Feb 18, 2015

Deciphered: Blacker the Berry Sweeter the Juice by @Best_ofda_Worst

Everything black, I don't want black
I want everything black, I ain't need black
Some white some black, I ain't mean black
I want everything black

Greetings and Happy BLACK HISTORY MONTH to all my brothers and sisters of all shades, hues, and complexions. Peace to all my melanin kings and queens and thanks to God for the blessings of varieties of chocolate, caramel, and all the different flavors of tone that is draped upon our shoulders. We proudly walk this earth with velvet veils of ebony that neither withers nor tears as we brace all conditions that we face in our blessed, beautiful, black, lives.

If you aren’t speaking like that after hearing this song then either you are, deaf or you are still trying to decipher some of the many possible different meanings flurried all over this track.  This might be the blackest song I’ve heard in many years, but as you know K Dot is good for giving you music that you longed for.  I am not a 100% sure where to begin with this track cause I can sit here and break down each and every line with my opinion of what I think he may be trying to tell us, but I might need a couple chapters to be able to fully convey that message. At any rate here's what I think of Kendrick Lamar’s The Blacker the Berry

I kind of broke down as Kendrick telling the story of someone coming into age around these hectic times that we are living in. This is a story of youth who are trying to find a path in life. Struggling between the path of a black militant or will he become influenced by the things around that swallows up many youths in the inner city.  The bridge of the track could allude to current times of Blacks rioting in the streets over the Mike Brown verdict in Ferguson. The next line he says he gets off watching us die in vain, its crazy isn’t it? But black don’t crack. Maybe he was made to enjoy seeing his people suffer which is why it isn’t so crazy after all.  

The first verse I looked at it as the character coming into knowledge of self; he is getting a clear picture of where he is from and what this country thinks of him. He shows he knows he is from Africa and claims it proudly he shows how proud he is of his African heritage. He is also aware of the hate this country has shown him and through it all he embraces it.  He is aware of the jabs attacks that are put in place on the black man through different ways and means could be drugs could be jail, but through his knowledge he is able to free himself, but as stated in the first line he is a hypocrite.  

Second verse the character addresses that of all people in society that blacks are looked down upon so much more than anyone else; as if blacks. Especially in this society were blacks males are painted out to be criminals so much so that their only place where they fit in is the prison system, with so much negative statistics to go against a black man its almost dooming us to believe this is our only fate, hence the character of this song saying:

“I mean, it's evident that I'm irrelevant to society
That's what you're telling me, penitentiary would only hire me
Curse me till I'm dead”

Even through all that the character is able to somehow make it though that and become successful by what he and his peers define as success it was through all the hate fed to him that he had to disprove that he was meant for jail or any other stereotype for black men.

Now the third verse:

So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?

When gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me?


Not going to lie when I first heard this song I blasted this on full volume and was jamming and I felt myself fully involved in the lyrics and then this last verse came up.  Pissed me and several other people off;  It echoed back to his last interview with when he said black people don’t respect themselves so how can we expect other people to respect us.  Coming from a person who marched chanting "Black Lives Matter" and hearing Kendrick say that I wanted to pull him to the side off camera and talk to him one-on-one like “bruh man, wtf are you talking about!?” I gave myself some time to let this track settle I thought to myself maybe this song isn’t about him per say, or even all black people, maybe it's about the gang members throughout the country who have killed other people through black on black violence. That would be why he kept calling himself the biggest hypocrite throughout the song, and if it is about him maybe its his way of admitting that he does not see himself to be the hero that everyone else does. This song could be self admittance that he is in fact part of a problem that this country faces.  If that’s true than if I were him I would stop mentioning about killing people on record, other rappers do it all the time true, but I feel like he would be the only that would be arrested for it.  

All in all this is a great song. It does what a hip-hop track is supposed to do. It caused an uproar and has us thinking, but thinking in a dignified way and not the usual cheap shock value tricks that we’ve all grown accustomed to. I really like this track I can go on and on about it touching different POVs I have of it and numerous discussions can be had.  I am highly anticipating the album, whether it pisses me off or not I am dying to hear it.  


Multimedia Journalist, Founder and Chief Editor of WTM Host of A-Side B-Side Podcast and more. I like to talk about stuff and write it down. Sometimes to a microphone. Either way, I need you to feel this.

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