Mar 24, 2015

Editorial: (Im)Mortal Men - @KendrickLamar by @RamseySaidWHAT

It's tough when the whole world sees you as Pac reincarnated....

In a world where Kendrick Lamar has been seen as "New Black" for some of his opinions on world matters, I think it's interesting. What makes K. Dot real is what he really wants for you. When most people give their opinion they are trying to enlighten you to their way of thinking and persuade you to be like them. In today's age people lean towards different rappers for different reasons, at least in this generation. Some listen to J. Cole because he has this amazing ability to make people relate to him. Between College life, Significant others, struggles with his mom, family, father or lack thereof you can really feel him. However Kendrick does the opposite and to me, that's amazing (to you that's a quick check with all disrespect..okay weak pun alert). "I've spent 23 years searching the world for answers til one day I realized I had to come up with my own (Ab Soul's Outro)."

I do not think To Pimp A Butterfly was the best album ever. I don't even think it was even better than GKMC. I think it was what was needed for what's going on in today's trying times. I chopped it up with some friends in the industry and lowkey I predicted that much for the album. I actually took it a little deeper. I explained that I thought he was gonna drop an album so deep it would kinda be like his eulogy.

Yes, I said Eulogy. Let me explain. We were seeing Kendrick so rough in between albums. He wasn't doing much press. He was only in studio, and not seen in the public eye too often. I imagine that has an effect on a young blogger like myself. He looked stressed, and not just for the album. I could see the pain in his eyes. It was the same pain I felt everyday watching the news or reading about another young black kid unjustly murdered by the police. Almost becoming a regular thing. The album was coming and people weren't exactly happy with Kendrick's comments regarding Ferguson and what's happening there. He then reminds us how important loving ourselves is when he recorded I. The messages conveyed kind of had a Dr. King essence. I compared it to how Martin gave his last speech I've Been to the Mountaintop. Visions of Martin Luther staring huh? Perhaps I was a little dramatic but that's just how I took it. Thank God I was wrong in that sense. I guess I'm too deep for the intro (If you've read this far I applaud you. I'm getting to the point soon.).

Kendrick once said Pac visited him in a dream urging K. Dot to never let his music die. That alone is the inspiration to the end of Mortal Man. Let's break it down. Kendrick is known for really deep Outros on his project with Hiiipower and Sing About Me respectively. Mortal Man is the same if not deeper. I think he took parts of both to complete an interview with Makaveli himself, Tupac Shakur. It was incredibly clever the way he took bits from past interviews and his own responses and questions to the immortal man. He starts by reading a poem to Pac then asks him about metaphors he once spoke. Kendrick asked about how he came up, his battles with stress, and his opinion on what's going on today. The part of the interview that stood out to me was the last bit about music being the only thing important thing we have left. Pac responds:

"Because it's spirits, we ain't really rappin' we just letting our dead homies tell stories for us."

The background music stops. Kendrick and myself both stunned only say one thing. "Damn." That kinda flashes back to Sing About Me on GKMC. "And if I die before your album drops POP! POP! POP! (gunfire*)...promise that you will sing about me." After the initial shocks wears off Kendrick reads another poem to Pac. This poem uses metaphors and analogies concerning a caterpillar and the journey to become a Butterfly like the title of the album. The poem generally sums up Kendrick's messages throughout. He pauses, and asks for his mentor's opinion. Sensei grew quiet.

"What's your perspective on that? Pac? Pac? Pac?"

No answer, like his friend in sing about me. Perhaps opinionated but that takes me to the before-mentioned quote in Ab Soul's Outro from Section 80 about coming up with your own answers.

Mortal Man seems to be a promise to 2Pac that his music will live on. His message will be conveyed if by no one else, Kendrick will do it himself. The two have outrageous similarities and mentors in Dr. Dre. I remember an old interview 2Pac once said "I'm not saying I'm going to change the world. But I guarantee I will spark the brain that will change the world..."  Maybe that brain is Kendrick, maybe it's not.  Hell maybe it's you and Kendrick is simply the channel to convey this communication. There's my opinion. It's time for yours' to be heard, that's what these Immortal Men want from you. I guess only time will tell. Keep that in mind and keep a lookout on the review of the entire album from one of our staff members soon.

P.S. Kendrick when your time is up we'll sing about you too. We owe you that much. Thank You.

Jonathan C. Ramsey
Jonathan C. Ramsey

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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