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S1E13 – How Much a Dollar Cost? by Kendrick Lamar

2016-11-22

We continue our serialized analysis of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly by dissecting "How Much a Dollar Cost?"

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to dissect for musical analysis, broken into short digestible episodes. I'm your hosts Cole, Today we continue our SIRI lies. Examination of two pepper butterfly by Kendrick Lamar were currently and though the Alms Third act, which we ve titled urging wings over the last four tracks. We followed Kendrick, as you battled various metaphor, cocoons of his institutionalized upbringing. His new found status, wrap start the prison might on our Through solidarity, in God, Kendrick when the battle vices and inner complex at led him to depression and suicide, or thoughts on foresail we're privy to Kendrick subconscious, as he battled the seduction of Lucy, the devil incarnate on Mama
Kendrick work towards resolution by returning home to Compton, whereas choice between picking quote destiny or rest in peace laid out the fundamental question that imposes how will Kendrick user pimp a success, or for evil. While he run from destiny given to Lucy's temptations and living elfish life filled with riches, drugs and sex, or does it whose destiny peppers situation for the betterment of mankind and become a selfless advocate for the competence of the world, The question Kendrick wasn't yet ready to answer on our last episode: candy reverted to an adolescent mentality, unheard politics triggered by insecurities about his authenticity and survival skill hood politics concluded with the resuscitation narrative palm with sixty additional lines revealed I remember you was afflicted misuse a year Florence, sometimes did the same abuse
how full of resentment resentment, turned into a deep depression, found myself screaming and hotel role I didn't want to self destruct. The eve was Lucy was all around me, so I will run fast until I came home with their distaff. Survivors go go back for ass, myself strives. Maybe I want my foundation while my love was was fine. Locality was war back in a city. I was entering a new one. After returning home to Compton on Mamma and heard politics. Kendrick entering a new city, Johannesburg, South Africa, the setting of their arms next track. The grant in point of temper butterfly and the subject of today's episode. How much ado,
cost, how much data really cause? The question is detrimental managed at my thoughts face it, my stomach, keeping filling the gaps in it was left to turn your policy, a quick preface before we get to foreign today's analysis than we have. having listened to how much a dollar costs in full, I suggest do you pause now and take a listen six, this narrative, contains a twist ending of sorts, and I'm going to freely about that ending. Throughout our examination circuits This your spoiler learn about these how much a dollar costs was produced by love, dragging a moniker further collaboration between terrorists, Martin and Joseph Limburg, the song built around a series of somber foggy piano cords introduced in the songs opening measures, while no, sample or writing. Credit is given to contemporary jazz group, the SBA Svensson Trio and theirs
seven days of following the two tracks bear a striking resemblance. Let's hear the two tracks back to back first, the introduction of how much a dollar cost and now and there, seven days of falling and it was. That seven days of falling was itself inspired by pyramid song by Radiohead about The treaty has stated on record as being an influence,
they deduct records how much a dollar cos give way to a slumping drum loop that feature the reverberating gunshot like snare jump sample Kendrick enters verse. On introducing a narrative tat will unfold over the songs three versus he tells us currently true story about his encounter with the homeless man and a gas station in South Africa, a man reveals himself as God and the final line of the song whereas in Johannesburg Johannesburg? always flirted with the with the idea, just my imagination Roland pass people that whenever we consider bombs or homeless. Santa myself Was one of that was the moment you know
this is. This is not a human form of this is a model for form an angel testing. your integrity to actually step Not just give money would talk to you. this was one particular situation where I came across this as it is once again, we dear I'm leaving this guy on the site, you know. We start we get gas or whatever and I'm just ignored, because from where I come from Panhandle engage our money. You going do the money off smoke it off his crack, whatever, even if need, How much you tell me that you want to do this one. I know you do some live on, engage in it, but the moment. I actually engagement with him. You think abolition. This is your call
And a blue mama. Like really. Try me I'll make a meeting. These are moments in my life deeper than just Hannah somebody a dollar, these actions, moments of integrity. Being able to actually talk to somebody me talking to him was simply a thank you. some guy, you Know- and I fell gas speaking to him- to get at me now and then, and it was with a real trip and attain always bottle these ideas, because I want to share with the world and that's how you get a regular, how much about Gaza first, one! Hence the brief thematic prelude and open of the narrative
how much data really cause? The question is detrimental to recognise that my thoughts face it. My stomach keeping filling out there was a lecture to twenty. Six percent can be double twenty years ago came from and what they need, and we have to stick to those tenfold concept of twenty six Gimme Africa. Slowly, spooks might even every kid what that gas Kendrick begins quote actually how much a dollar really cost request, It is detrimental paralyzing. My thoughts Kendrick is contemplating the true value of money. Pleaded obtaining wealth comes at the cost of what your integrity, your heart, your soul. The question is playing Kendrick, as expressed in the next line. parasites and my stomach keep me with a gut feeling that the lesson
contracts Kendrick been plagued by Uncle SAM and Lucy, both representative of wealth and temptation, and its left him sick in the stomach these opening lines of the stories prelude and sets up the thematic punchline that will come at the conclusion of the first three. The narrative begins as the verse continues Kendrick says: gotta see harm children. Once I park this luxury car hopping out feeling as big as New Tambo twenty on pump. Six Kendrick is pulled up to a gas station in the luxury car. saying, he's feeling biggest tambo, as in the December Tambo, the famous basque boss. Joe from Africa. Kendrick is referring to his inflated ego. The verse ten is dirty. Marcellus, Commie, DUMBO twenty years ago, can't forget now it can them all my ear to how to stack these residuals tenfold. It appears Hendrick is recalling someone from his childhood, calling him DUMBO for having large ears the memory still
Other salmon triggers a look at me now type defence mechanism leading Kendrick to show both his wealth and state that he could teach the world how to get richer quote stacked these residuals tenfold next Kendrick says the liberal concept of what men will do. Kendrick as well prince in classical liberal economic theory, which emphasizes the social and economic benefits that occur when individuals pursue their own self interests. Kendrick is exemplifying himself as a product of liberal economic. Mix as his narrow mindedly pursued, while for individualistic self centered returns the details
the story unfold, as the first continues to hold that against us. Your home is made. In this connection. I would like to stress a lot about this guy with a piece of Craig warning newly this depleted defeat of twice a day. Beaded contributed money just but see it myself. Intimidation, Kendrick says twenty on six. He didn't hear me indigenous, African always spoke Zulu, my American, with slurry Kendrick, is in for trying to purchase gas for my native, who always speak Zulu when Official languages of South Africa, as Kendrick walks the gas station. He meets a homeless man. He does I'd, say, miss having semi tan complexion and stressing dry land, deep water powder, blue skies that crack open. Of course, sounds a lot like biblical syntax and semi ten complexion, drives olive skin color of Jesus, a middle eastern Hebraic, Jew
the man s Kendrick for ten Rand Rand as occur. See in South Africa and ten Rand is equivalent to about one. U S: dollar Kendrick refuses them request he assumes his rambling as drug induced that he's a crack attic like so many Hand handlers in his home town of Compton. First one concludes with some telling details about our home character but see it myself. Temptation is one thing that I have decided to tell me about a single bill from not the less than I told them. I may have caused by cost. Kendrick says quote he said, I signed temptation is one thing that I have defeated. This line likely referencing the biblical passage Mathieu for one through eleven, in which Jesus Led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil he takes Jesus to a very high mountain to show the kingdoms of the world and the devil tells Geez so they can all be his if only Jesus bows. down and warships in Jesus.
Refuses, saying, worship the law. oh, dear God, and serve him only the Devil, Lee and Jesus has tended to by angels who the Hum This man continues to talk to Kendrick, saying and to me I want a single bill from you, nothing less, nothing more. Knowing the idea, the day of the homeless man we know his asking for the dollar is merely a test of Kendrick generosity in spirit despite having hold up in a luxury. Car and referencing is skilled. Stacking residuals kinda refuses a man, a dollar saying I told him. I have it in close, my door tell me how much a dollar cost the songs hook follow a brief passage sung by James Fauntleroy,
Grammy winning singer songwriter and producer Fauntleroy who sings it's mortar. Free your mind. Waters I'm in love like the one you love you need the air. You agree with this message of simply The love and nourishment from the natural elements as well as the angelic tamper with which it son we can assume This passage is a voice from a higher power, a message from God. It seems to suggest Hendricks life is unnecessarily complicated, which causes depression and anxiety. He feels and stress the return to the gifts he's created for him. Water, son, Aaron, love, inverse
to the homeless, man stare keeps Kendrick from driving away as they continue. the stair and makes Kendrick feel insecure and triggers defence mechanisms express themselves in anger, and frustration steer. Disbelieve was building stare. Mammy agree, my key staring at me. I started gonna try to leave to keep it a delicacy away. He was mad at his danger, like I was supposed to make up. The reason is the next to me for favour staminate ass by me. When there were no staircase contagious, now stand for some time spent at omitted the neck. I never saw a big supply handouts taken into this particular person. She said Adela stamina before distinctively. Finally, have you as it is? Man saw damage caused after that
you stare at each other for some time, the homeless, and says to Kendrick? Have you ever opened up exodus. Fourteen a humble man is all that we ever need. Tell me how much a dollar cost This fourteen tells a famous biblical story of Moses. chosen and guided by God knows as part of the Red Sea he led the Israelites to safety from their oppressive king that use them like slaves. Here we can circle back to the beginning of birth, one in which Kendrick stay did. The homeless man was stressing about dry land, deep water and powder blue skies that crack open its clear, how these descriptions were foreshadowing, the story of exodus, fourteen and perhaps a direct reference to exodus, one thousand four hundred and twenty nine, but the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the to the sea and the waters were woe unto them on the right hand and on the left, the homeless, and also says our man is all that we ever need. This is again a reference to most
on our modest man, he seemed an odd choice to save the Israelites and numbers. Twelve. Three states quote Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man that was on the face of the earth. despite his humility or perhaps because of it Moses was chosen entrusted by God to save a great number of oppressed people. It would seem that This man is trying to draw a parallel between Moses and the potential of Kendrick situation, having made it the streets Kendrick is viewed as a leader of his coptic community, many of whom are in prison by their environment. The homeless man implies that humility is needed in order for Kendrick to reach its full potential and save his community After a repetition of the songs were three begins, with Kendrick continued to feel flustered by the man's press,
initially. There was never met a train that demanded attention again, frustrating decisive without which, sadly, emotions getting net the universe different. I should distance myself. I should keep you would. Let me my selfishness, we're gonna yield for computer. So am I tell you like a showed the less palm crumbs he sent me. A miser now recognise this type of other, better judgment. Saucily, keep in mind when I wish to at least last now what s mail, Grandpa's, Medicine Ricky from used in many shining babbling thinks that a written actually Denzil can nail SAM is said the real Jimmy kiss me yoga December. Thank you from the windows, the focus. The first begins Hendrick questioning why so affected by this homeless. Man sweet, but rather an address. It doubles down it continues to justify selfishness,
suffice selfishness. He says I should keep a relentless. My selfishness is what got me here who the fuck I'm kidding So am I tell you, like I told the last bum crumbs and pennies? I need all our minds Kendrick than paints. The homeless man is a typical panhandler, a drunkard drug attic that looking for their next fix, Kendrick claims to see right through the man scheme comparing is bad, acting skills to secure Niels, with the lines of imagining Denzil, but looking at O Neil M is a sad thrill you're, giving his mediocre the jig is up. The verse concludes. The songs grand reveal as a homeless that explains. The Kendrick is true identity and the true value of the dollar. He was seeking to increase the tension and add to the climactic resolution strings and drew near the end of the verse and hold a single? No, tell dissolving upon the grand reveal me kiss me
Yoga Zeppa. Thank you from the windows. The focus that give the thief Dominguez potential with bitter sweet dear me said. Have you always must keep me said: Phineas set you free, you can get them aside a job with. I would apply in this, but the Holy Spirit as it with the necessary just how much damage caused the price they buy. Kendrick says I'm insensitive and I like empathy, he looked at me and said your potential is bitter sweet, I looked at him and said: every nickel is minds to keep frustrated. Kendrick is willing to concede is selfishness which we know is a defence mechanism for his insecurities. The homeless man cause Hendricks potential bitter sweet because of his lyrical gifts and platform are negotiated by his greed.
lack of empathy. Kendrick continues with the line he looked at me and said know the truth will set you free. This is a direct quote from John eight hundred and thirty two in which Jesus spoke to the Jews. Ferris in a temple on amount of olives. He revealed M is true identity, the Son of God. He proclaims itself the light of the world and those follow, him will no longer walk in darkness and be granted eternal life and those that do not believe he was, God will die in their sins. Of course, Kendrick uses this biblical quote strategically its followed by the lines you're. Looking at the Messiah, the son of Jehovah, the higher power, the choir that spoke, the word the Holy Spirit nervous Nazareth. These are all aliases of God, Kendrick listing them add to the dramatic impact of the verses conclusion. Kendrick reveals both the identity
the homeless man, as well as the value of the dollar. The question Kendrick Ass, multiple times throughout the song. He says and I'll tell you just how much a dollar cost the price of having a spartan Heaven embrace your loss. I am God to Kendrick and his wealth. The value of the dollar is very little yet to a homeless. Man is much more Hendricks lack of generosity costume, is spot in Heaven, as it exemplifies us. El fishing is an unwillingness to help his neighbor, his fellow man. God is granted Kendrick with a rare gift, a musician, ship and lyricism with which he found great success. Yeah he's locked into reciprocate those gifts to others for the betterment of mankind. We can then view Kendrick story,
how how much a dollar causes a parable one that mere is yet again another biblical story, Matthew. Twenty five contains a parable commonly referred to as the sheep and goats upon gods returned to set up his kingdom. All those on earth will be brought forth to him and separated quote as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. You will put the sheep right and the goats on his left, the sheep on the right will be blessed and given eternal life in Heaven, the goats on the right will be curse to internal hellfire, those on the right or cast their because of their selfishness. Scripture says quote: I was hungry and you gave me nothing. They eat I was thirsty and he gave me nothing they drink. They will answer law When do we see you hungry and did not help you, you will reply. Truly. I tell you whatever you did not do for one of the least of these. You did not do for me. Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life
course. This all sounds very familiar to the story tall on how much a dollar cost Kendrick spun Heaven been taken away. Do selfishness and unwillingness to share the gifts God is given to him. The grand reveal The first three is followed by a very important concluding passage it sung by run on Isley of the icy brothers fame importance of which will decide son, our examination of the song. I said my grace: what more do you want from me? Chancellor Merkel, just she's. Never change turned his face in this passage. Kendrick speaking directly
God. He says I wash my hands. I said my grace: what more do you want from me? I believe this. presses a sentiment of half hearted religiousness, icon bare minimum Christianity going to church holidays, saying grace at a big meal. I pray to God when they need something, when confronted by someone in need directly in their daily life, as Kendrick was at the gas station. They perhaps don't always act. Christ like Kendrick repents, is flawed but the next line tiers of a clown I guess I'm not all what is meant to be tiers of a clown, an expression used when describing someone who hides or sadness behind a smile as a scene Hendrick the entertainers plagued by depression, remorse, the menu Never know, do a success and on stage persona mice, I'm not all what is meant to be. He amidst discouraging
destiny and not living up to its full potential as a human being. The passage concludes that the lines I will act as our main access point, the shift that will set Kendrick on the right path. he states shades of gray will never change. If I condone turn this page help me change to write my wrongs. Kendrick spent. Humbled and sincerely ask for God help in atonement. This passage acts as a turning paging Hendricks life, guided by God. Kendrick will now continue the armed with the much different, more humbled, generous perspective conclusions
the importance of how much a dollar cost of the album's narrative cannot be overstated. In fact, before it was to pimp a butterfly how much a dollar cost was the original working title of the album? Let's briefly, recap to pimp a butterfly is narrative arc thus far and act, one which is titled pimp by consumption in eyes of Wesley SIRI, forefront in King kinda, a young self centered, Kendrick less it after and obtain wealth, fame and influence the American Dream and act to title Cocoon the prize of institutionalized. These walls and you can displayed all the way in which he was mentally and emotionally confined by systematic racism, survival, skilled depression and his own selfishness enact three titled emerging wings, enterprise of all right, foresail, Mama, hood politics, and now how much our cost Kendrick attempts to find resolution to the top.
While laid out and act to we witness Kendrick at a crossroads, left with a metaphor: choice between good versus evil, God, verses, Lucy, selflessness versus selfishness. How much a dollar cos represent, contracts decision. He chooses God a choice. I was set up on a new path and solidifies purpose. To advocate for the competence of the world leverages success and experiences for the betterment of his people, a spokesman and leader for the disenfranchised. In other words, the caterpillar has emerged from its cocoon no longer pimp by Uncle SAM, no longer tempted by Lucy Kendrick will take hold of his destiny, embraces leadership role and become the butterfly that is community, looks to four in some light. This resolution is strikingly similar to the resolution on contracts. Previous album, good kid, mad city in which Kendrick,
now, two since by resigning the sinners prayer in the parking lot of a food for less. You want to receive God at your personal thing. Ok repeat after me, law guy, I come to. You were centre and I humbly with pit fan from us is. I believe that teaches floor. Lord, I believe you raised him from the day I believe in raising their. I would ask that Jesus come into my life, I'm alive and be my lord and sacred everything changes to take control of my life, our seizes control of my life and there I might LEO pay him from this day,
I therefore thank you. Lord Jesus boys, good kid was coming of age story for boy attempted to navigate the streets Compton Newfound resolution through God, amusing after wondering success through music Kendrick was Us into a new world outside of Compton and his journey, big a new blinded by fame and its temptations. It was unable to see the resolution he sought was there all along and I We have two thousand thirteen cancer was formerly baptized when compared His baptism to encounter with the old woman in the food for less parking lot a decade earlier, Kendrick Seti quote, wanted to take it to the next level being underwater. I felt like it was something I had to do And the same interview, Kendrick notes, studies he's the closest thing to a preacher for a lot of kids in Compton. How much a dollar cost
in terms of the narrative function onto pepper, butterfly, represents Kendrick acceptance of this role and a recommitment commitment to the teachings of Christ. Kendrick spun. Heaven was the answer to the question of how much a dollar cost. We can also interpret this course. In another way it ass. How much does the pursuit of the dollar costs of individual seeking it and other words. What price does our spirit, our sole pay in our pursuit of wealth and success? The american dream: does it inherently breed selfishness, individual SAM and self loathing. Does our society truly benefit from this mentality, or does it keep us a nation? Divided all endeavours Lee chasing a dollar while ignoring the needs of our neighbours. How much a dollar cost to you, Reason, while every we'll earth today. you mean him her all these different walks of life.
He's on the test is like is always like an experiment, guys experience. When are we going to understand that we are put on earth to love? That's all! It's about! Everybody want to figure out how complicated life is and break it down. This is what I truly think. I really think that it's going to keep going on. Why don't you going on frustration with you going on angle? Keep going on Legal back down to the simple is work love one guy sees that there we have asked.
how much a dollar costs ends without a recital of the narrative poem. Rather, it leads directly into the arms next track. The opening of act for the beginning of Kendrick New, enlightened path. The song is called complexion. Zulu a track was thoroughly examined next time on dissect. dissect, as Britain produced by me, we enjoy way here, consider rating dissect on Itunes there's no, see behind this podcast. It's just me and ratings helped a lot Remember, you can submit your suggestion for the subject of season to dissect by visiting dissect podcast dot com. Followers at dissect, podcast on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and you excuse
episode note that city scout Magda COM, free music, by bureaucratic for more visit bureaucratic, got band camp dot com if you're still this thing I like to quickly share with you a personal story. The morning ass, I completed this episode for how much a dollar cost I left for work like a do. Every morning though? The sun was out. It was cold enough to see your breath. I was walking towards my building when a middle aged african american woman approached me. She wore beanie, sweatshirt and heavy like it behind her. Was a man rolling up a sleeping bag near dumpster? Clearly they had just spent the night there. the woman was well spoken She told me she was in the service for fourteen years, but didn't qualify for military aid. To show me some papers she was seeking nineteen dollars of forty seven cents, so the two could stand a hostile that night and escape the cold. She asked if I could help.
Having lived in, how much does it cost the entire week? I believe if I said Kendrick message wasn't running through my head, I didn't have any money on me. Typically, this excuse would be enough for me to decline her not feel too bad about it. I told the woman I ll be back in ten minutes. I don't think she believe me when I return. I gave the woman twenty dollars. The bill is brand new crisp, pure no folds, no wrinkles, for whatever reason that stuck out to me, the women look me in the eye. She took my hand was course, but warm she said. Thank you. God bless you. Then she gave me a hug.
I'm not a person that typically hugs my family, let alone a stranger. I walked away moved tears, swelling in my eyes. I not entirely sure why chose to share this, but something told me I should perhaps because at the moment in my life, that likely wouldn't have happened without this album and if nothing else, it is money well spent.