After winning one of his five GRAMMY awards this past Sunday evening, Kendrick Lamar endorsed JAY-Z to become the next commander-in-chief, blurting "Jay for president!" before ending his speech.
Jay, like Oprah, isn't likely to run for the office of the President of the United States in 2020, but his success beyond music, as a businessman and an entrepreneur, has served as inspiration for Lamar, who, like many Americans, is still trying to wrap his head around the transition from former president Barack Obama, a friend and noted fan of his music, to our current president, Donald J. Trump, who has openly mocked hip-hop in the press.
On his recent appearance on Touré Show, a weekly podcast hosted by esteemed American journalist Touré, Lamar was asked to put this dynamic into words:
"It's a complete mindfuck, man. It's a complete mindfuck," Lamar said. "If you don't have the mental stability of knowing who you are and what you're capable of, you're immediately going to be brainwashed by the idea of, again, you are a part of the problem."
Touré quickly changed gears, covering a wide range of topics including whether or not Kendrick enjoys the sound of his own voice (he does) and how rappers practice ("Just being in that studio, writing terrible verses, terrible hooks, you have your homeboys and your friends, people that you trust, telling you that's garbage."), but throughout the 46-minute interview, Lamar repeatedly brought up the word "community," referring to his audience, his fans, and the people who supported him at the earliest stages of his career.
Since taking office, Trump has gone out of his way to make anyone who isn't a white man—blacks, immigrants, women—feel lesser. Kendrick's music alone won't change this ugly rhetoric, but his encouragement of self-belief and his support for his community is the best way to counteract an evil political agenda.