Artist – Kendrick Lamar

Length – 49:12


(SZA, Schoolboy Q, 2 Chains, Saudi, Khalid, Swae Lee, Vince Staples, Eugene, Blakrok, Jorja Smith, SOB X RBE, Ab Soul, Anderson Paak, James Blake, Jay Rock, Future, James Blake, Zachary Babes Wodumo, Mozzy, Sjava, Reason, Travis Scott, The Weeknd)


“The lens I see through can’t be prescribed with with glasses”

” I want the credit whether I lose or win”

“Stack bodies not figurines
Move under the surface submarine
I’m half-machine, obscene with a light sword
Look inside the brain, it’s a ride in the psych ward”

“We go to war for this African blood”
“I put niggas on it was all out of love”

“I put my fist in the air I ain’t finna put my hands up”

They try to tell us that we all equal
We get no justice that is why it ain’t peaceful

“If I gotta be sacrificed for the greater good that’s what it gotta be”


Kendrick opens the project up comparing himself to a king and then asks the questions to listeners what makes you a king and what are you doing to positively make an impact?

Are you an accident?
Are you just in the way?
Your native tongue contradicting what your body language say?
Are you a king or are you jokin
Are you a king or you posin

Not every song is a Kendrick Lamar record but Kendrick does appear on every track in some capacity. In the words of 2 Chainz you can bang this from strip clubs to sta-di-ums. There are some real notable verses from the likes of Ab Soul and Mozzy but Johannesburg rapper Yugen Blakrok really steals the show with some of the dopest bars on the entire project. Even though this soundtrack is very afrocentric rightfully so it is till very diverse. There are sure-fire pop hits such as All the Stars featuring SZA and Pray For Me featuring The Weeknd.” As well as street bangers that take you to the west coast like Paramedic. Kings Dead is a personal favorite of mine as I can’t get “This ain’t what you want,  this aint what you want, I made a hundred thou’ then I freaked it” out of my head. If this song does not get a reaction out of you nothing will.  On the track Redemption the cultural drums and chants are very uplifting. Jorja Smith slides through with the most soulful track on the record I am as she sings ” It’s depended on me, Sometimes it’s not good to be free.

Coming full circle in Kendrick’s final bars he raps “looking for a hero look in the mirror there is your hero.” As cliché as it sounds anyone can be a hero or a king as long as you look inside and make the dedication to making a difference.

-Caleb Harris

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