Kendrick Lamar's "Blacker the Bery" Analyzed by Pulitzer Winner

Hip Hop has definitely come a long way. For one a site like Rap Genius has become prominent in connecting the culture to the globe, while the publishing industry and award winning authors increasingly become connected to artists and the music. Still fresh off it’s release via TDE and apparently Taraji P. Henson (check the vid and the gallery), Pulitzer Winning Novelist Annotates Kendrick Lamar’s “Blacker the Berry” Lyrics!!!

Michael Chabon, author of works like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and Wonder Boys is the Pulitzer Winning Novelist Annotates Kendrick Lamar’s “Blacker the Berry” Lyrics. Taking specifically to the verse stating: “So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?/ When gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me?/ Hypocrite!” Chabon noted the following for Rap Genius:

“In this final couplet, Kendrick Lamar employs a rhetorical move akin to—and in its way even more devastating than—Common’s move in the last line of “I Used to Love H.E.R.”: snapping an entire lyric into place with a surprise revelation of something hitherto left unspoken. In “H.E.R.”, Common reveals the identity of the song’s “her”—hip hop itself—forcing the listener to re-evaluate the entire meaning and intent of the song. Here, Kendrick Lamar reveals the nature of the enigmatic hypocrisy that the speaker has previously confessed to three times in the song without elaborating: that he grieved over the murder of Trayvon Martin when he himself has been responsible for the death of a young black man. Common’s “her” is not a woman but hip hop itself; Lamar’s “I” is not (or not only) Kendrick Lamar but his community as a whole. This revelation forces the listener to a deeper and broader understanding of the song’s “you”, and to consider the possibility that “hypocrisy” is, in certain situations, a much more complicated moral position than is generally allowed, and perhaps an inevitable one.”

Wow, what a thorough analysis–with bonus points for the Common analogy (though there’s more than a few example of this type of songwriting in Hip Hop you could pull). Pulitzer Winning Novelist Annotates Kendrick Lamar’s “Blacker the Berry” Lyrics has definitely risen the allure of the mist surrounding Kendrick, who leaves audiences baited for the followup to what’s considered a classic mixtape in Section.80 and classic album in Good Kid, Maad City.

A VERY interesting take on that allure also comes from a recent Complex article, in which the release of “i” and now “The Blacker the Berry” are alleged to be “making the blackest album since Watch the Throne” (eyebrow raise!) VERY interesting–do you agree or is that point conflicted? Comments have also been swirling that Kendrick is “on his 2pac sh*t” if these two singles are any clue to his latest mission. In that vain, with the passionate content, art, and energy left by the gone-too-soon Makaveli still being analyzed, revered, and celebrated to this day–a Pulitzer Winning Novelist Annotates Kendrick Lamar’s “Blacker the Berry” Lyrics seems a well-timed positive.

The song takes its name from the groundbreaking 1929 Wallace Thurman novel The Blacker the Berry. The cover art for the single by photographer Giordano Cipriani is of a mother and her baby twins from the Surma tribe of Valley of the Omo, Ethiopia. Sounds like Stevie Wonder was right and Slick Rick can recognize! Listen to the full song here and check the vid!

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