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Letter to the Editor: Kendrick Lamar Has Encouraged My Development as a Fan

"I felt like his trials and tribulations were reserved expressly for the ears of inner-city Black youth."

On Monday, we published a story entitled "Kendrick Lamar on Embracing Fans of All Races: 'It’s Bigger Than Just My Story,'" in which writer Donna-Claire Chesman contextualized remarks made by the TDE MC in a BBC interview about his realization that non-black fans across the globe could understand his plight without ever walking a day in his shoes.

In response to our article, we received the following message from Boston native Sadiq Ervin:  

I won't lie, when Kendrick first started dropping [music], I felt like his trials and tribulations were reserved expressly for the ears of inner-city Black youth. I vividly recall being uneasy, upset even, when he first began gaining widespread appeal and other groups of people started digesting his music. Seeing his development as an artist, however, has encouraged my own development as a fan to accept a myriad of experiences are inherent in his original message. It also makes me feel good knowing he's been able to understand this about his music without becoming foreign to his core audience. Thanks again for another great article, DJBooth.

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As fans, we tend to focus on the development and growth of our favorites artists, but what about us? What about our growth and development? 

As Kendrick has grown as an artist and as a man over the past decade, so too have his fans. Fans like Sadiq Ervin. 

It's one thing to appreciate Kendrick's mission as it relates to his own community, but it's another to understand how his words and his music impact those who aren't the intended audience.

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