We continue our serialized analysis of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly by dissecting "i."
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to dissect long for musical analysis broken into short digestible episodes. I'm your hosts culture, Today we continue. Our sear lies examination of two pepper butterfly by Kendrick Lamar, we're currently in the midst of the hours. Fourth act, which we ve title Butterfly sheds light an encounter with God at a gas station in South Africa and how much a dollar cost Kendrick abroad Tis leadership role began. Speed, on issues that directly affect the community on complexion. Kendrick spoke about negating the complexities of color resume your self respect and positivity on the black of the bear, he addressed the self eight anxiety and frustration in an ambitious think. Peace on the complexities of modern race relations,
got a lie: Kendrick promoted authenticity and self respect the apex of Kendrick teaching come the song about self love and acceptance to paper, butterflies, narrative conclusion the subject of today's up: I praise I released as a spur single six months before the for release of two papers butterfly when this early version I will refer to, as the studio version does not appear on the album. Instead, aquatic life performance of eyes used because Kendrick eases I self reverentially has a climactic narrative tool, we're going to first use a studio version? They examined the songs, thematic content on our next episode or crossings
when the lie version, as it appears on the album upon its releases timber. Twenty fourteen Kendrick spoke, several media outlets about the songs, Thiemann inspiration, the eye combine them fellowship back with them. In Khartoum and wages talk about the things that go on in the neighborhood and why and we realized tat. It all starts. You know with us he also. We have no self love for each other, so hacking, we care about this neighborhood aware right right. You know his personal here as we know how to love. You know for ourselves and that's why we the things we do go to jail. We do this. Do that. We do that because we really don't have no pride. If I don't answer that was the whole idea, and I said to myself man if this relatable from where I'm from I know for a fact. You know, The world can relate to look at so many times when I couldn't get people that you know kind of my shows, and they were like man, your music saved my life
And as a bar to me ass, a barn I mean I'm not make us not just for myself these, People are really influence by you know some say affect Kendrick so directly addressed through the songs for those incarcerate and the suicidal kids meets on tour. my initial idea Ryan is regular phone, these were to people I hit tab Darcy, I wrote a record for the home. Is there in a punitive. Sri Lanka also wrote a wreck of what his keys to come up. To my show with these lashes, only risk saying I don't wanna live no more or like people cut them say, is a serious and people dance. I don't feel I dont gonna live for people outside, and I say: ok, These are my in homepage. If I say something is blame. Is both this simple? They could take me action from their dickie taken. by taking trap you my mom. Is this an appeal?
people s outside. You have some way more to live for his stars, which itself first and you won't be taken on as negative. These is going around in a world this completely, wrapped in your brain. At these like they're, so does my initial idea erected in we'll slick our day as robbers s, death easy to do as like. Taken the easy way out But what are you Sandro, What are you said? You know I only want to say uplift bogus sometimes is duration is more people than IE. his world anything, so you know love our records. I love him, for I love registers on a radio, but it also these. Their balance in What I did I'm here for eyes these by rocky and is constructed around an excerpt of the Isley brothers. Nineteen. Seventy three song that lady, let's first listen to the introduction of I followed by the introduction to that. Lady,
and now the Isley brothers that lady, the choice of using that lady as the basis of the song, was actually Kendrick idea, carried out by Rocky, and rather than sampling, the guitar line, Kendrick and Rocky chose instead to have the riff re recorded by contemporary musicians. So the track actually contains no samples in the musical introduction of voice bellows. This is a world premier. It somewhat self French as I was. a single release, doctors, debut good kid mad city, the world was
being in great anticipation, wonder what I would say and sound like next he didn't shy away from the anticipation. Rather, he draws attention to it as if I was the answer to the question everyone has been asking of him What follows is a statement of positivity and self love which, in the world of hip hop, is a bold statement. musical introduction is followed by a brief, a perverse that introduces the song hook.
This draft recommendation, but I know a guy went to put me in a boat tat. What I don't go dry ground me, something you want upon the wanna. Tell me nobody gloomy Fredericks, vocal, inflection soft childlike unassuming begins. I dont bid through a whole lot trial tribulation, but I know God the street forwardness of acts four and songs like complexion and ain't got ally's continuing here as we heard in his interview. Kendrick is speaking to the incarcerated, both those imprisoned by bar and or their own minds. It would seem he wants. The message to be understood by the world doesn't feel them. need to dilute the message with lyrical gymnastics, which of course we who is more than capable of,
he's humbly setting aside is technical ability to make his positive message more acceptable and understood by all, and while I've been through a whole lot trial tribulation, but I know God borders. I cliche having just experienced fifteen previous songs unto Pip a butterfly. We know exactly what Kendrick is talking about. We know intimately his trials and tribulations and we know that is relationship with Is the vessel is using to make a change this too many carries over to the next line. Satan wanna put me in a boat. I pray that the holy water doesn't go dry. We ve met at least two devilish figures on the album uncle Salmon Lucy. again. This line is loaded without specific content, but it's The general enough to remain universal would listen to out of context. We also know put me in a boat. I most likely refers to being pimped by any number of the devil, seductive ploys. We heard onto pimp a butterfly my
women, liquor, drugs, fame influence or ego. The bearskins news as a look around me, so many motherfuckers wanna down me me go, never drown me. an Amigos spanish for enemy says in such a way that it also sounds like an Amigo, which means a friend again. A girl salmon Lucy come to mind here as a both attempted to be framed Kendrick before we, Feeling their true malicious intentions. This brief introduction versus followed by the songs hook, enterprises which the hook, built on the refrain I love myself mirrors, directness of hooks like complex. And you ain't got a lie in between
refrain. Kendrick says the world is a ghetto with big guns and picket signs, but it can do but at what, whenever it want, I don't mind he said I gotta get up. Life is more than a suicide one day. At a time the sun going shine, Hendricks message is clear: the world is flawed, dark and full of conflict. But if you love yourself, first any stay focused on working to cultivate that you'll learn love and accept the world around. You want
Google 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 till we finally go back down to the simplest word.
There we have asked, after the song from birth, to begin to pay what you will never be a way to keep me Melinda, paranoia least fashion. Almost let them always died municipality company. What do you want from me most guys come again, everybody laughed again how many down on vacation was an amazing. How many vicinity make any promises? Thomas, this reverse begins. Every we looking at you crazy, you hadn't, keep do or let paranoia haunt keep moving or let paranoia in such a way that it in such a way that be applied universally, as well specifically to the Alps narrative and the next line. Peace. fashion pulleys, I wear my heart. My sleeve, let the runway start Kendrick seems to be embracing, is positive outlook even flaunting.
I'm afraid how others might perceive as new optimistic attitude. The line everybody lack confidence. Everybody lack confidence is especially powerful for simplicity, by repeating the line twice Kendrick, seems to be assuring us and himself that we all feel insecure at times. That self doubt as normal You follow this line with two thematically potent questions. How many times my pet, Joe was anonymous. How many times the city, making us promises here is likely Kendrick as well, dancing is upbringing. Compton kids from Cities are often lost in obscurity and thereby rarely provides the opportunity for their potential to flourish. also hands at the empty promises. The government provides to residents of cities like Compton. As the world around him has proven to be an unreliable vessel for change, Kendrick retorts. So I promises I love myself. I believe this to be a critical thematic gesture.
having just addressed the fallibility of outside forces to bring about change, Kendrick Suit, ass. Relying on the one thing you can't control yourself, this It will be the central take away from the paper butterfly. History is proven time and time again to be unreliable for community. That's faced oppression over decades, even centuries, Kendrick seems to know that, while fighting external societal battles is important, history moose Her mentally site, anxious a rare and external forces. Cannot be relied upon for inner peace. Therefore, control what you can and work to cultivate the best version of yourself After a repetition of the songs Hook, Kennedy
continues its external internal paradigm inverse three and a plan in a street and at a man in a corner laugh when a clean and a lot of what I mean and am I don't wanna these days, our legislation keep our long term day. I doubt Giusto bases poster visa realities, these ghosts team in the face of these two skagafjordr awaken right now, the strong me still smiled Kendrick begins listing a number of negative external forces were outside a bomb in the three: a gun in the hood, a mob of police, Iraq or drugs on the corner, a line of cocaine and a bottle of alcohol. He follows this with the line these days of frustration. Keep your attack in rotation. Taken rotation, refers to rolling a blunt or joint Kendrick here, suggesting
that is community, often these his vices as coping mechanisms for the frustration they feel about the world or environment around them. Concluding lines of the verse Kendrick provides an alternative method. He says a duck. These called faces poster Fee, Pfeiffer, firm basis, dreams of realities, peace blow steam. In the face of the beast, the sky could fall down there and could cry now the strong in me. I still smile. I love myself again. Kendrick showcasing the resiliency and invincibility of self love and self acceptance, and they face external forces, internal strength will triumph, is a call to arms Hendricks weaponry is genuine confidence and self esteem void of eager machismo after another. repetition of the songs, comes a brief bridge.
In order for cadre begins, abridge walk my bare feet down down valley, deep, given his blade. References to God in the song it would seem. Kendrick here is alluding to the famous Bible passage some twenty three. It reads, though, through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. thy rod and thy staff. They comfort me thou, prepares the table before me in presence of my enemies now known Is my head with oil. My cup runneth over, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Of course we can fight
the magic similarities between this passage into pimp. A butterfly God is Empowered Kendrick to confront his inner demons and evils of the world and with his new found, love of self is able to walk the earth without fear. The bridge continues thief. I fell from my heart and done. This is Kendrick second use a fee Pfeiffer fund from the story of Jack in the bienstock in it and his mother live in poverty and, in desperation, are forced to sell their cow, their only source of sustenance jack instead trades, a cow for magic beans which upsets his mother. The bean sprouts giant Bienstock that Jack climbed up into the sky there. He sneaked into an enormous castle that belongs to a giant. The giant gets home, Jack hides the giant senses of nearby and recite fee Pfeiffer fun. I smell the blood of Englishmen, be he alive or be he dead, a grand his bones to make my bread. He doesn't fine job
and while the giant sleeps Jack steals gold coins and escapes down the bienstock jack, twice more climate bienstock and steals a goose that lays golden eggs, the self playing harp. the giant wigs is Jack, leaves a castle in cases of doubt, the bienstock his the throws them an axe and Jack cuts down the bienstock and the giant plummets to his death. It's hard to imagine candy, good arbitrarily answered this reference into a song twice without knowing its meeting it would appear. Kendrick is likening himself to Jack, who cancer impoverish background and finds prosperity through Riskin determination, the job and his line or green his bones to make my bread is kinda sentiments of Uncle SAM and Lucy. These symbolic and tag and the disadvantaged, the figure underdog heroes like Jack and being stock, and Robin Hood confront Kendrick and under
superhero himself blow steam in the face of the beast with his unapologetic optimism. After this brief bridge, an inverse hook is performed of her time break be followed by an outer overs
No, I won't do it. Gonna come at a time when the president with me to my second away from what are you Mister Reed Kendrick, begins averse likening his battle with depression with a war. He says I went to war last night with an automatic weapon, though nobody call a better
do it till I get it right. I went to war last night, I ve been dealing with depression ever sent an adolescent ducking every other blessing. I can never see the message. I can never take the lead. I can never Bob weave from a negative and letting them annihilate me. Here it's hard, to recall the song you and which Kendrick quite literally went to lyrical and emotional Warren himself, while drunkenly? Looking in the mere He admits to lifelong struggle with depression after missing the good or blessing and things because he so concerned with negative thought but Kendrick. That war determined to annihilate his opponent through admission and expression, as he says, he's going to quote: do it till I get it right as a verse concludes. Kendrick builds on the methods, Gee alluded to previously in the sun. He says quote, they had a meteor speed. Then into a building lay my body in the street and later quote, give my story the children, a lesson they can read. It would seem Kendrick
expressing the power positivity that it can provide superhuman strength in the face of turmoil, confusion and disorder. I conclude that the if but symmetrically, rich outrun Hendrick says. lost my head, I must have missed with the good work said, always keep me. It's a jungle inside you, my off again till the well run dry. If this video version where the version used on the album. These are The final words spoken in the Alps narrative before the epilogue mortal men think late, the Alps narrative of losing oneself to money celebrity in sin struggling with depression or the quote. Jungle inside
finding one's way through selflessness and God doing this. you're through an even wider lens. We can go back as as a narrative of good kid mad city and our last up. we saw how the narratives of good kid and butterfly were in many ways, beginning to mere one another? We discussed how Eriksson, I ever did was exploited by the streets on good kid, while butterfly its exploited by sazen celebrity. We saw a good kids redemption came through God in the parking lot on butterfly redemption came at a gas station in South Africa, a good kid. The blueprint for contracts. New life was laid out through the words of his father and mother, who stress returning to Compton and preaching real this positivity in God butterfly, we ve been witnessing an act for Kendrick preaching these same ideologies. We can then enter. But the outcome of I as an acknowledgement of the recurring nature of his journey on both albums the line lost. My head, I must have missed, read with a good book, said, applies at he's, found a good book once before
but somehow misinterpreted or didn't fully embody its message. Hence his setbacks on butterfly with sign. Give myself again to the well runs dry. Kendrick uses the word again implying that is given himself once before. Perhaps in reference to the parking lot of a food for less on good kid, meds he he also says well runs dry likely, referring The holy water spoken of several times a good kid, specifically the interaction with the old woman in the parking lot, as was the song, I'm dying of thirst. Why are you so angry thing? You young man than of third? Do you know what that means bad me. You need y all why you need to be rapporteur,
with this spirit, TAT had a tablet landless farmers. They see. Pastor, give me your promise wait. If today was the ranch ring, you completely tarnish the two percent of peace. Ultimately completely eyes, you died, it bears down it s so happened there and pray that it along with the the call back good kid kid city. I contains another, more cryptic call back the absence of analogy of I being the Alps narrative conclusion. Remember the turning point of pimp, a butterfly came it and of how much a dollar cost after the homeless, man reveals himself as God, at a gas station in South Africa. The song Otto sets Kendrick on his new path, I said my grace. What more do you want me to
yes, she's, never change turned his face. the passages sung by IRAN, Isley of the Isley brothers. He sings help me turn this pay right my wrongs, Kendrick this rod Isley to signal the beginning of a spiritual transformation. While the feature works fine on its own, upon hearing I, the pinnacle of contracts, transformation, we realised the features of the magically pun Calculation by using the icy brother sample, as the infrastructure of I. The wrong Isley feature on how much a dark ass becomes a set up to the narrative punchline a bit of clever long. form foreshadowing. That's a rewarding pay offer any listener. Who takes a time to discover the connection
worse when released as a single six months prior to butterflies for album release the song. I had no point of reference alone, as the first official follow up to good kid bad city, it's pop in positivity would eventually earnest to Grammy awards, but also garner confusion and criticism. Some felt Kendrick was selling out going pop and that the complexity and wrongness a good kid mad city was a thing of the past. Kendrick addressed these credit Claiming I to be the best song. He ever wrote a testament to his personal journey as a kid for the main streets. Compton, two positive self love. Man. I felt like your fanbase hated on the song from the rip because it was acoustic above all end because it sounded different. I feel like you got a lot because it was positive best, You got a lot of acres since the Basle never of red well guess what the Grammy's agreed with began to notice None of the most vulnerable to curse.
about a million years. I make a positive record coming from where I come from. Never in a million years my homeboys two Among those respects, enough signatures, was ass. Well, so dont wise. When heard out of context, I was mistaken by some for urban now attempt at popular acceptance, of course, Kendrick itself. Laugh in essence, he gave away the ending of the movie long before the movie was released as a particularly genius move as two things happen. When you hear I, within the context of the album first, you come to understand how far Kendrick has come from the adolescent fantasies of the alms opening track, where SIRI to the rock bottom depression and suicide. All thoughts of you can do power by God himself, acceptance, poles and emotional one eighty and is able to unabashedly screen I love myself against all odds and a world of she's well filled her pop as quite a daring statement, so when we hear I and the album we very quickly
Life is not the version we come to know it's. A quorum quote: lie performance of the song in his home a copy of a nation, but I know a guy. I never want Napoleon about TAT, but it don't go around so many down down in front of a government midway through the track. Mckendrick stocks is performance to address a fight that breaks out of the crowd. We really it's not a lie performance at all, but an extended skit escaped the ends of the climactic spoken word palm, the punctuates even more than our narrative conclusion. We train steps on what they never taught me. The amount of work fast cover make me. So am I dedicate this first to opera
show me sensitive inward controllers, so many artists gave her an explanation. Aulis with this is my financially straight for Ethiopia. In e g. U S definition: royalty king poet, wait! Listen in each Eu S, scripture black rookie rule and then let me finish. The history books overlooked the world in adding America tried to make it to our divided doll. Me don't reckon continue. Our examination of eye with this lie version. This, preferential extended skin whatever. You want to call it time. Dissect dissect is written and produced by me, now until the end of the season, dissect is holding a fundraiser for the bicentennial high School music programme in Compton California. This is Kendrick Mars High school be sense donated
to the music programme in an effort to keep kids off the streets and in the studio I loved him, appreciation for Kendrick and all we ve learned from two pepper butterfly by supporting his cause resources, great donation parts, including die. sick, T, an awesome, Kendrick, inspired hat by peril you're donation that dissect podcast dot com. I have a goal of raising one thousand dollars. If ever listener of the show donated thirteen set. We could meet our goal of every, sinner donated just three dollars. We can raise over twenty thousand dollars. No donation about is too small. Also Duffy, I'm looking to feature your voice on the season. One finale episode record a thirty second audio cliff on your phone sharing. Your biggest take away from took up a butterfly outs includes. Do why you think it for really anything you want to say, don't be shy.
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