The reason why I chose the song “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar is because of the amount of layers the song has. One of the reasons why Kendrick Lamar is considered to be one of the greatest rappers during our time is because of the depth to his music. Being able to paint pictures with your lyrics as well as talking about different topics through metaphors and wordplay is what sets apart some rappers from others. “Alright” discusses many different topics within the surrounding topic of racism and the black lives matter movement. What I would want to learn more about is the many different layers that make up this song. I think that having strong voices and leaders in the music industry giving their opinions, experiences, or depicting stories of others when talking about political topics is important due to the amount of power they have. So many people look up to artists such as Kendrick Lamar for many reasons, one of them being how his music is music you really need to listen to instead of just passively hearing.


I think this song will continue to lead me in the direction of dissecting and analyzing music. Rap and RnB are my favorite genres, and two of the genres where this is very popular to do. One of the purposes of rap music is to talk about a topic in a rhythmic and poetic way through rhyming, metaphors, and wordplay. There are plenty of rap songs that I know I passively heard, but have not fully listened and digested in the way they were meant to be. I think after taking the time to do a full analysis of “Alright”, it will make me want to analyze other songs by Kendrick Lamar and by other rappers. This song truly connects with many moments in history. While this song came out in 2015, it could be used to talk about other past moments in history as well. For example, the song talks about racism and the Black Lives Matter movement. In 2015, this song was a prominent anthem for protesters to use. Racism, however, has been a continuous moment in history for as long as anyone can account for. Therefore, this song can connect to many different moments in time because of how little change there has been.


The song to me is important because of how many different interpretations there are of the song, depending on who you are and where you come from. I remember when the song came out and when the album came out. I went to a predominantly white high school where many of the kids listened to rap and hip hop. When the song came out, I remember people talking about the beat, how crazy his flow (the way he rhymed his lyrics) was, and how much they liked the song. People at my high school talked about how much they liked the structure of the song, but we never talked about what the song really represented. I remember when the album came out, most people did not like it because of how different it was compared to his previous album. However, when I talked about the album with people who were of color, mostly African Americans, they talked about the album in a completely different light. To Pimp A Butterfly was an album that talked about many different political issues from racism, to poverty, lack of voting rights, how people experiencing homelessness are treated. It is an album with immense depth and thought put into it. It is not an album that you would necessarily get hype to, it is an album made to make you think twice about your place in the world and the impact you have on it. It deals a lot with Lamar’s own thoughts of self doubt and self-guilt for leaving Compton and becoming a huge rap star. This album, and the conversations that I have had surrounding it, changed my perspective on a lot of different political topics. Granted, I am now 4 years older than I was when the album first came out and I have experienced more in my life, but I feel this song has taught me to really be conscious about what music is and how there are different purposes to putting out music. I think the way the Lamar made “Alright”, challenges you to think about that. I would say that this kind of thinking and deep diving was the beginning to my love of hip hop.


There are some concerns that I do have with this song. One of them being the amount of layers. While it is one of the things that I love about the song, I can imagine it being one of the most challenging aspects as well. My fear is that I misinterpret something or that I don’t catch one of the messages/meanings to the song – degrading the work that he put into making it. Because this is one of my favorite artists, I just want to make sure that I do the song justice. I don’t want to miss an important layer in the song and make it seem like it was not important or to offend anyone by potentially leaving a piece of information out about an important topic. I know that I will need to do heavy research so that I cover all of my bases and get all the ground covered that I need to.