Kendrick Lamar

As 2015 comes to a close, Kendrick Lamar sat down with NPR to talk about his childhood, witnessing his first murder, and the backlash he faced from the black community for lyrics in his song “Blacker the Berry” off his album To Pimp A Butterfly.

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Kendrick Lamar talked about the first time he witnessed a murder and just how it affected him. He said, “It was outside my apartment unit, a guy was out there, serving narcotics, and somebody rolled up with a shotgun and blew his chest out. We kids play in this apartment unit, riding our bikes or what not, so admittedly it done something to me right then and there, to let me know this is not only something I’m looking at but it’s something maybe I have to get used to, you dig what I’m saying?”

He continued addressing the criticism he received after making the statement, “we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us?” and lyrics to ‘Blacker the Berry’ which talk about Lamar crying over Trayvon Martin’s death and not over the African-American deaths caused by gang violence. He said, “It’s not me pointing at my community; it’s me pointing at myself,” he continued, “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.

K.Dot rounded out his statement adding, “The message I’m sending to myself – I can’t change the world until I change myself first.”

Check out the full interview.

Source Complex