Written by: Phillip Gordon II
Unless you’ve been under some sort of continent sized rock, you’ll be aware that Kendrick Lamar has been the talk of the hip-hop (and possibly music as a whole) industry for the last year or so. His sparse public statements have built up all sorts of hype for the heavily anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed good Kid, m.AA.d city. Following the pattern established with the first announced single, the Grammy winning “i”, K. Dot has today dropped another track on us from out the blue.
The Boi-1da co-produced “The Blacker The Berry” is an anthem that sees Kendrick scream pride not in just his race, but in his very features and the stereotypes that come with it as he proclaims “I’m a Proud Monkey”. It echoes a similar message as “i”, the idea of unconditionally holding oneself to a higher level of worth, if more aggressively. The song’s release during the first Black History Month after a series of police killings of Black youth in America was no coincidence.
“The Blacker The Berry” is in line with many statements Kendrick has made to various publications, and this, combined with the intensifying social climate, gives a good look at the direction his as-yet-untitled album will likely take.