An in-depth look behind the lyrics
To truly appreciate To Pimp a Butterfly, one must consider it within the context of Kendrick Lamar?s previous albums. If good kid, m.A.A.d city is Ulysses then To Pimp a Butterfly is naturally A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. How Kendrick survived the streets of Compton to how he is surviving the high cost of fame. His other album Section.80 placed Kendrick as an observer ? not yet ready to put himself and his thoughts out there for public consumption. But now, we are invited inside the mind of a man whose ideals and thoughts are continually adapting and reacting to the external forces put upon him. In good kid, m.A.A.d city he simply wanted to survive, where in To Pimp a Butterfly he wants this nation to survive. He places a responsibility on himself to survive but to also ensure the survival of his listeners.
*The annotations are located in the comments because Medium does not yet have a true ability to footnote documents.*
1. Wesley?s Theory ft. George Clinton and Thundercat2. For Free? (Interlude)3. King Kunta4. Institutionalized ft. Bilal, Anna Wise, and Snoop Dogg5. These Walls ft. Bilal, Anna Wise, and Thundercat6. u7. Alright8. For Sale? (Interlude)9. Momma10. Hood Politics11. How Much A Dollar Cost ft. James Fauntleroy and Ronald Isley12. Complexion ft. Rapsody13. The Blacker the Berry ft. Assassin14. You Ain?t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)15. i16. Mortal Man
Kendrick Lamar ft. George Clinton & ThundercatProduced By: Flying Lotus, Ronald ?Flip? Colson, Sounwave & Thundercat
[Sample: Boris Gardiner]Every nigger is a star, every nigger is a starEvery nigger is a star, every nigger is a starEvery nigger is a starWho will deny that you and I and every nigger is a star?
[Intro: George Clinton]Hit me!When the four corners of this cocoon collideYou?ll slip through the cracks hoping that you?ll surviveGather your wind, take a deep look insideAre you really who they idolize?To pimp a butterfly
[Hook: Kendrick Lamar]At first, I did love youBut now I just wanna fuckLate nights thinkin? of youUntil I got my nutTossed and turned, lesson learnedYou was my first girlfriendBridges burned, all across the boardDestroyed, but what for?
[Verse 1: Kendrick Lamar]When I get signed, homie I?mma act a foolHit the dance floor, strobe lights in the roomSnatch a little secretary bitch for the homiesBlue eyed devil with a fat ass monkeyI?mma buy a brand new Caddy on foursTrunk the hood up, two times, deuce fourPlatinum on everything, platinum on wedding ringMarried to the game, made a bad bitch yoursWhen I get signed homie I?mma buy a strapStraight from the CIA, set it on my lapTake a few M-16s to the hoodPass ?em all out on the block, what?s good?I?mma put the Compton swap meet by the White HouseRepublican, run up, get socked outHit the Pres with a Cuban link on my neckUneducated but I got a million-dollar check, like that
[Pre-Hook: Thundercat] x2We should never gave, we should never gaveNiggas money, go back home, money go back home
[Break: Dr. Dre]Yo what?s up? It?s DreRemember the first time you came out to the house?You said you wanted a spot like mineBut remember, anybody can get itThe hard part is keeping it, motherfucker
[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]What you want you? A house or a car?Forty acres and a mule, a piano, a guitar?Anything, see, my name is Uncle Sam, I?m your dogMotherfucker you can live at the mallI know your kind (That?s why I?m kind)Don?t have receipts (Oh man, that?s fine)Pay me later, wear those gatorsClich and say, fuck your hatersI can see the borrow in youI can see the dollar in youLittle white lies, but it?s no white-collar in youBut it?s whatever though because I?m still followin? youBecause you make me live forever baby, count it all together babyThen hit the register and make me feel better babyYour horoscope is a gemini, two sidesSo you better cop everything two timesTwo coupes, two chains, two c-notesToo much ain?t enough both we knowChristmas, tell ?em what?s on your wish listGet it all, you deserve it KendrickAnd when you hit the White House, do youBut remember, you ain?t pass economics in schoolAnd everything you buy, taxes will denyI?ll Wesley Snipe your ass before thirty-five
[Bridge: George Clinton]Lookin? down is quite a drop (It?s quite a drop, drop)Lookin? good when you?re on top (When you?re on top you got it)You got a medal for us, leavin? miracles metaphysically in a state of euphoriaLook both ways before you cross my mind
[Outro] x8Tax man comin?
For Free? (Interlude)
Produced by Terrace Martin
[Intro]Fuck you, motherfucker, you a ho-ass nigga. I don?t know why you trying to go big, nigga you ain?t shit. Walking around like you God?s gift to Earth, nigga you ain?t shit. You ain?t even buy me no outfit for the fourth. I need that Brazilian, wavy, twenty eight inch, you playin?. I shouldn?t be fuckin? with you anyway, I need a baller ass, boss ass nigga. You?se a off brand ass nigga, everybody know it, your homies know it, everybody fuckin? know. Fuck you nigga, don?t call me no more. You won?t know, you gonna lose on a good bitch. My other nigga is on, you off. What the fuck is really going on?
[Verse]This dick ain?t freeYou lookin? at me like it ain?t a receiptLike I never made end?s meet, eatin? your leftovers and raw meatThis dick ain?t freeLivin? in captivity raised my cap salaryCelery, tellin? me green is all I needEvidently all I seen was spam and raw sardinesThis dick ain?t free, I mean, babyYou really think we could make a baby named MercedesWithout a Mercedes Benz and twenty four inch rimsFive percent tint, and air conditioning ventsHell fuckin? naw, this dick ain?t freeI need forty acres and a muleNot a forty ounce and a pitbullBullshit, matador, matadorHad the door knockin?, let ?em in, who?s that?Genital?s best friend, this dick ain?t freePity the fool that made the pretty in you prosperTitty juice and pussy lips kept me obnoxiousKept me up watchin? pornos in poverty ? apology? NoWatch you politic with people less fortunate, like myselfEvery dog has its day, now doggy style shall helpThis dick ain?t freeMatter fact it need interest, matter fact it?s nine inchesMatter fact see our friendship based on businessPension, more pension, you?re pinchin?, my consensusBeen relentless, fuck forgiveness, fuck your feelingsFuck your sources, all distortion, if you fuck it?s more abortionMore divorce courts and portionMy check with less endorsement left me dormantDusted, doomed, disgusted, forced withFuck you think is in more shit?Porcelain pipes pressure, bust ?em twiceChoice is devastated, decapitated the horsemanOh America, you bad bitch, I picked cotton that made you richNow my dick ain?t free
[Outro]I?mma get my Uncle Sam to fuck you up. You ain?t no king
Produced by Sounwave; additional production by Terrace Martin
[Intro]I got a bone to pickI don?t want you monkey mouth motherfuckers sittin? in my throne again(Aye aye nigga whats happenin? nigga, K-Dot back in the hood nigga)I?m mad (He mad), but I ain?t stressin?True friends, one question
[Hook]Bitch where you when I was walkin??Now I run the game got the whole world talkin?, King KuntaEverybody wanna cut the legs off him, (King) KuntaBlack man taking no lossesBitch where you when I was walkin??Now I run the game, got the whole world talkin?, King KuntaEverybody wanna cut the legs off him
[Verse 1]When you got the yams (What?s the yams?)The yam is the power that beYou can smell it when I?m walking down the street(Oh yes we can, oh yes we can)I can dig rappingBut a rapper with a ghost writer? What the fuck happened?(Oh no) I swore I wouldn?t tellBut most of y?all sharing bars like you got the bottom bunk in a two man cell (A two man cell?)Something?s in the water (Something?s in the water)And if I gotta brown nose for some goldThen I?d rather be a bum than a motherfuckin? baller
[Verse 2]When you got the yams (What?s the yams?)The yam brought it out of Richard PryorManipulated Bill Clinton with desires24/7, 365 days times twoI was contemplatin? gettin? on stage just to go back to the hood, see my enemy and say?
[Verse 3](You goat mouth mammy fucker)I was gonna kill a couple rappers but they did it to themselvesEverybody?s suicidal, they don?t even need my helpThis shit is elementary, I?ll probably go to jailIf I shoot at your identity and bounce to the leftStuck a flag in my city, everybody?s screamin? ?Compton?I should probably run for Mayor when I?m done, to be honestAnd I put that on my Mama and my baby boo tooTwenty million walkin? out the court buildin?, woo woo!Ah yeah, fuck the judgeI made it past 25 and there I wasA little nappy-headed nigga with the world behind himLife ain?t shit but a fat vaginaScreamin? ?Annie are you okay? Annie are you okay??Limo tinted with the gold platesStraight from the bottom, this the belly of the beastFrom a peasant to a prince to a motherfuckin? king
[Hook 2]Bitch where was you when I was-*POP*(By the time you hear the next pop, the funk shall be within you)*POP*Now I run the game got the whole world talkin?, King KuntaEverybody wanna cut the legs off him, (King) KuntaBlack man taking no lossesBitch where was you when I was walkin?Now I run the game, got the whole world talkin?, King KuntaEverybody wanna cut the legs off him
[Outro](Funk, funk, funk, funk, funk, funk)We want the funkWe want the funk(Now if I give you the funk, you gon? take it)We want the funk(Now if I give you the funk, you gon? take it)We want the funk(Now if I give you the funk, you gon? take it)We want the funk(Do you want the funk?)We want the funk(Do you want the funk?)We want the funk(Now if I give you the funk, you gon? take it)We want the funk
I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence
Produced by Rahki & Tommy Black
[Intro: Kendrick Lamar]What money got to do with itWhen I don?t know the full definition of a rap image?I?m trapped inside the ghetto and I ain?t proud to admit itInstitutionalized, I keep runnin? back for a visitHol? up, get it backI said I?m trapped inside the ghetto and I ain?t proud to admit itInstitutionalized, I could still kill me a nigga, so what?
[Interlude: Anna Wise and Bilal]If I was the presidentI?d pay my mama?s rentFree my homies and themBulletproof my Chevy doorsLay in the White House and get high, LordWho ever thought?Master, take the chains off me!Zoom Zoom Zoom Zoom ZoomZoom, Zoom, ZoomZoom Zoom Zoom Zoom ZoomZoom, Zoom, ZoomShit
[Verse 1: Kendrick Lamar]Life can be like a box of chocolateQuid pro quo, somethin? for somethin?, that?s the obviousOh shit, flow?s so sick, don?t you swallow itBitin? my style, you?re salmonella poison positiveI can just alleviate the rap industry politicsMilk the game up, never lactose intolerantThe last remainder of real shit, you know the obviousMe, scholarship? No, streets put me through collegesBe all you can be, true, but the problem isDream only a dream if work don?t follow itRemind me of the homies that used to know me, now follow thisI?ll tell you my hypothesis, I?m probably just way too loyalK Dizzle will do it for you, my niggas think I?m a godTruthfully all of ?em spoiled, usually you?re never chargedBut somethin? came over you once I took you to the fuckin? BET AwardsYou lookin? at artists? like the harvestsSo many Rollies around you and you want all of themSomebody told me you thinkin? ?bout snatchin? jewelryI should?ve listened when my grandmama said to me
[Hook: Bilal]Shit don?t change until you get up and wash yo? ass, niggaShit don?t change until you get up and wash yo? ass, boyShit don?t change until you get up and wash yo? ass, niggaOh now, slow down
[Bridge: Snoop Dogg]And once upon a time, in a city so divineCalled West Side Compton, there stood a little niggaHe was 5 foot something, God bless the kidTook his homie to the show and this is what they said
[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]Fuck am I ?posed to do when I?m lookin? at walkin? licks?The constant big money talk ?bout the mansion and foreign whipsThe private jets and passport, presidential glass floorGold bottles, gold models, sniffin? up the ass forInstagram flicks, suck a dick, fuck is this?One more suck away from wavin? flashy wristMy defense, mechanism tell me to get himQuickly because he got itIt?s a recession, then why the fuck he a King of Diamonds?No more livin? poor, meet my four-fourWhen I see ?em, put the per diem on the floorNow Kendrick, know they?re your co-workersBut it?s gon? take a lot for this pistol go cold turkeyNow I can watch his watch on the TV and be okayBut see I?m on the clock once that watch landin? in LARemember steal from the rich and givin? it back to the poor?Well that?s me at these awardsI guess my grandmama was warnin? a boyShe said?
[Outro: Snoop Dogg]And once upon a time, in a city so divineCalled West Side Compton, there stood a little niggaHe was 5 foot something, dazed and confusedTalented but still under the neighborhood ruseYou can take your boy out the hood but you can?t take the hood out the homieTook his show money, stashed it in the mozey wozeyHollywood?s nervousFuck you, goodnight, thank you much for your service
Produced by Terrace Martin & Larrance Dopson; additional production by Sounwave
[Intro: Kendrick Lamar]I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influenceSometimes, I did the same
[Interlude]Sound of a woman moaningIf these walls could talk (x6)Sex
[Bridge: Anna Wise]She just want to close her eyes and swayWith you, With you, With youExercise her right to work it outIt?s true, it?s true, it?s trueShout out to the birthday girls say hey, say heyEveryone deserves a night to playAnd she plays only when you tell her no
[Hook: Anna Wise, Thundercat and (Bilal)]If these walls could talk(I can feel your reign when it cries, gold lives inside of you)If these walls could talk(I love it when I?m in it, I love it when I?m in it)
[Verse 1: Kendrick Lamar]If these walls could talk they?d tell me to swim goodNo boat, I float better than he wouldNo life jacket, I?m not the God of NazarethBut your flood can be misunderstoodWalls telling me they full of pain, resentmentNeed someone to live in them just to relieve tensionMe? I?m just a tenantLandlord said these walls vacant more than a minuteThese walls are vulnerable, exclamationInterior pink, color coordinatedI interrogated, every nook and crannyI mean it?s still amazing before they couldn?t stand meThese walls want to cry tearsThese walls happier when I?m hereThese walls never could hold upEvery time I come around demolition might crush
[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]If these walls could talk they?d tell me to go deepYelling at me continuously, I can seeYour defense mechanism is my decisionKnock these walls down, that?s my religionWalls feeling like they ready to close inI suffocate, then catch my second windI resonate in these wallsI don?t know how long I can wait in these wallsI?ve been on these streets too longLooking at you from the outside inThey sing the same old songAbout how they walls always the cleanestI beg to differ, I must?ve missed themI?m not involved, I?d rather diss themI?d rather call on you, put your wall upCause when I come around demolition gon? crush
[Verse 3: Kendrick Lamar]If your walls could talk, they?d tell you it?s too lateYour destiny accepted your fateBurn accessories and stash them where they areTake the recipe, the Bible and GodWall telling you that commissary is lowRace wars happening no calling CONo calling your mother to save youHomies to say you?re reputable, not acceptableYour behavior is Sammy Da Bull likeA killer that turned snitchWalls is telling me you a bitchYou pray for appeals hoping the warden would afford themThat sentence so importantWalls telling you to listen to ?Sing About Me?Retaliation is strong, you even dream ?bout meKilled my homeboy and God spared your lifeDumb criminal got indicted same nightSo when you play this song, rewind the first verseAbout me abusing my power so you can hurtAbout me and her in the shower whenever she hornyAbout me and her in the after hours of the morningAbout her baby daddy currently serving lifeAnd how she think about you until we meet up at nightAbout the only girl that cared about you when you asked herAnd how she fucking on a famous rapperWalls could talk
[Outro: Kendrick Lamar]I remember you was conflictedMisusing your influenceSometimes I did the sameAbusing my power, full of resentmentResentment that turned into a deep depressionFound myself screaming in a hotel room
Produced by Taz Arnold & Whoarei; additional production by Sounwave
[Hook x10]Loving you is complicated
[Verse 1]I place blame on you stillPlace shame on you stillFeel like you ain?t shitFeel like you don?t feelConfidence in yourself, breakin? on marble floorsWatchin? anonymous strangers tellin? me that I?m yoursBut you ain?t shit I?m convinced your tolerance nothin? specialWhat can I blame you for, nigga I can name severalSituation had stopped with your little sister bakin?A baby inside, just a teenager, where your patience?Where was your antennas, where was the influence you speak of?You preached in front of 100,000 but never reached herI fuckin? tell you, you fuckin? failure ? you ain?t no leader!I never liked you, forever despise you ? I don?t need you!The world don?t need you, don?t let them deceive youNumbers lie too, fuck your pride too, that?s for dedicationThought money would change you, made you more complacentI fuckin? hate you, I hope you embrace itI swear
[Bridge]Lovin? you, lovin? you, not lovin? you, one hundred proofI can feel you vibin?, recognize that you?re ashamed of meYes I hate you too
[Skit]House keeping*knocks*House keepingAbre la puerta! Abre la puerta tengo que limpiar el cuarto!Es que no hay mucho tiempo tengo que limpiar el cuarto!Disculpe!
[Verse 2]You the reason why mama and them leavin?No you ain?t shit, you say you love them, I know you don?t mean itI know you?re irresponsible, selfish, in denial, can?t help itYour trials and tribulations a burden, everyone felt itEveryone heard it, multiple shots, corners cryin? outYou was deserted, where was your antennas again?Where was your presence, where was your support that you pretend?You ain?t no brother, you ain?t no disciple, you ain?t no friendA friend never leave Compton for profit or leave his best friendLittle brother, you promised you?d watch him before they shot himWhere was your antennas, on the road, bottles and bitchesYou faced time the one time, that?s unforgivenYou even Facetimed instead of a hospital visitBitch you thought he would recover wellThird surgery couldn?t stop the bleeding for realThen he died, God himself will say ?you fuckin? failed?You ain?t try
[Verse 3]I know your secrets niggaMood swings is frequent niggaI know depression is restin? on your heart for two reasons niggaI know you and a couple block boys ain?t been speakin? niggaY?all damn near beefin?, I seen it and you?re the reason niggaAnd if this bottle could talk *gulp* I cry myself to sleepBitch everything is your faultFaults breakin? to pieces, earthquakes on every weekendBecause you shook as soon as you knew confinement was neededI know your secretsDon?t let me tell them to the world about that shit you thinkin?And that time you *gulp* I?m bout to hurlI?m fucked up, but I ain?t as fucked up as youYou just can?t get right, I think your heart made of bullet proofShoulda killed yo ass a long time agoYou shoulda feeled that black revolver blast a long time agoAnd if those mirrors could talk it would say ?you gotta go?And if I told your secretsThe world?ll know money can?t stop a suicidal weakness
Produced by Pharrell Williams & Sounwave
[Intro]Alls my life I has to fight, niggaAlls my life I?Hard times like, ?God!?Bad trips like, ?Yea!?Nazareth, I?m fucked upHomie you fucked upBut if God got usThen we gon? be alright
[Hook: Pharrell Williams]Nigga, we gon? be alrightNigga, we gon? be alrightWe gon? be alrightDo you hear me, do you feel me? We gon? be alrightNigga, we gon? be alrightHuh? We gon? be alrightNigga, we gon? be alrightDo you hear me, do you feel me? We gon? be alright
[Verse 1]Uh, and when I wake upI recognize you?re lookin? at me for the pay cutBut homicide be lookin? at you from the face downWhat Mac-11 even boom with the bass downSchemin?, and let me tell you ?bout my lifePainkillers only put me in the twilightWhere pretty pussy and Benjamin is the highlightNow tell my momma I love her but this what I like, Lord knows20 of ?em in my Chevy, tell ?em all to come and get meReapin? everything I sow, so my karma comeAnd heaven no preliminary hearing, so for recordI?mma motherfuckin? gangster in silence for the recordTell the world I know it?s too lateBoys and girls, I think I gone crazyDrown inside my vices all dayWon?t you please believe when I say
[Pre-Hook]Wouldn?t you knowWe been hurt, been down beforeNigga, when our pride was lowLookin? at the world like, ?Where do we go??Nigga, and we hate po-poWanna kill us dead in the street for sureNigga, I?m at the preacher?s doorMy knees gettin? weak and my gun might blowBut we gon? be alright
[Verse 2]What you want, you a house or a car40 acres and a mule, a piano, a guitar?Anything, see my name is Lucy, I?m your dogMotherfucker, you can live at the mallI can see the evil, I can tell it I know it?s illegalI don?t think about it, I deposit every little zeroThinkin? of my partner put the candy, paint it on the RegalDiggin? in my pocket ain?t a profit, big enough to feed youEveryday my logic, get another dollar just to keep youIn the presence of your chico? ah!I don?t talk about it, be about it, everyday I sequelIf I got it then you know you got it, heaven, I can reach youPet dog, pet dog, pet dog, my dog, that?s allPick back and chat, I trap the back for y?allI rap, I black on track so rest assuredMy rights, my wrongs I write ?til I?m right with God
[Pre-Hook] + [Hook]
[Break]I keep my head up highI cross my heart and hope to dieLovin? me is complicatedToo afraid, a lot of changesI?m alright and you?re a favoriteDark nights in my prayers
[Outro]I remembered you was conflictedMisusing your influence, sometimes I did the sameAbusing my power full of resentmentResentment that turned into a deep depressionFound myself screamin? in the hotel roomI didn?t wanna self destructThe evils of Lucy was all around meSo I went runnin? for answers
For Sale? (Interlude)
Produced by Taz Arnold; Additional production by Sounwave & Terrace Martin
[Intro]*Breathing*What?s wrong, nigga?I thought you was keeping it gangstaI thought this what you wantedThey say if you scared, go to churchBut remember, he knows the bible too
[Hook]My baby when I get you get you get you get youIma go hit the throttle with youSmoking lokin? poking the doja till I?m idle with youCause I (want you)Now baby when I?m riding here I?m riding dirtyRegistration is out of serviceSmoking lokin? drinking the potion you can see me swervingCause I (want you)(I want you more than you know)
[Verse 1: Kendrick Lamar]I remember you took me to the mall last week babyYou looked me in my eyes about 4 5 timesTill I was hypnotized then you clarifiedThat I (want you)You said Sherane ain?t got nothing on LucyI said you crazyRoses are red violets are blue but me and you both pushing up daisies if I (want you)
[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]You said to meYou said your name was LucyI said ?where?s Ricardo??You said ?oh no, not the show?Then you spit a little rap to me like thisWhen I turned 26 I was like ?oh shit?You said this to meI remember what you said too, you said?My name is Lucy, KendrickYou introduced me KendrickUsually I don?t do thisBut I see you and me KendrickLucy give you no worriesLucy got million storiesAbout these rappers that I came after when they was boringLucy gone fill your pocketsLucy gone move your mama out of ComptonInside the gi-gantic mansion like I promisedLucy just want your trust and loyaltyAvoiding me?It?s not so easy I?m at these functions accordinglyKendrick, Lucy don?t slack a minuteLucy work harderLucy gone call you even when Lucy know you love your FatherI?m LucyI loosely heard prayers on your first album trulyLucy don?t mind cause at the end of the day you?ll pursue meLucy go get it, Lucy not timid, Lucy up frontLucy got paper work on top of paper workI want you to know that Lucy got youAll your life I watched youAnd now you all grown up to sign this contract if that?s possible?
[Outro]I remembered you was conflictedMisusing your influence, sometimes I did the sameAbusing my power full of resentmentResentment that turned into a deep depressionFound myself screamin? in the hotel roomI didn?t wanna self destructThe evils of Lucy was all around meSo I went runnin? for answersUntil I came home
Produced by Knxwledge & Taz Arnold
[Intro]Oh shit! Oh, I need that. I need that sloppy. That sloppy. Like a Chevy in quicksand. Yeah. That sloppy
[Verse 1]This feelin? is unmatchedThis feelin? is brought to you by adrenaline and good rapBlack Pendleton ball cap(West, west, west)We don?t share the same synonym, fall back(West, west, west)Been in it before internet had new actsMimicking radio?s nemesis made me wackMy innocence limited the experience lackedTen of us with no tentative tactic that crackedThe mind of a literate writer, but I did it in factYou admitted it once I submitted it wrapped in plasticRemember scribblin? scratchin? dilligent sentences backwardsVisiting freestyle cyphers for your reactionNow I can live in a stadium, pack it the fastestGamblin? Benjamin benefits, sinnin? in trafficSpinnin? women in cartwheels, linen fabric on fashionWinnin? in every decisionKendrick is master that mastered itIsn?t it lovely how menaces turned attraction?Pivotin? rappers, finish your fraction while writing blue magicThank God for rap, I would say it got me a plaqueBut what?s better than that?The fact it brought me back home
[Hook]We been waitin? for youWaitin? for youWaitin? for youWaitin? for you
[Verse 2]I know everythingI know everything, know myselfI know morality, spirituality, good and bad healthI know fatality might haunt youI know everything, I know ComptonI know street shit, I know shit that?s consciousI know everything, I know lawyers, advertisement and sponsorsI know wisdom, I know bad religion, I know good karmaI know everything, I know historyI know the universe works mentallyI know the perks of bullshit isn?t meant for meI know everything, I know cars, clothes, hoes, and moneyI know loyalty, I know respect, I know those that?s orneryI know everything, the highs, the lows, the groupies, the junkiesI know if I?m generous at heart, I don?t need recognitionThe way I?m rewarded, well, that?s God?s decisionI know you know that line?s for Compton School DistrictJust give it to the kids, don?t gossip about how it was distributedI know how people workI know the price of life, I?m knowin? how much it?s worthI know what I know and I know it well not to ever forgetUntil I realized I didn?t know shitThe day I came home
[Verse 3]I met a little boy that resembled my featuresNappy afro, gap in his smileHand me down sneakers bounced through the crowdRun a number on man and woman that crossed himSun beamin? on his beady beads exhaustedTossin? footballs with his ashy black anklesBreakin? new laws, mama passed on home trainin?He looked at me and said, ?Kendrick you do know my languageYou just forgot because of what public schools had paintedOh, I forgot, don?t kill my vibe, that?s right, you?re famousI used to watch on Channel 5, TV was takenBut never mind you?re here right now don?t you mistake itIt?s just a new trip, take a glimpse at your family?s ancestorMake a new list, of everything you thought was progressAnd that was bullshit, I mean your life is full of turmoilSpoiled by fantasies of who you are, I feel bad for youI can attempt to enlighten you without frightenin? youIf you resist, I?ll back off quick, go catch a flight or twoBut if you pick destiny over rest in peace then be an advocateTell your homies especially to come back home?
[Interlude]This is a world premiereThis is a world premiereThis is a world premiere
[Verse 4]I been lookin for you my whole life, an appetiteFor the feeling I can barely describe, where you reside?Is it in a woman, is it in money, or mankind?Tell me something got me losing my mind, AH!You make me wanna jump(Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump(Let?s talk about love))(Jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump, jump(Let?s talk about love))I been lookin for you my whole life, an appetiteFor the feeling I can barely describe, where you reside?Is it in a woman, is it in money, or mankind?Tell me something think I?m losing my mind, AH!I say where you at, from the front to the backI?m lookin? for you I react, only when you reactAh, I thought I found you, back in the ghettoWhen I was seventeen with the .38 specialMaybe you?re in a dollar bill, maybe you?re not realMaybe only the wealthy get to know how you feelMaybe I?m paranoid, ha, maybe I don?t need you anywayDon?t lie to me I?m suicidal anywayI can be your advocateI can preach for you if you tell me what the matter is
Produced by Tae Beast, Sounwave & Thundercat
[Intro]K-Dot, pick up the phone, nigga. Every time I call, it?s going to voicemail. Don?t tell me they got you on some weirdo rap shit, nigga. No socks and skinny jeans and shit. [Laughs] Call me on Shaniqua?s phone!
[Hook]I been A-1 since day one, you niggas boo booYour home boy, your block that you?re from, boo booLil hoes you went to school with, boo booBaby mama and your new bitch, boo booWe was in the hood, 14 with the deuce-deuce14 years later going hard, like we used to on the dead homiesOn the dead homies
[Verse 1]I don?t give a fuck about no politics in rap, my nigga (my nigga)My lil homie Stunna Deuce ain?t never comin? back, my nigga (my nigga)So you better go hard every time you jump on wax, my nigga (my nigga)Fuck what they talkin? bout, your shit is where its at, my nigga (my nigga)Came in this game, you stuck your fangs in this gameYou wore no chain in this game your hood, your name in this gameNow you double up, time to bubble up the bread and huddle upStickin? to the scripts, now here if them benjamin?s go cuddle upSkip, hop, drip, drop, flip, flop with the white tube sockIt goes ?Sherm Sticks, burn this?Thats what the product smell like when the chemicals mix50 nigga salute, out the Compton zoo, with the extrasEl Cos, Monte Carlos, Road Kings and dressersRip Ridaz, P-Funkers, Mexicans, they fuck with youAsians, they fuck with you, nobody can fuck with you
[Verse 2]Hopped out the caddy, just got my dick suckedThe little homies called, they said, ?The enemies done cliqued up?Oh, yeah? Puto want to squabble with mi barrio?Oh, yeah? Tell ?em they can run it for the cardioOh, yeah? Everythin? is everythin?, it?s scandalousSlow motion for the ambulance, the project filled with camerasThe LAPD gamblin?, scramblin?, football numbers slanderin?Niggas name on paper, you snitched all summerStreets don?t fail me nowThey tell me it?s a new gang in townFrom Compton to CongressSet trippin? all aroundAin?t nothin? new but a flu of new DemoCrips and ReBloodlicansRed state versus a blue state, which one you governin??They give us guns and drugs, call us thugsMake it they promise to fuck with youNo condom, they fuck with youObama say, ?What it do??
[Interlude]Obama say, ?What it do??Obama say, ?What it do??
[Verse 3]Everybody want to talk about who this and who thatWho the realest and who wack, or who white or who blackCritics want to mention that they miss when hip hop was rappin?Motherfucker, if you did, then Killer Mike?d be platinumY?all priorities fucked up, put energy in wrong shitHennessy and Crown Vic, my memory been gone sinceDon?t ask me ?bout no camera blocking at award showsNo, don?t ask about my bitch, no, don?t ask about my foes?Less you askin? me about power, yeah, I got a lot of itI?m the only nigga next to Snoop that can push the buttonHad the Coast on standby?K. Dot, what up? I heard they opened up Pandora?s box?I box ?em all in, by a landslideNah homie we too sensitive, it spill out to the streetsI make the call and get the coast involved then history repeatsBut I resolved inside that private hall while sitting down with JayHe said ?it?s funny how one verse could fuck up the game?
I been A-1 since day one, you niggas boo boo
[Outro]I remember you was conflictedMisusing your influenceSometimes I did the sameAbusing my power full of resentmentResentment that turned into a deep depressionFound myself screaming in a hotel roomI didn?t want to self-destructThe evils of Lucy was all around meSo I went running for answersUntil I came homeBut that didn?t stop survivors guiltGoing back and forthTrying to convince myself the stripes I earnedOr maybe how A-1 my foundation wasBut while my loved ones was fightingA continuous war back in the cityI was entering a new one
How Much A Dollar Cost
Produced by LoveDragon
[Verse 1: Kendrick Lamar]How much a dollar really cost?The question is detrimental, paralyzin? my thoughtsParasites in my stomach keep me with a gut feeling, y?allGotta see how I?m chillin? once I park this luxury carHopping out feeling big as Mutombo20 on pump 6, dirty Marcellus called me Dumbo20 years ago, can?t forgetNow I can lend all my ear or two how to stack these residualsTenfold, the liberal concept of what men?ll do20 on 6, he didn?t hear meIndigenous African only spoke ZuluMy American tongue was slurryWalked out the gas stationA homeless man with a semi-tan complexionAsked me for ten rand, stressin? about dry landDeep water, powder blue skies that crack openA piece of crack that he wanted, I knew he was smokin?He begged and pleadedAsked me to feed him twice, I didn?t believe itTold him, ?Beat it?Contributin? money just for his pipe, I couldn?t see itHe said, ?My son, temptation is one thing that I?ve defeatedListen to me, I want a single bill from youNothin? less, nothin? more?I told him I ain?t have it and closed my doorTell me how much a dollar cost
[Hook: James Fauntleroy]It?s more to feed your mindWater, sun and love, the one you loveAll you need, the air you breathe
[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]He?s starin? at me in disbeliefMy temper is buildin?, he?s starin? at me, I grab my keyHe?s starin? at me, I started the car, then I tried to leaveAnd somethin? told me to keep it in park until I could seeThe reason why he was mad at a strangerLike I was supposed to save himLike I?m the reason he?s homeless and askin? me for a favorHe?s starin? at me, his eyes followed me with no laserHe?s starin? at me, I notice that his stare is contagiousCause now I?m starin? back at him, feelin? some type of disrespectIf I could throw a bat at him, it?d be aimin? at his neckI never understood someone beggin? for goodsAskin? for handouts, takin? it if they couldAnd this particular person just had it down patStarin? at me for the longest until he finally askedHave you ever opened up Exodus 14?A humble man is all that we ever needTell me how much a dollar cost
[Verse 3: Kendrick Lamar]Guilt trippin? and feelin? resentmentI never met a transient that demanded attentionThey got me frustrated, indecisive and power trippin?Sour emotions got me lookin? at the universe differentI should distance myself, I should keep it relentlessMy selfishness is what got me here, who the fuck I?m kiddin??So I?ma tell you like I told the last bum, crumbs and penniesI need all of mines, and I recognizeThis type of panhandlin? all the timeI got better judgement, I know when nigga?s hustlin?Keep in mind, when I was strugglin?, I did compromiseNow I comprehend, I smell grandpa?s old medicineReekin? from your skin, moonshine and ginNigga you?re babblin?, your words ain?t flatterin?, I?m imaginin?Denzel but lookin? at O?NealKazaam is sad thrills, your gimmick is mediocre, the jig is upI seen you from a mile away losin? focusAnd I?m insensitive, and I lack empathyHe looked at me and said, ?Your potential is bittersweet?I looked at him and said, ?Every nickel is mines to keep?He looked at me and said, ?Know the truth, it?ll set you freeYou?re lookin? at the Messiah, the son of Jehovah, the higher powerThe choir that spoke the word, the Holy Spirit, the nerveOf Nazareth, and I?ll tell you just how much a dollar costThe price of having a spot in Heaven, embrace your loss, I am God?
[Outro: Ronald Isley]I wash my hands, I said my graceWhat more do you want from me?Tears of a clown, guess I?m not all what is meant to beShades of grey will never change if I condoneTurn this page, help me change, so right my wrongs
Complexion (A Zulu Love)
Produced by Thundercat & Sounwave; additional production by Terrace Martin & Antydote
[Intro:](I?m with this)
[Hook: (Pete Rock)]Complexion (two-step)Complexion don?t mean a thing (it?s a Zulu love)Complexion (two-step)It all feels the same (it?s a Zulu love)
[Verse 1: Kendrick Lamar]Dark as the midnight hour or bright as the mornin? sunGive a fuck about your complexion, I know what the Germans doneSneak (dissin?)Sneak me through the back window, I?m a good field niggaI made a flower for you outta cotton just to chill with youYou know I?d go the distance, you know I?m ten toes downEven if master listenin?, cover your ears, he ?bout to mention
[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]Dark as the midnight hour, I?m bright as the mornin? sunBrown skinned, but your blue eyes tell me your mama can?t runSneak (dissin?)Sneak me through the back window, I?m a good field niggaI made a flower for you outta cotton just to chill with youYou know I?d go the distance, you know I?m ten toes downEven if master?s listenin?, I got the world?s attentionSo I?mma say somethin? that?s vital and critical for survivalOf mankind, if he lyin?, color should never rivalBeauty is what you make it, I used to be so mistakenBy different shades of facesThen Whit told me, ?A woman is woman, love the creation?It all came from God then you was my confirmationI came to where you resideAnd looked around to see more sights for sore eyesLet the Willie Lynch theory reverse a million times with?
[Interlude]You like it, I love it (x8)(Where the homegirl Rapsody at?I need you to speak your mind real quick loved one!)
[Verse 3: Rapsody]Let me talk my Stu Scott, ?scuse me on my 2PacKeep your head up, when did you stop loving thyColor of your skin, color of your eyesThat?s the real blues, baby, like you met Jay?s babyYou blew me away, you think more beauty in blue, green and greyAll my solemn men up north, 12 years a slave12 years of age, thinkin? my shade too darkI love myself, I no longer need CupidEnforcin? my dark side like a young George LucasLight don?t mean you smart, bein? dark don?t make you stupidAnd frame of mind for them bustas, ain?t talkin? ?Woohah!?Need a paradox for the pair of doc?s they tutoredLike two Todd?s, L-L, you lose two timesIf you don?t see you beautiful in your complexionIt ain?t complex to put it in contextFind the air beneath the kite, that?s the contextYeah, baby, I?m conscious, ain?t no contestIf you like it, I love it, all your earth tones been blessedAin?t no stress, jigga boos wanna beI ain?t talkin? Jay, I ain?t talkin? BeyI?m talkin? days we got school watchin? movie screensAnd spike your self esteemThe new James Bond gon? be black as meBlack as brown, hazelnut, cinnamon, black teaAnd it?s all beautiful to meCall your brothers magnificent, call all the sisters queensWe all on the same team, blues and pirus, no colors ain?t a thing
[Outro: Kendrick Lamar]Barefoot babies with no caresTeenage gun toters that don?t play fair, should I get out the car?I don?t see Compton, I see something much worseThe land of the landmines, the hell that?s on earth
The Blacker the Berry
Produced by Boi-1da & Koz
[Intro: Kendrick Lamar & Lalah Hathaway]Everything black, I don?t want black (They want us to bow)I want everything black, I ain?t need black (Down to our knees)Some white, some black, I ain?t mean black (And pray to a God)I want everything black (That we don?t believe)Everything black, want all things blackI don?t need black, want everything blackDon?t need black, our eyes ain?t blackI own black, own everything black
[Bridge]Six in the morn?, fire in the streetBurn, baby, burn, that?s all I wanna seeAnd sometimes I get off watchin? you die in vainIt?s such a shame they may call me crazyThey may say I suffer from schizophrenia or somethin?But homie, you made meBlack don?t crack, my nigga
[Verse 1]I?m the biggest hypocrite of 2015Once I finish this, witnesses will convey just what I meanBeen feeling this way since I was 16, came to my sensesYou never liked us anyway, fuck your friendship, I meant itI?m African-American, I?m AfricanI?m black as the moon, heritage of a small villagePardon my residenceCame from the bottom of mankindMy hair is nappy, my dick is big, my nose is round and wideYou hate me don?t you?You hate my people, your plan is to terminate my cultureYou?re fuckin? evil I want you to recognize that I?m a proud monkeyYou vandalize my perception but can?t take style from meAnd this is more than confessionI mean I might press the button just so you know my discretionI?m guardin? my feelings, I know that you feel itYou sabotage my community, makin? a killin?You made me a killer, emancipation of a real nigga
[Pre-Hook]The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juiceThe blacker the berry, the sweeter the juiceThe blacker the berry, the sweeter the juiceThe blacker the berry, the bigger I shoot
[Hook: Assassin]I said they treat me like a slave, cah? me blackWoi, we feel a whole heap of pain, cah? we blackAnd man a say they put me inna chains, cah? we blackImagine now, big gold chains full of rocksHow you no see the whip, left scars pon? me backBut now we have a big whip parked pon? the blockAll them say we doomed from the start, cah? we blackRemember this, every race start from the block, jus ?member dat
[Verse 2]I?m the biggest hypocrite of 2015Once I finish this, witnesses will convey just what I meanI mean, it?s evident that I?m irrelevant to societyThat?s what you?re telling me, penitentiary would only hire meCurse me till I?m deadChurch me with your fake prophesizing that I?mma be just another slave in my headInstitutionalized manipulation and liesReciprocation of freedom only live in your eyesYou hate me don?t you?I know you hate me just as much as you hate yourselfJealous of my wisdom and cards I dealtWatchin? me as I pull up, fill up my tank, then peel outMuscle cars like pull ups, show you what these big wheels ?bout, ahBlack and successful, this black man meant to be specialKatzkins on my radar, bitch, how can I help you?How can I tell you I?m making a killin??You made me a killer, emancipation of a real nigga
[Verse 3]I?m the biggest hypocrite of 2015When I finish this if you listenin? then sure you will agreeThis plot is bigger than me, it?s generational hatredIt?s genocism, it?s grimy, little justificationI?m African-American, I?m AfricanI?m black as the heart of a fuckin? AryanI?m black as the name of Tyrone and DariusExcuse my French but fuck you ? no, fuck y?allThat?s as blunt as it gets, I know you hate me, don?t you?You hate my people, I can tell cause it?s threats when I see youI can tell cause your ways deceitfulKnow I can tell because you?re in love with that Desert EagleThinkin? maliciously, he get a chain then you gone bleed himIt?s funny how Zulu and Xhosa might go to warTwo tribal armies that want to build and destroyRemind me of these Compton Crip gangs that live next doorBeefin? with Pirus, only death settle the scoreSo don?t matter how much I say I like to preach with the PanthersOr tell Georgia State ?Marcus Garvey got all the answers?Or try to celebrate February like it?s my B-DayOr eat watermelon, chicken, and Kool-Aid on weekdaysOr jump high enough to get Michael Jordan endorsementsOr watch BET cause urban support is importantSo why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?When gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me?Hypocrite!
You Ain?t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)
Produced by LoveDragon
[Intro]Study long, study wrong, niggaHey, y?all close that front door, ya?ll let flies in this motherfuckerClose that door!My OG up in this motherfucker right nowMy pops man with the bottle in his hand, actin? a foolHey, hey, babe check it out, Imma tell you what my mama had said, she like:
[Verse 1]I could spot you a mile awayI could see your insecurities written all on your faceSo predictable your words, I know what you gonna sayWho you foolin?? Oh, you assuming you can just come and hangWith the homies but your level of realness ain?t the sameCircus acts only attract those that entertainSmall talk, we know that it?s all talkWe live in the Laugh Factory every time they mention your name
[Bridge]Askin? ?where the hoes at?? to impress meAskin? ?where the moneybags?? to impress meSay you got the burner stashed to impress meIt?s all in your head, homieAskin? ?where the plug at?? to impress meAskin? ?where the juug at?? to impress meAskin? ?where it?s at?? only upsets meYou sound like the feds, homie
[Hook] x2You ain?t gotta lie to kick it, my niggaYou ain?t gotta lie, you ain?t gotta lieYou ain?t gotta lie to kick it, my niggaYou ain?t gotta try so hard
[Verse 2]And the world don?t respect you and the culture don?t accept youBut you think it?s all loveAnd the girls gon? neglect you once your parody is doneReputation can?t protect you if you never had oneJealousy (complex), emotional (complex)Self-pity (complex), under oath (complex)The loudest one in the room, nigga, that?s a complexLet me put it back in proper context
[Verse 3]What do you got to offer?Tell me before we off ya, put you deep in the coffinBeen allergic to talkin?, been a virgin to bullshitAnd sell a dream in the auction, tell me just who your boss isNiggas be fugazi, bitches be fugaziThis is for fugazi niggas and bitches who make habitual lyin? babies, bless them little heartsYou can never persuade meYou can never relate me to him, to her, or that to themOr you, the truth you love to bendIn the back, in the bed, on the floor, that?s your hoOn the couch, in the mouth, I?ll be out, really thoughSo loud, rich niggas got low moneyAnd loud, broke niggas got no moneyThe irony behind it is so funnyAnd I seen it all this past yearPass on some advice we feel:
i (Album Version)
Produced by RahkiDirected by Alexandre Moors and the Little Homies (Dave Free and Kendrick Lamar)
[Spoken Intro]Is this mic on?Hey! Hey! Turn the mic up!I want the micWe bringing up nobody-nobody-nobodyBut the number one rapper in the worldHe done travelled all over the worldHe came back just to give you some gameAll the little boys and girls (Ah), come up here(One two, one two, what?s happening fool?) Come right here, this is for you, come on upKendrick Lamar!
[Intro]I done been through a whole lotTrial, tribulation, but I know GodThe Devil wanna put me in a bow tiePray that the holy water don?t go dryAs I look around meSo many motherfuckers wanna down meBut an enemigo never drown meIn front of a dirty double-mirror they found me
[Hook]And (I love myself)When you lookin? at me, tell me what do you see?(I love myself)Ahh, I put a bullet in the back of the back of the head of the police(I love myself)Illuminated by the hand of God, boy don?t seem shy(I love myself)One day at a time, uhh
[Verse 1]They wanna say it?s a war outside, bomb in the streetGun in the hood, mob of policeRock on the corner with a line for the fiendAnd a bottle full of lean and a model on the scheme uhThese days of frustration keep y?all on tuck and rotation (Come to the front)I duck these cold faces, post up fi-fie-fo-fum basisDreams of reality?s peaceBlow steam in the face of the beastSky could fall down, wind could cry nowLook at me motherfucker I smile
[Verse 2](Crazy)(What you gon? do?)Lift up your head and keep moving, (Keep moving) turn the mic up(Haunt you)Peace to fashion police, I wear my heartOn my sleeve, let the runway startYou know the miserable do love companyWhat do you want from me and my scars?Everybody lack confidence, everybody lack confidenceHow many times my potential was anonymous?How many times the city making me promises?So I promise this, nigga
[Bridge]Huh (Walk my bare feet) huh (Walk my bare feet)Huh (Down, down valley deep) huh (Down, down valley deep)(I love myself) huh (Fi-fie-fo-fum) huh (fi-fie-fo-fum)(I love myself) huh (My heart undone) one, two, three
[Verse 3]I went to war last nightWith an automatic weapon, don?t nobody call a medicI?mma do it till I get it rightI went to war last night (Night, night, night, night, night)I?ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescentDuckin? every other blessin?, I can never see the messageI could never take the lead, I could never bob and weaveFrom a negative and letting them annihilate meAnd it?s evident I?m moving at a meteor speedFinna run into a building, lay my body?
[Spoken Interlude](Offstage Argument)Not on my time, Not while I?m up hereNot on my time, kill the musicNot on my timeWe could save that shit for the streetsWe could save that shit, this for the kids bro2015, niggas tired of playin? victim dogNiggas ain?t trying to play vic ? TuTu, how many niggas we done lost?Yan-Yan, how many we done lost?No for real, answer the question, how many niggas we done lost bro?This, this year aloneExactly. So we ain?t got time to waste time my niggaNiggas gotta make time broThe judge make time, you know that, the judge make time right?The judge make time so it ain?t shitIt shouldn?t be shit for us to come out here and appreciate the little bit of life we got left, dawgOn the dead homies. Charlie P, you know that broYou know thatIt?s mando. Right, it?s mandoAnd I say this because I love you niggas manI love all my niggas broExac- enough said, enough saidWe gon? get back to the show and move on, because that shit petty my niggaMic check, mic check, mic check, mic check, mic checkWe gon? do some acapella shit before we get back to-All my niggas listenListen to this:
[Acapella Verse]I promised Dave I?d never use the phrase ?fuck nigga?He said, ?Think about what you saying: ?Fuck niggas?No better than Samuel on DjangoNo better than a white man with slave boats?Sound like I needed some soul searchingMy Pops gave me some game in real personRetraced my steps on what they never taught meDid my homework fast before government caught meSo I?ma dedicate this one verse to OprahOn how the infamous, sensitive N-word control usSo many artists gave her an explanation to hold usWell, this is my explanation straight from EthiopiaN-E-G-U-S definition: royalty; King royalty ? wait listenN-E-G-U-S description: Black emperor, King, ruler, now let me finishThe history books overlook the word and hide itAmerica tried to make it to a house dividedThe homies don?t recognize we been using it wrongSo I?ma break it down and put my game in a songN-E-G-U-S, say it with meOr say no more. Black stars can come and get meTake it from Oprah Winfrey, tell her she right on timeKendrick Lamar, by far, realest Negus alive
Produced by Sounwave
[Hook 1]The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel itLet these words be your earth and moonYou consume every messageAs I lead this army make room for mistakes and depressionAnd with that being said my nigga, let me ask this question:
[Bridge 1]When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?When shit hit the fan (one two, one two)When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
[Bridge 2]When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?Want you look to your left and right, make sure you ask your friendsWhen shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
[Verse 1]Do you believe in me? Are you deceiving me?Could I let you down easily, is your heart where it need to be?Is your smile on permanent? Is your vow on lifetime?Would you know where the sermon is if I died in this next line?If I?m tried in a court of law, if the industry cut me offIf the government want me dead, plant cocaine in my carWould you judge me a drug-head or see me as K. LamarOr question my character and degrade me on every blogWant you to love me like Nelson, want you to hug me like NelsonI freed you from being a slave in your mind, you?re very welcomeYou tell me my song is more than a song, it?s surely a blessingBut a prophet ain?t a prophet til they ask you this question:
[Hook 2]The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel itLet my words be your earth and moon you consume every messageAs I lead this army make room for mistakes and depressionAnd with that
[Verse 2]Do you believe in me? How much you believe in her?You think she gon? stick around if them 25 years occur?You think he can hold you down when you down behind bars hurt?You think y?all on common ground if you promise to be the first? Can you be immortalised without your life being expired?Even though you share the same blood is it worth the time?Like who got your best interest?Like how much are you dependent?How clutch are the people that say they love you?And who pretending?How tough is your skin when they turn you in?Do you show forgiveness?What brush do you bend when dusting your shoulders from being offended?What kind of den did they put you in when the lions start hissing?What kind of bridge did they burn?Revenge or your mind when it?s mentioned?You wanna love like Nelson, you wanna be like NelsonYou wanna walk in his shoes but you peacemaking seldomYou wanna be remembered that delivered the messageThat considered the blessing of everyoneThis your lesson for everyone, say
[Hook 3]The voice of Mandela, hope this flow stay propellin?Let my word be your earth and moonYou consume every messageAs I lead this army make room for mistakes and depressionAnd if you riding with me, nigga
[Verse 3]I been wrote off before, I got abandonment issuesI hold grudges like bad judges, don?t let me resent youThat?s not Nelson-like, want you to love me like NelsonI went to Robben?s Island analysing, that?s where his cell isSo I could find clarity, like how much you cherish meIs this relationship a fake or real as the heavens be?See I got to question it all, family, friends, fans, cats, dogsTrees, plants, grass, how the wind blowMurphy?s Law, generation X, will I ever be your X?Floss off a baby step, mauled by the mouth ofPit bulls, put me under stressCrawled under rocks, ducking y?all, it?s respectBut then tomorrow, put my back against the wallHow many leaders you said you needed then left ?em for dead?Is it Moses, is it Huey Newton or Detroit Red?Is it Martin Luther, JFK, shoot or you assassinIs it Jackie, is it Jesse, oh I know, it?s Michael Jackson, oh
[Bridge 3]When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?That nigga gave us Billie Jean, you say he touched those kids?When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
[Hook 4]The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel itLet my word be your earth and moon you consume every messageAs I lead this army make room for mistakes and depressionAnd if you riding with me nigga, let me ask this question nigga
[Outro: Kendrick Lamar & 2Pac]
[Kendrick Lamar]?I remember you was conflictedMisusing your influenceSometimes I did the sameAbusing my power, full of resentmentResentment that turned into a deep depressionFound myself screaming in the hotel roomI didn?t wanna self destructThe evils of Lucy was all around meSo I went running for answersUntil I came homeBut that didn?t stop survivor?s guiltGoing back and forth trying to convince myself the stripes I earnedOr maybe how A-1 my foundation wasBut while my loved ones was fighting the continuous war back in the city, I was entering a new oneA war that was based on apartheid and discriminationMade me wanna go back to the city and tell the homies what I learnedThe word was respectJust because you wore a different gang colour than mine?sDoesn?t mean I can?t respect you as a black manForgetting all the pain and hurt we caused each other in these streetsIf I respect you, we unify and stop the enemy from killing usBut I don?t know, I?m no mortal man, maybe I?m just another nigga?
Shit and that?s all I wroteI was gonna call it Another Nigga but, it ain?t really a poem, I just felt like it?s something you probably could relate to. Other than that, now that I finally got a chance to holla at you, I always wanted to ask you about a certain situa ? , about a metaphor actually, you spoke on the ground. What you mean ?bout that, what the ground represent?
[2Pac]The ground is gonna open up and swallow the evil
[2Pac]That?s how I see it, my word is bond. I see ? and the ground is the symbol for the poor people, the poor people is gonna open up this whole world and swallow up the rich people. Cause the rich people gonna be so fat, they gonna be so appetising, you know what I?m saying, wealthy, appetising. The poor gonna be so poor and hungry, you know what I?m saying it?s gonna be like? there might be some cannibalism out this mutha, they might eat the rich
[Kendrick Lamar]Aight so let me ask you this then, do you see yourself as somebody that?s rich or somebody that made the best of their own opportunities?
[2Pac]I see myself as a natural born hustler, a true hustler in every sense of the word. I took nothin?, I took the opportunities, I worked at the most menial and degrading job and built myself up so I could get it to where I owned it. I went from having somebody manage me to me hiring the person that works my management company. I changed everything I realised my destiny in a matter of five years you know what I?m saying I made myself a millionaire. I made millions for a lot of people now it?s time to make millions for myself, you know what I?m saying. I made millions for the record companies, I made millions for these movie companies, now I make millions for us
[Kendrick Lamar]And through your different avenues of success, how would you say you managed to keep a level of sanity?
[2Pac]By my faith in God, by my faith in the game, and by my faith in ?all good things come to those that stay true.? You know what I?m saying, and it was happening to me for a reason, you know what I?m saying, I was noticing, shit, I was punching the right buttons and it was happening. So it?s no problem, you know I mean it?s a problem but I?m not finna let them know. I?m finna go straight through
[Kendrick Lamar]Would you consider yourself a fighter at heart or somebody that only reacts when they back is against the wall?
[2Pac]Shit, I like to think that at every opportunity I?ve ever been threatened with resistance, it?s been met with resistance. And not only me but it goes down my family tree. You know what I?m saying, it?s in my veins to fight back
[Kendrick Lamar]Aight well, how long you think it take before niggas be like, we fighting a war, I?m fighting a war I can?t win and I wanna lay it all down
[2Pac]In this country a black man only have like 5 years we can exhibit maximum strength, and that?s right now while you a teenager, while you still strong or while you still wanna lift weights, while you still wanna shoot back. Cause once you turn 30 it?s like they take the heart and soul out of a man, out of a black man in this country. And you don?t wanna fight no more. And if you don?t believe me you can look around, you don?t see no loud mouth 30-year old muthafuckas
[Kendrick Lamar]That?s crazy, because me being one of your offspring of the legacy you left behind I can truly tell you that there?s nothing but turmoil goin? on so I wanted to ask you what you think is the future for me and my generation today?
[2Pac]I think that niggas is tired of grabbin? shit out the stores and next time it?s a riot there?s gonna be, like, uh, bloodshed for real. I don?t think America know that. I think American think we was just playing and it?s gonna be some more playing but it ain?t gonna be no playing. It?s gonna be murder, you know what I?m saying, it?s gonna be like Nat Turner, 1831, up in this muthafucka. You know what I?m saying, it?s gonna happen
[Kendrick Lamar]That?s crazy man. In my opinion, only hope that we kinda have left is music and vibrations, lotta people don?t understand how important it is. Sometimes I be like, get behind a mic and I don?t know what type of energy I?mma push out, or where it comes from. Trip me out sometimes
[2Pac]Because the spirits, we ain?t even really rappin?, we just letting our dead homies tell stories for us
I wanted to read one last thing to you. It?s actually something a good friend had wrote describing my world. It says:
?The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived itIts only job is to eat or consume everything around it, in order to protect itself from this mad cityWhile consuming its environment the caterpillar begins to notice ways to surviveOne thing it noticed is how much the world shuns him, but praises the butterflyThe butterfly represents the talent, the thoughtfulness, and the beauty within the caterpillarBut having a harsh outlook on life the caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak and figures out a way to pimp it to his own benefitsAlready surrounded by this mad city the caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon which institutionalizes himHe can no longer see past his own thoughtsHe?s trappedWhen trapped inside these walls certain ideas take roots, such as going home, and bringing back new concepts to this mad cityThe result?Wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnantFinally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations that the caterpillar never considered, ending the internal struggleAlthough the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.?
What?s your perspective on that?Pac? Pac?Pac?!
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