The two songs I am considering for my Podcast assignment are “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar and “Crooked Smile” by J. Cole.

“Alright” Kendrick Lamar

I’ve been listening to Kendrick since he dropped his M.A.A.D City Album and have always thought his is the best lyricist around.  “Alright” was released in 2016 on the Album “To Pimp a Butterfly” and has become a national anthem in regards to protest in America. The album focuses on the issues of Mental health in regards to Black men and Gang violence. Although the lyrics aren’t too dense I think that it being a pivotal song in protest around the world it will offer a lot to talk about. The lyrics themselves talk about how Kendrick dealt with violence his whole life and could never escape it.

The music video starts out by showing protest erupt in Oakland foreshadowing that the end is near. The final scene of the introduction shows a young African American Man running away from a white cop and just as the cop pulls the trigger the scenes over. Ive always loved Kendrick so Im excited to do more research and find out more about this song.

“Crooked Smile” J.Cole


The second song I choose to research was “Crooked Smile” by J.Cole which was released in 2013. The songs lyrics talk about embracing your flaws and not worrying what people think of you. He uses the lyrics to send a message that society is trying to tear young black people down, specifically women. In the song he says”wonder why half our race is either on probation or in jail wonder why we inhale cause we in hell already I ask if my skin pale would I then sale like eminem or adele.”

He uses the music video to send a different message about the governments war on drugs and specifically the innocent people that are lost in the war.  The music videos shows Cole as a drug dealer celebrating the birthday of his younger sister and also a glimpse of the DEA agent who is having breakfast with his daughter. Later during the DEA raid J.Cole is arrested and watches as his sister is accidentally shot by police.  The song ends with a message “For Aiyana Stanley-Jones,” which pays tribute to the 7 year old

Concerns and Questions

I am concerned I won’t be able to make the time requirement just because the songs are generally short and aren’t very dense. I was curious if we were aloud to use sound clips from other interviews.