In the beginning of the song, it seems as though Kendrick is not overtly critiquing anything, but rather stating facts. Throughout the song, it seems as though he is just comparing his DNA to other people’s and discussing what is inherent to him because of his DNA. However, upon diving deeper, he is critiquing America for making him this way. He is reasonably upset that he has to go through all of this just because of the color of his skin. For example, when he says, “fathers dead with kids / And I wish I was fed forgiveness / … / Born inside the beast”, he is literally saying that these kinds of hardships unfortunately come with being black in America, but at the same time he is critiquing our government system. “Fathers dead with kids” is a nod to gun violence, and “I wish I was fed forgiveness … Born inside the beast” is talking about how he inherently does not have the same amount of room to make mistakes as his white counterparts because he is judged harshly based on his race. He was born inside the “beast” of the aftermath of the civil rights movement where black men are legally equal to white men, but in many cases in reality it is sadly not the case. Kendrick is speaking from personal experience, but this is the harsh reality of many black men, women, and children in America.

The second half of the story of this song seems on the surface to be a more direct critique to previously mentioned Geraldo Rivera, but the underlying message is much bigger than just him. Yes Rivera happened to be the one who was being racist and out of line in this instance, but he is using Rivera as a symbol of all the people who helped contribute to the systematic racism in America. When he says accusatory things such as “You mothafuckas can’t tell me nothin’ / I’d rather die than to listen to you” and “Your DNA an abomination”, he may be speaking to Rivera from his own point of view, but it alludes to issues much deeper than this one. Kendrick has dealt with many more racist instances than just this one, and he will probably face many more. Similarly, the African American population has dealt with racism since the day of their birth, because it is simply in their DNA.

In terms of solutions to the problems he is bringing up, I don’t believe that he has any that are both concrete and realistic. Early on in the song, he said “I don’t contemplate, I meditate, then off your fucking head”. On the surface, it is reasonable to see how this is a bit aggressive. However, I believe he does not mean it literally. He is just saying that he is going to rise above his haters and metaphorically kill him with all of his success that he talks about in this song that he has achieved despite all odds. Similarly, in the very last lines of the song, he says, “Tell me when destruction gonna be my fate / Gonna be your fate, gonna be our faith / Peace to the world, let it rotate / Sex, money, murder our DNA”. This is also not so much a solution rather than a warning. He is saying that if we as a country keep operating under the false notion that being African American, and also being a hip hop artist in his specific instance, is synonymous to these things (sex, money, and murder), we will be destroyed. By bringing them down, you are bringing the whole country down. Kendrick, and all black Americans, are tired of fighting for the right to exist.