Kendrick Lamar has long worn Christianity on his sleeve, often making references to God and his own set of religious beliefs throughout his music, but he is almost never talked about as a religious artist. Based on a newly-published interview with The New York Times' T Magazine, though, that conversation might soon change.
Recently, Lamar invited writer Wyatt Mason to a recording session for the highly-anticipated follow-up to his GRAMMY award-winning album To Pimp a Butterfly, and their conversation focused on his approach to the new body of work, namely, its overt religious theme.
"'To Pimp a Butterfly' was addressing the problem. I’m in a space now where I’m not addressing the problem anymore,” he said. “We’re in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God. Nobody speaks on it because it’s almost in conflict with what’s going on in the world when you talk about politics and government and the system.”
Mason followed up Lamar's explanation by asking the musician and writer—Kendrick previously revealed he does not identify as a rapper—if his next album will engage directly with the conflict he mentions.
“It’s very urgent,” Lamar replied.
While I'd argue against Kendrick's statement that nobody is speaking about God—oh, hello, Chance The Rapper—he's right in that religion, much like sex and politics, has long been a taboo subject, both in conversation and in entertainment.
Regardless of whether or not you're a religious person or if you subscribe to the same God that Kendrick does, fans should have plenty of reasons—growth as an artist, the willingness to talk about unpopular subjects, the bravery to battle "the system"—to be excited about the next chapter in the iconic musician's career.
If guest verses for Sia and Maroon 5 didn't quench your thirst for new Kendrick Lamar in 2016, the TDE artist's description of his next album will assuredly do the trick.
By Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Craig McDean