The Phaserl


The Deeper Story of Kendrick Lamar’s Album “To Pimp a Butterfly”

from Vigilant Citizen:

Kendrick Lamar’s album “To Pimp a Butterfly” is meant to be listened to from beginning to end. It tells a poignant story about Kendrick entering the music business and discovering the ugly truth behind it.

Warning: This article contains explicit lyrics.

Kendrick Lamar’s first album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was a critical and commercial success that skyrocketed the rapper’s career into super-stardom. In addition to featuring crowd-pleasing singles such as B*tch, Don’t Kill My Vibe, the album captivated music purists with an intricate story that unfolded throughout the opus.

Lamar’s second album, To Pimp a Butterfly, loosely follows the same formula, but with an added level of creative madness. The album is more intense, more bizarre, more profound and more controversial. In fact, To Pimp a Butterfly might very well be one of the most complex albums in rap history. Each song is characterized by its own distinctive concept and, on a larger scale, all the songs are interconnected by a wider narrative that revolves around Kendrick becoming a celebrity in a system owned by “Uncle Sam” and ruled by the “evils of Lucy” (a personification of Lucifer).

Let’s look at the story told throughout the album.

Pimping the Butterfly

The album begins with Wesley’s Theory, a bizarre song that introduces the overarching theme of the album: The “pimping” of artists by the establishment (personified by Uncle Sam). The first verse is written from the perspective of an unsigned rapper who is excited to join the music industry.

When I get signed, homie, I’mma act a fool
Hit the dance floor, strobe lights in the room
Snatch your little secretary b*tch for the homies
Blue-eyed devil with a fat ass, smokin’
I’mma buy a brand new Caddy on fours
Trunk the hood up, two times, deuce-four
Platinum on everythin’, platinum on weddin’ ring
Married to the game and a bad b*tch chose

In the second verse, Uncle Sam responds:

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1 comment to The Deeper Story of Kendrick Lamar’s Album “To Pimp a Butterfly”

  • Craig escaped from Detroit

    I read the story, and read the lyrics for the succeeding songs, and yes, it’s interesting, valid points, might even open a few “ghetto-gutter” minds to the way the system operates.

    But I still don’t see any krap-rapper as a “black William Shakespeare”, Socrates, Plato, Jesus, Ghandi, Dalai Lama, Confucius, etc.

    But I was still shocked that he (the rapper) actually was presenting a message about the money system, gov’t taxes, corruption, risks, false hopes, etc. There was that cute line where the lyrics portrayed as “Uncle Sam” says: I’ll Wesley Snipes you before age 35…. THAT was pretty good, (Wesley Snipes got convicted of Income Tax evasion by the gov’t, did time in jail, lost a bunch of money to taxes, fees, fines, etc.

    I’ll give him credit for piecing those things together, but I still hate RAP (krapp) music.

    I don’t think it will become a Broadway Play or a Hollywood musical. Hahaha.
    But you never know, as those Jooz are always sniffing for another way to make more money any way they can. Those Joos will promote anything for a buck.

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