The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

The news site of Robert Morris University

RMU Sentry Media

Garrett’s Music Corner


Every week I will be listening to an album for the first time and giving my review of it here. I will be looking at the best, most mid, worst, most overrated, most underrated, and deepest songs.

To start us off, we will be looking at To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. The album was released on March 15, 2015. To Pimp A Butterfly was streamed 9.6 million times in just the first day. The most popular song would be King Kuta, which has a total of 567 million streams.

Best: King Kuta, 567 million streams

Kendrick said that this song was meant to be a Michael Jackson-like song. He also said that it was meant to be a rebellious song that would turn heads. Kendrick goes on to say that “growing up, it was seen as a negative thing to be black, and this song is meant to be a song about being proud to be black, and that he is king no matter what others say.” He also points to four major things that he wants to cover in the song. 1. He is a cocky king. 2. That Kendrick is mad at multiple different other rappers because, at the time of release, Kendrick was taking a break while Drake and Kayne became seen as top rappers, which Kendrick felt was not deserved. 3. He’s a “black man in America. Meaning he wants to point out the daily life of someone who is black and successful in America.” 4. Being the best comes with temptation. Not only is King Kuta a very good song, but it also has a pretty deep meaning. If you have yet to listen to it, you should give it a listen.

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Most Mid: Momma, 64 million streams

While it is hard to justifiably say that any song on this album is mid or just straight-up bad, to stay with the point of this article, we will put Momma as the most mid. This song is a reflection of Kendrick’s childhood. The first verse is meant to pay homage to the people who helped raise him. The chorus is meant to be a tribute to his loved ones and to show that someone is always waiting for him when he comes back home. The 2nd verse is meant to shine on the importance of knowledge, being conscious of the power of loyalty and respect, and understanding the “price of life.” Kendrick closes by expressing their search for love and happiness. This song is, in the end, about hope, the power of redemption, and finding your purpose in life.

Worst: u, 84 million streams

Again, it is hard to justifiably say that any of these songs are trash, but for the sake of the article, we will rank “u” here. This song is about the challenge of maintaining relationships with complicated people. Specifically, it’s about the struggle Kendrick has with love and frustration. Kendrick goes on to talk about the troubles he’s faced with people close to him, such as abandoning his daughter, and how he has failed to mentor people close to him because of his selfishness. This song in the end is Kendrick admitting his own mistakes.

Most Overrated: Wesley’s Theory, 150 million streams

This song is about understanding and using capitalism while also critiquing it. It is focused on the falsity of the “American Dream” and how large companies exploit it. Specifically, it talks about how “black artists are exploited by labels and forced to stay in bad living conditions despite their talent.” The first lines of the song are meant to point out that all African Americans have the chance to escape poverty. But also pointing out that it is quite challenging to fulfill that opportunity. The song goes on to say that though African Americans have a chance to escape, that chance often eludes them. Kendrick goes on to say that “black people are betrayed, and the system is set up that way, especially the way they are taxed. In the end, Kendrick is pointing out the little power he feels black people have and how they need to be aware of that.”

Most Underrated: Hood Politics, 82 million streams

This song is about the harshness of living in the hood. Kendrick talks about how, despite his fame, he still focused on his community. He goes on to talk about loyalty to your roots, even in the bad times. Kendrick goes on to say that, despite his fame, he will never forget where he came from. Being from Compton, Kendrick brings up the violence going on in his hometown. He also brings up how no one can seem to leave, and the same old faces are always involved in the violence. He explains that this is because “the system is rigged against black people and because politicians use black people for their own benefit.” The most important part is Kendrick’s poem toward the end. The poem is an introspective account of his personal struggles and challenges, touching on themes of power and influence, depression, and survivor’s guilt. It is an honest reflection of his past and is indicative of the struggles that many individuals in similar communities go through. In the end, this song is about the challenges faced by those living in underprivileged areas and the complex plots in those areas.

Deepest: Mortal Man, 43 million streams.

This song is about mortality. Kendrick chooses, instead of the typical ways of delivering the message about mortality, to deliver through the realms of loyalty, legacy, and popularity. Though Kendrick is speaking through the lens of someone who has attained these three, he makes it easy for those who have yet to obtain any to understand. This allows us to travel into a world most of us have obtained and few that ever will. It reminds the listener to take a deep look at themselves and consider where their loyalties lie, and it reminds them that they are not only mortal but also the importance of the things that they hold closest to their hearts.

All in all, this album is one of the best, not just in terms of the music aspect but also in terms of the meaning behind each and every song and the album as a whole. As a person who just recently listened to To Pimp A Butterfly for the first time, if you have yet to listen to this album, you should definitely give it a listen.

Come back next Thursday, when we will go over Off the Wall by Michael Jackson.


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