Kendrick Lamar is a Compton, Calif. native, hip-hop artist, seven-time Grammy Award winner, and Afro-American male who bettered himself, his family, and his community in an environment disadvantaged from much of the U.S.A.
The neighborhood that raised Kendrick juxtaposes the disenfranchised African American experience some face daily.
A music news channel on YouTube, Noisey, documented Kendrick speaking on the city, its lifestyles, and the rapper's longtime friends involved with street gangs, like Piru (Blood) and Crip. A segment in Part 5 of Noisey's "Bompton" series talks about how mass incarceration is used to hide problems such as poverty and institutionalized racism. The observation eliminates the classic, "get a job," or, "go to school," retorts from society because it acknowledges the situation many black people in Compton and America face.
Through Kendrick's music and the light he sheds upon his home, it is necessary to understand that people sell drugs because they have to feed their families and kids, all the while supporting themselves. They never received proper guidance because one parent is in jail for life and the other was killed before the kid became a teenager. They never received a good education because low-income neighborhoods have school systems that do not receive a fair share of state and local funds. Lives like these are real, but not by choice. K.Dot shares the following:
However, for some, Kendrick's songs about his unique experience, the on-going struggles, and self-improvement are entertainment, and for others his songs are inspiration and messages for fairness and equality.
Foremost, Kendrick's mission continues in the form of his newest album, which is called untitled unmastered. The project is eight tracks spanning from 2013 to 2016 and carries a tone of empowerment, insight, and celebration. He raps, "No more discriminatin' the poor," in "untitled 01 08.19.2014" and "The politicians always mislead the youth," in "untitled 07 2014 - 2016" (also produced by Egypt, Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys five-year-old son). iTunes editors call the latest album, "political and expressive currency."
In listening to Kendrick Lamar, one can understand that we all come from different circumstances, but different should should not mean disadvantaged. Hopefully, some may see aspects of life that are unequal for certain people when listening to Kendrick Lamar's untitled unmastered.