As part of the build-up to Kendrick Lamar’s new project, the Underground Flux will present KENDRICK WEEK for the next 7 days (March 31 to April 7). A special focus will be put on K-Dot during that time span. We hope you enjoy.
Kendrick addresses racial discrimination and social injustices on one of his most profound tracks, “The Blacker The Berry.”
“The Blacker the Berry” was pre-released off To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick’s award-winning 2015 album. The song is the opportunity he takes to explode on “white America.” The track is filled with grim thoughts and animosity towards discrimination. He goes to explain how it has impacted African-Americans and himself.
“I mean, it’s evident that I’m irrelevant to society
That’s what you’re telling me, penitentiary would only hire me
Curse me till I’m dead”
Kendrick also emphasizes the pride he has of being black and urges others to feel the same. He stresses the importance of looking into the interior of a person, not the exterior (race) which is where the saying “the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice” comes in the picture.
His anger towards the current and past discrimination erupts as he kicks a series of aggravating verses. Lyricism aside, the angry vocals and flow shocked the listeners who could easily feel the weight in his voice. Kendrick also elaborated on those feelings in an interview with MTV.
One of the main messages of the song, however, is in Lamar’s first verse when he rhymes “I’m the biggest hypocrite of 2015 / Once I finish this, witness will convey just what I mean.” With this, Kendrick is inviting the listener into his mind. He reveal his guilt for blaming white Americans on killing black people while he partakes on black-on-black violence himself. This was directly unveiled in his good kid, m.A.A.d city album when he says,
“If I told you I killed a nigga at 16, would you believe me?”
The hook also continues to express Kendrick’s indignation. He puts out the common message that even though slavery is abolished, African-Americans are still suffering from today’s harsh realities (a topic also stressed by Kanye West in his Yeezus album).
Overall, Kendrick is taking a political stand for the African-American community. His hatred and resentment towards modern-day discrimination erupts as he kicks numerous angry verses that leave the listener stunned. For those seeking a conscious message about racial injustices, “The Blacker the Berry” is an indispensable listen.