It’s difficult to mention Kendrick Lamar without any association to todays major racial equal rights issues in USA, approximately 51 years since the Civil Rights Act ended state supported segregation. Fruitvale Station murder of Oscar Grant, the choking of Eric Garner in NY, 18yr old Michael Brown shot to death in Ferguson, the neglectful death of Freddie Gray. All occurring less than a decade of another. These incidents rightfully bring anger and disappointment to most Americans mainly of African descent. Why? Because cops are killing our people for no good reason and getting away with it…but we gonna be alright, we have to be. It’s satisfying to see the precursor of Kendrick Lamar’s video Alright with him and his Black Hippy mates being uplifted and carried by LA police officers while in their ride. America today can, and I believe gradually is, rising above the foggy plague of bigotry and racism, but gradual progress is not fast progress. To expedite matters it’s up to us to save ourselves, Kendrick Lamar arguably is the closet ‘savior of hiphop’ my generation of millennials has – à la Tupac in the 90s before his untimely
assassination passing. The comparisons between Kendrick and Pac are painted with broad strokes on Kendrick’s critically acclaimed album To Pimp A Butterfly. The visuals for his latest single Alright is presented in black and white just like the message Kendrick conveys clear as day as to minimize confliction. The video depicts Kendrick levatating through scenes, a possible symbolism of his rise in hiphop. Later Kendrick is at the top, metaphorically similar to his idol Pac, until inevitably being shot down at his peek, a bittersweet smile of content graces Kendrick’s face as he hits the ground. A martyr’s smile I suppose. If not the message and symbolism depicted, one can still enjoy the bombastic, jazz instrumentals of Pharrell Williams and the visuals from Colin Tilley (who was recently interviewed by MTV) on Kendrick Lamar’s single Alright.
Patrick Funom is the Editor In Chief of 8Pounds.com