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Kendrick Lamar Made His Point On 'The Blacker The Berry' Using These Powerful Lyrics

A look at Kendrick's complex lyrics.

Last month, Kendrick Lamar took a beating on social media when Billboard ran a feature where he addressed the events that took place in Ferguson.

Some of the Compton rapper's comments -- "What happened to [Michael Brown] should’ve never happened. Never. But when we don’t have respect for ourselves, how do we expect them to respect us?" -- were criticized as "respectability politics,' but his ferocious new single "The Blacker The Berry" puts those statements in better perspective.

K. Dot addresses complex issues about race and oppression, with the lyrics below making some of the boldest statements.

  • Addressing stereotypes

    "I'm African-American, I'm African/I'm black as the moon, heritage of a small village/ Pardon my residence, came from the bottom of mankind/ My hair is nappy, my d---k is big, my nose is round and wide -- You hate me don't you?"

  • Institutional racism

    "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. Church me with your fake prophesizing that I'ma be just another slave in my head/ Institutionalize manipulation and lies/ Reciprocation of freedom only live in your eyes/ You hate me don't you?"

  • Acknowledgement that this struggle pre-dates him

    "This plot is bigger than me, it's generational hatred/ It's genocism, it's grimy, little justification."

  • Parallels to other interracial crimes
    Boyz n the Hood

    "It's funny how Zulu and Xhosa might go to war/ Two tribal armies that want to build and destroy/ Remind me of these Compton Crip gangs that live next door/ Beefin' with Pirus, only death settle the score."

  • The heart of the hypocrisy
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    "So don't matter how much I say I like to preach with the Panthers/ Or tell Georgia State "Marcus Garvey got all the answers"/ Or try to celebrate February like it's my B-Day/ Or eat watermelon, chicken, and Kool-Aid on weekdays...So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street?/ When gang banging make me kill a n---a blacker than me? Hypocrite!"

Below, Kendrick opens up about racial injustice and its affect on the community.