Song of the Day #2,749: ‘Alright’ – Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick LamarThe Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ takes the #3 spot in Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop poll. No argument there. I had it at #4 on my own list.

At #4 is another track from Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. This one is ‘Alright,’ a song that became an unofficial anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement, as it touches on the issue of police shooting black men.

The song has a Do the Right Thing vibe, both because of its subject matter and the use of horns juxtaposed with hip-hop beats.

I see the appeal of this song more than ‘King Kunta,’ though the latter is more listenable on a purely musical level. But I’m still not grasping the purported genius of Kendrick Lamar. Maybe I never will.

[Intro]
Alls my life I has to fight, nigga
Alls my life I…
Hard times like, “God!”
Bad trips like, “Yea!”
Nazareth, I’m fucked up
Homie you fucked up
But if God got us
Then we gon’ be alright

[Hook: Pharrell Williams]
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
We gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Huh? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

[Verse 1]
Uh, and when I wake up
I recognize you’re lookin’ at me for the pay cut
But homicide be lookin’ at you from the face down
What Mac-11 even boom with the bass down
Schemin’, and let me tell you ’bout my life
Painkillers only put me in the twilight
Where pretty pussy and Benjamin is the highlight
Now tell my momma I love her but this what I like, Lord knows
20 of ’em in my Chevy, tell ’em all to come and get me
Reapin’ everything I sow, so my karma come
And heaven no preliminary hearings on my record
I’m a motherfuckin’ gangster in silence for the record
Tell the world I know it’s too late
Boys and girls, I think I gone cray
Drown inside my vices all day
Won’t you please believe when I say

[Pre-Hook]
Wouldn’t you know
We been hurt, been down before
Nigga, when our pride was low
Lookin’ at the world like, “Where do we go?”
Nigga, and we hate po-po
Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho
Nigga, I’m at the preacher’s door
My knees gettin’ weak, and my gun might blow
But we gon’ be alright

[Hook]
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
We gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Huh? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

[Verse 2]
What you want, you a house, you a car?
40 acres and a mule, a piano, a guitar?
Anything, see my name is Lucy, I’m your dog
Motherfucker, you can live at the mall
I can see the evil, I can tell it, I know it’s illegal
I don’t think about it, I deposit every little zero
Thinkin’ of my partner, put the candy, paint it on the Regal
Diggin’ in my pocket, ain’t a profit big enough to feed you
Everyday my logic, get another dollar just to keep you
In the presence of your chico… ah!
I don’t talk about it, be about it, everyday I sequel
If I got it then you know you got it, heaven, I can reach you
Pet dog, pet dog, pet dog, my dog, that’s all
Pick back and chat, I trap the back for y’all
I rap, I black on track so rest assured
My rights, my wrongs; I write ’til I’m right with God

[Pre-Hook]
Wouldn’t you know
We been hurt, been down before
Nigga, when our pride was low
Lookin’ at the world like, “Where do we go?”
Nigga, and we hate po-po
Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho
Nigga, I’m at the preacher’s door
My knees gettin’ weak, and my gun might blow
But we gon’ be alright

[Hook]
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
We gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Huh? We gon’ be alright
Nigga, we gon’ be alright
Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright

[Outro]
I keep my head up high
I cross my heart and hope to die
Lovin’ me is complicated
Too afraid, a lot of changes
I’m alright, and you’re a favorite
Dark nights in my prayers

[Poem]
I remembered you was conflicted
Misusing your influence, sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screamin’ in the hotel room
I didn’t wanna self-destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went runnin’ for answers

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One thought on “Song of the Day #2,749: ‘Alright’ – Kendrick Lamar

  1. Dana says:

    This one is definitely more interesting, and the video is well done.

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