King Kunta, Kendrick kills it again!
Although I haven’t yet listened to Kendricks ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ in full, from the few songs I have managed to listen to ‘King Kunta’ seems to be one of my favourites.
The entire album takes a different approach in comparison to his last ‘Good kid, M.A.A.D. city’, lyrically and sonically. An album inspired by past and present race relations, especially in America. It is said to be a deep fiery body of work. Already certified gold after three weeks, and topping the charts, I honestly need to find time to sit and decode this one.
Stepping away from the expected rap and hip-hop sound, KDot gets experimental mixing jazz and funk, with poetry for his album.
The title alone ‘King Kunta’ is a powerful one, which is what got my attention in the first place. Of course we all know Kunta Kinte is the name of the “rebel” slave that inspired the story of ‘Roots’. With a title as such, it’s almost like reclaiming the history of our ancestors. A feeling of ownership and empowerment takes over.
I love how catchy the song is, through its use of historical references, over a feel-good production, it’s strangely addictive. Kendrick raps,
“Bitch where were you when I was walking? Now I run the game got the whole world talkin…”
This isn’t a history post or lesson but as we know Kunta Kinte had his foot amputated after four attempted escapes, and here KDot may make reference to that because his new sound and opinions on racial matters has caused some stir. Whether it be music or politics, Kendrick makes it known that he will stand by whatever it is he believes in, like Kunta did.
Kunta Kinte probably would’ve never thought his story would be told, spanning over centuries, still significant to this very day. Having the “whole world talking” I presume Kendrick wants the same for his music to be significant and have long term relevancy.
Or he could simply be comparing it to his current status, maybe “old” friends trying to creep out the woodworks since rising to fame.
The recent accompanying video isn’t much to discuss unless I’m missing some symbolism… The throne clearly suggests status, wealth, and power as well as him standing on the roof of the shop.
My point? Artists like Kendrick are rare, especially at the forefront of the industry. What he promotes or stands for I do enjoy. The powerful lyrics don’t necessarily need visuals as it speaks for itself.
More recently after announcing his engagement last week to high school sweetheart (not Sherane), he received backlash from “Black Twitter” because she wasn’t “black” enough, or so they thought. What kind of fuckery please? I need everyone to step out of their feelings and understand everyone has preferences, and even if she was a white woman how can we hold her accountable for anything?
It wouldn’t make him “fake deep” either because he still understands, addresses and relates to the things that take place within his community and race. But the issues within the black community are deep rooted and stretch years back. It will take more than a five-hundred word post to change it. But please get a grip, there’s other important things going on.
– Stephen Paul