Heat Check: How Do We Feel About Kendrick's "The Blacker The Berry"?


It's easy to break the internet at 4AM on a Sunday (cough cough, Drake). It's easy to break the internet at the end of the year when there hasn't been a big album released all damn year (cough cough, J.Cole). Sorry Kanye, but it's even easier to grab some attention with a perfectly-timed GRAMMY rant.

True power is dropping a song when the GRAMMY talk (and an Iggy pizza feud) is at a fever pitch and effectively shifting hip-hop's conversation's with one song. 

Kendrick Lamar ladies and gentlemen....

Really though, as happy as I was to see hear new Kendrick, I was a little hurt. I had just finsihed a Beck/Beyonce/GRAMMY think piece and could see the pageviews rolling in - everything today has been GRAMMY this and GRAMMY that - but now that Kendrick has released "The Blacker The Berry" I doubt anyone cares about Kanye and cares even less about Beck. It's amazing how fast the internet changes, especially when you have a song like this:

Holy fuck. Holy fuck. Holy fucking fuck.

That's about all I can say...

I mean seriously, this is phenomenal. That, and apparently the world "fuck" are all I can type right now. This is a testament to how powerful Kendrick is with a mic. Sure the beat is crazy, the outro is cool and all, but this song is all about Kendrick. Right now, nobody can take a song and choke the life out of it (in a good way) like him. When he raps everything else just fades out and you are listening to him and only him. The passion and fire in every single bar makes each line sounds like the most important line he has ever spit. He sounds like he is on his death bed and this is the last 16 he will ever give us. When "The Blacker The Berry" was playing, I didn't check the comments, look at the memes, or anything, I just listened because Kendrick was preaching.

In the next 24 to 48 hours you are going to see a ton of Richard Sherman memes and explosion gifs that reflect the dopeness that words can't express. Funny, yes, but it doesn't feel quite right. This song is significant in flow and beat alone, sure, but there's a bigger, more important significance. This doesn't feel like a song you make a meme about. It feels like a record that you listen to, and then reflect on. Case in point, "I'm black as the heart of a fuckin' Aryan." I literally paused and took a second; that line burned. Without getting into a giant discussion on race , this song was so interesting to me not just because of the music but also because I'm white. There is a deeper, more important level that I just can't connect to here due to my skin color. I'll never be "irrelevant to society" and yet when Kendrick raps, I can sense his desperation and anger and it may be as close as I'll ever get to understanding the frustration of seeing lights in the review mirror and fearing for my life. 

More than breaking the internet, more than a great one-liner, that's true power. But what do you think, DJBooth Nation?!

[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]



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