some fun
Jam on it, One on One
You run the hole and I run the "D"
So c'mon baby just jam for me
Everybody get up it's time to slam now
We got a real jam goin' down
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here's your chance do your dance at the Space Jam
Wave your hands in the air if you feel fine
We're gonna take it into overtime
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here's your chance, do your dance at the Space Jam
Hey ladies
Y'all ready stop
Y'all want to know why
'Cause it's a Slam Jam
Y'all ready to stop
Y'all want to know why?
It's time to slam now
Everybody get up it's time to slam now
We got a real jam goin' down
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here's your chance do your dance at the Space Jam
Wave your hands in the air if you feel fine
We're gonna take it into overtime
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here's your chance, do your dance at the Space Jam
C'mon, everybody say, nah nah nah nah nah
C'mon, C'mon let me hear you say, hey ey ey o
C'mon, C'mon everybody, nah nah nah nah nah
Just take the time to say hey ey ey o
Check it out, check it out, y'all ready for this? You know it
Nah, y'all ain't ready, y'all ready for this? You know it
C'mon check it out, y'all ready to jam? You know it
Nah, I, I don't think so, y'all ready to jam? You know it

It brings a tear to my eye every time. :')
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would, but for some reason I can't get on via Facebook....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Evan!!! The lyric master himself!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We missed you!
Abraham Lincoln More than 1 year ago
As much as I despise almost all hip-hop, I think Kendrick was fully deserving of the Pulitzer Prize. Yes, the record is laden with profanity that makes it impossible to really recommend, but unlike almost every other rap album, this one is about more than simply drugs, sex, and money. It's an important culture piece, and in that way at the very least, it deserves its significance. It has definite issues, yes, but it has a lot of meaning that so much other music in that genre lacks.
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Abraham Lincoln More than 1 year ago
What Kendrick's latest album does that most others don't: it captures raw snapshots of the culture he comes from; a lot of the tracks serve as introspective vignettes. So rather than purely being about "drugs, sex, and money," there's actually a lot more to appreciate here. Check out the lyrics to PRIDE.

"H-ll-raising, wheel-chasing, new worldy possessions
Flesh-making, spirit-breaking, which one would you lessen?
The better part, the human heart, you love ’em or dissect 'em
Happiness or flashiness? How do you serve the question?
See, in a perfect world, I would be perfect, world
I don't trust people enough beyond they surface, world
I don't love people enough to put my faith in man
I put my faith in these lyrics, hoping I make amend
I understand I ain't perfect, I probably won't come around
This time I might put you down
Last time I ain't give a ----, I still feel the same now
My feelings might go numb, you're dealing with cold thumb
I’m willing to give up a leg and arm and show empathy from
Pity parties and functions and you and yours
A perfect world, you probably live another 24"

"Now, in a perfect world, I probably won't be insensitive
Cold as December but never remember what Winter did
I wouldn't blame you for mistakes I made or the bed I laid
Seems like I point the finger just to make a point nowadays
Smiles and cold stares, the temperature goes there
Indigenous disposition, feel like we belong here
I know the walls, they can listen, I wish they could talk back
The hurt becomes repetition, the love almost lost that
Sick venom in men and women overcome with pride
A perfect world is never perfect, only filled with lies
Promises are broken and more resentment come alive
Race barriers make inferior you and I
See, in a perfect world, I'll choose faith over riches
I'll choose work over -------, I'll make schools out of prison
I'll take all the religions and put 'em all in one service
Just to tell 'em we ain't ----, but He's been perfect, world"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's just like the Pulitzer prize committee said, the album is a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life. That is the reason they gave and that is the reason it won. It is a deep album with complex themes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Homeslice he literally quoted some lyrics that show otherwise, did you even try? 
milhistorian More than 1 year ago
"First of all, the fact that he needs to insert profanity to make his point pretty much invalidates his lyrics."

And that's where you lost me. I get that you'd rather not deal with profanity, but out in the world beyond the bubble you want to live in, this is how people talk--and I say this as someone who doesn't use profanity at all. 
Abraham Lincoln More than 1 year ago
Read the rest of the line to put it in proper context:

"I'll take all the religions and put 'em all in one service
Just to tell 'em we ain't ----, but He's been perfect, world"

What he's saying here is that sometimes our obsession with the specifics of religion can distance us from the one and only God, who we should be truly focused on instead of putting ourselves first. I don't know about you, but that seems somewhat spiritually profound to me, especially for a hip-hop record.

Also, Kendrick Lamar claims to be a Christian. He was baptized in 2013 and credits God for his success and escape from the horrible environment he grew up in. I'm sure you'll probably deny this based on the content of his lyrics, but he's just another flawed human being, like you and me. I personally don't think that his language diminishes who he is as a person and what he's trying to say.
Matthew Milone More than 1 year ago
I guess I'll throw my hat into the ring. Bob, there's definitely more context to the verses you've listed. Jesus himself curses a fig tree. Also, you haven't explained how what Kendrick is saying is "defiling" or "corrupting". (Whether what he's saying is defiling and corrupting seems to be the subject of the debate.) And obviously, not every thing that a person says count as unbridling the tongue, even if it what they're saying is harsh.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay bobed, what do you consider complex lyrics? Since all rappers apparently have bad vocabularies and horrible rhymes, give some examples of artists with good vocabularies and great rhymes.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These lyrics are super generic. I have heard similar lyrics in many, many other Christian songs. Their is nothing different about them. Also, the rhyme scheme is uninteresting and the rhymes super, super generic. Place, face, praise, and then place again? Interesting and complex? Nah. The whole song is super repetitive too. They repeat the first verse and the chorus three times each. 
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are comparing a great lyric with a trash one. "My IV qualify T-Rex" wasn't even on the album. Compare great lyrics with other great lyrics. Here is one from "Sing to Me, I'm Dying of Thirst:"

I'm not sure why I'm infatuated with death.
My imagination is surely an aggravation of threats
that can come about 'cause the tongue is mighty powerful.
And I can name a list of your favorites that probably vouch.
Maybe 'cause I'm a dreamer and sleep is the cousin of death.

One from m.A.A.d. city:

Would you say my intelligence now is great relief?
And it's safe to say that our next generation maybe can sleep
With dreams of being a lawyer or doctor
Instead of boy with a chopper that hold the cul de sac hostage

And finally, one from DNA:

"See, my pedigree most definitely don't tolerate the front
Sh*t I've been through prolly offend you, this is Paula’s oldest son
I know murder, conviction, burners, boosters, burglars, ballers, dead, redemption
Scholars, fathers dead with kids
And I wish I was fed forgiveness

All of these lyrics are poetic and thought-provoking. Comparing an artist at his worst to another artist at his best is flawed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Posted by First Comment Guy

You guy left out a major piece of news: Action Comics, DC’s longest running comic series, released its 1000th issue today!
Anonymous 9 months ago
Definitely MAJOR! More major than Kendrick. (I like comics so I may or may not be biased)

Posted By A-Non-Mouse