We continue our serialized analysis of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly by dissecting "Institutionalized."
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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 caucus today, we continue. Our sea relies examination of temper butterfly by Kendrick Lamar. In a previous three episodes. We examined act one of two pimp, a butterfly copper of the songs, Wesley's theory for free and king condemn what it the whole. These songs act as a prelude to Kendrick transformation from Caterpillar to butterfly unless they SIRI Young, Kendrick, less about wealth and fame garner through music. He beats Uncle SAM. The american dream Incarnate, who attempts to lure tender.
Down a dark alley of materialism and for free Kendrick rejects Uncle SAM and demands compensation. It refuses to work for free, like his enslaved ancestors and knows his talent is worth something and King Counter Kendrick returns to his home town of captain. In order to claim himself. King and prove that he's on top of the rap game. As we discuss throughout our examination of these songs, a central theme has been the contrasting duality between empowerment and enslavement, though Kendrick fields. Liberated and empowered by success. In snubbing Uncle SAM. He still falling into a trap he still handicapped as a person of color in America and by his own mentality,
His actions, thus far in the album are self serving an ego driven Kendrick is out to get his and his alone. He still a caterpillar, immature and looking to consume everything around him and while fame and wealth can be, the pinnacle of many people story were only on song. Three and Kendrick Journey has just begun at the conclusion of king kinda. We heard a brief spoken word passage. I remember you was conflicting misusing Florence, from this point on these spoken word. Passages will continue to bridge songs together with each resuscitation will hear an additional. or two from the palm that relates to automatically to the track that follows it. The poem as a narrative thread it'll, help see together and unify the album story. It'll reminder
listeners that were experiencing something larger than a collection of individual songs were piecing together. A narrative the poem begins. I remember you as conflicted misusing your influence. Kendrick is talking to someone who is at some point conflicted about the use of his or her influence. At this point. In a story we dont know exactly who Kendrick is talking to or about the palms acts. Leads directly into the out next tracked institutionalized by the end of our analysis today will connect the opening lines of the palm to the topics discussed an institutionalized so without further Do let's dissect institutionalize is the first song back to which our titled cocoon over
next section of songs. Kendrick will begin to display all the ways in which is limited by institutions play on health is actions and by his own thoughts before jumping into level where's institutionalized. I think it appropriate to first define and gain a basic understanding of the idea of institutional racism is something that has alluded to throughout to pepper butterfly. So it's worth our time to explore, albeit rather flame. In some ways, institutional racism is easy to define but much harder to understand its nuance and unless you belong to a group of people that it big demises is often hard to see, but it doesn't take much once your way, you start to see it everywhere in its simplest form.
Institutional racism can be defined as discrimination against a group of people that is built into political and social institutions. This type of racism reflects the cultural substance of a dominant group so that the practices of that group are seen as the norm, to which other cultural practices should conform. it gives advantages to the dominant group and marginalized or limits others. It's often the hardest to see when is propagated by governments and institutions who do not be themselves as racist. We ve already seen multiple examples of institutional racism and our previous episodes in episode. One we saw Compton turn from dominantly white agricultural city to a city dominated by poverty and crime. The transition was created in large part by the government's assistance in white flight, Residential
aggregation, they see eyes involvement in supplying black neighborhoods with guns and drugs and the extreme scented disparity between drugs used by white verses, those used by blacks and episode. Three, we examine the origins of the phrase, forty acres in a meal in which the federal government gave and then took back forty acres of land from tens of thousands of former black slaves after the abolition of slavery, I'd also like to quickly take a look at the story. A few statistics tell about the The crucial races of that occurs against minorities in the United States. Specifically, african Americans are facing these numbers on a: U S: news, dot, com story by just nest,
that is readily available online and the article Nesbitt starts with educational statistics in this country and displays the cumulative effects of these statistics, as one progress through their life will follow that same progression, starting with education, lack preschoolers make up. Eighty percent of the preschool population yet represent half of all out of school suspensions in kindergarten through twelve grave, like children are three times more likely to be suspended than white children. This includes disabled black children, who represent a fifth of all disabled students yet make up forty four percent of disabled students put a mechanical restrains or seclusion in the court's black children are eighteen times more likely to be sentence as an adult
I didn't miss speak their eighteen times more likely. The unemployment rate of black college graduates is double that than White college graduates and for every ten thousand dollars more job pays the chances of a black person holding that job falls by seven percent about seventy three percent of whites, our homes versus just forty, three percent of blacks, the wealth gap between blacks and whites has tripled over the past twenty five years, largely due to homeownership income, education and inheritance, is a black man is three Times more likely be research as a traffic stop and six times more likely, they got a jail. One case study, other New Jersey turbine, showed that, despite making up, fifteen percent of drivers lacks account for forty percent of stops and seventy three percent of arrests. These numbers occurred, even though whites and blacks disobeyed traffic
At the same rate, seventy seven percent of murderers executed on death row killed a white person and only thirteen percent killed a black person. That implies that if you kill a white person, you are much more likely to receive the death penalty than if you killed a black person will stop here, but no it be very easy to continue. Remember these are unbiased facts, not opinions. This is amusing podcast and I thought presenting a few telling stats would be. The most active way to grasp the small understanding of institutional racism by no means, as is a thorough explanation, at the nuances or stored consequences of the subject, and I encourage you research and draw your own conclusions. Information is easily accessible with a simple Google search, bringing it all back to Tipp a butterfly
institutional. Racism is in the dna of the arms antagonist Uncle SAM is the residual effects of a nation. That's built on enslavement and genocide, Kendrick noses and an explains his resentment and defiant attitude against Uncle SAM on four Free and King kinda, but, as we saw in our analysis of these tracks defies, does it mean that you ve overcome anything? prisoner who yells at its guard is still a prisoner, starting with The two Sinhalese act too will begin to explore ways. Kendrick is still trapdoor cocoon by a multitude of factors. Some are external, like the effects of institutional racism, and some are internal. The song institutionalized begins with Kendrick wrapping in an adolescent like boys, of her music produced by Tommy Black
What must I gotta? Go I hate it when I don't know the definition have a rat damage this act together when I am proud to have many institutional last rakkeed like that for once as Italian, get it Frederick begins by saying what money got to do with it, but I don't know the full definition of a rap image, but Kendrick understood of a rapid image money hose clothes and celebrity with just part of what it means to be successful when he didn't understand is one can obtain these things, but it doesn't mean your entirely free from your past or social limitations put on a person of color. The next line expounds upon this idea more clearly when Kendrick says I'm trapped inside the ghetto- and I am proud to admit it institutionalized I keep running back for a visit. Kendrick is commenting on the previous saw king kinda and which Kendrick return
the Coptic declared about becoming king of the rap game. The ghetto could refer to captain itself or the ghetto of his own mind. His own thoughts, although is successful, has mentality stayed the same. This idea becomes even more evident when Kendrick repeats the opening lines with the different, yet important, ending I said I'm fat decide together when I'm proud to admit institution of lies. I can still kill me a Niger, so I can drink is asking what good is money if you still feels like it could kill someone or specifically a person of his own color. success hasn't alleviated him for the institutionalized mindset of his upbringing, he's beginning to feel trapped by his own thought process and the since in his voice, makes us feel like you're still a child. At his own mind, the introduction is followed passive sung by Anna wise and belong. It expands on that
The two should lies mindset of Kendrick and his friends in Compton, Bacchus they'll, kill me and make a seller. me Take the chains of the passage is a response to a question commonly asked of our school children. What would you do if you are President Kendrick response is that he pays bombers. Rent free is Hobbes from jail, bulletproof his car and get high and the White House. This is a very important concept. The overall message here: Kendrick is fictitious. Granted the symbol of ultimate power, the presidency and all responsive buster
short sighted adolescent fantasies later in the album. Kendrick will stress change from within me. Looking inside and becoming the best version. Yourself means an institutionalized. Kendrick is presenting a reason why he argues that perhaps largest challenged institutional racism is the mindset it often yields and neighbourhoods like captain to break the cycle of feeling trapped, want us to conquer the mind that has fallen victim to systemic racism. Only then when one know how to use power and influence to its fullest, most positive potential in an interview with noisy Kendrick was asked about the effective institutional racism on his home town of Compton. Kendrick responded with quote its both physically and mental, putting us in these cages and when you do that they kids grow up without they fathers. The cycle just continues all over again, so as not only caging us in the prisons, but up here as well, Kendrick says pointing to his head
making us feel like there's no hope and when you feel like there's no hope, there's not going to be no action, not in a positive light, they're going to always be institutionalized and the always make you feel like you can't better yourself. You can't do nothing greater for yourself and that's even worse than being trapped between walls to know that up here, your son will be thinking the same way. locked up? The introduction of institutionalized concludes with that especially relevant line to the cudgel quote. We just heard Take the genes of master. Take the chains off me is pretty self explanatory, given everything we just examined, but one interesting thing is a pronunciation of master which you ve, listened carefully is pronounced. Sir Massa is the pronunciation of master and the dialect commented slaves when it Pressing a slave owner Kendrick is likening
the racism as a form of modern day slavery, their interesting aside, the word Massa Hebrew, meads burden or oppressor. Its unclear Kendrick knew this hebrew definition, but it certainly does work thematically here. This line signals the end of the songs, introduction and lodged said to a head dotting production by rocky. The drum play slightly behind the beat over which a unique instrumentation of keyboard, clarinet, cello and violent riff. Take it me,
about the first sound. We hear over this new musical material as an ad lib on the word zoom. It's a nod to the hip, hop lineage of scat style improvisation that can be traced back to Africa by bodies highly influential planet, rock later the album on the sand. Complexion Zulu, lung cancer love due to another stronger connection with African bought it. So the nod here on institutionalized is definitely strategic. The ad lib is suddenly interrupted and say ways in the contracts. First verse as we listen pay attention to Kendrick rhythm pattern in the songs taboo and overall groove.
about something as happy as our shit allow some slack in the wind by a mustache laplace, a positive note, the game I never does without fresher nearby, but listen to it surplus buster rhymes, two thousand six track. Cocaine we'll be said she you so just like a manuscript vaguely, Mona screened and animal welfare process? Slowly already have been a full member baby, you know lags twisted my calabria flow, so sickening comedy. I know you. Do we don't leaving Casildea off the aim being to move the temple groove are nearly identical de institutionalized, as well as about rhyme scheme Kendrick, even directly clothes buster.
so the interrupting that leads into the songs first versus as well the line flow, so sick, Busta rhymes has been a mainstay and hip hop culture. A timeless vigour, his twenty year career has garnered him the highest praise among his peers, like Doktor Drain George Clinton on Wesley SIRI, Tupac on for free ice cube, Michael Jackson, a and MOSS encounter, and now african Limbata, buster rhymes and later in the song. Snoop dog Kendrick is drawing on significant black musicians and icons to shape the sound and feeling on this album. We're just for songs in and each is acknowledged, directly or indirectly. Historical black figure at this point is no longer coincidental. The references are clearly thought out and wholly intentional the continued loom over the record, like an all seeing eye watching their prodigy go through. Perhaps the same growing pains they did coming up in the game
First, one of institutionalized begins at the few cultural cliches about something as happy as our shit- allow some slack in the wind by a mustache employs a positive note. The game I never thought has remained a real and you know tat. We use being scholarship, know what we do. Ravages big big problem is dream. Only please email me at home with their first Kendrick States, life can be like a box of chocolates abruptly. The line which is taken from the film force. Gov is typically followed by never know. You're gonna get used, as we saw in the songs, introduction Kendrick starting
realize that success is that what he thought it might be. The next line quid pro quo, something for something continues. This train of thought quid pro quo is line for this, for that Kendrick is traded. The hardships of Compton for a new set of hardships, acclimated famous Donna, Compton State of mind. The verse continues with a series of metaphors and euphemisms for Kendricks deadly flow. The song is thesis, begins to appear midway through the verse. When Kendrick says me, scholarship, no streets put me through college has be all you can be true, but the problem is dream only a dream: if work don't follow it Kendrick sites to see Compton, as is real education. He then states the american military slogan be all you can be, and the importance of hard work to fulfil your dreams. Course Kendrick as a shining star example of someone who utilise strong work ethic to achieve success. Unfortunately, Kendrick high achievements are the exception. Not the norm
But what is interesting is that Kendrick at this point, the album fails to see this. Instead, he uses the opportunity to address these frustrations with this captain friends The big problem is drain away from army at home. You stay out of this. I tell you my hypothesis, Bradley just wait. A lawyer gave away money because they come on guys joyfully. Our love was boy. Usually you never charged. The game was argovie. Lucky now is like MRS Sommer, prowling around somebody tell me you most magic, Grandmama sesame, Frederick S, taken it France to the BT awards and act. True to his declarations on the arms opening Leslie staring verse. rather than appreciate the opportunity. His friends are plotting to rob the rich,
artists in the room. It puts Kendrick in an awkward position stuck between his childhood friends and his new successful peers. It's a metaphor for his mind. Somewhere between a compliment and the metalogy of the famous perhaps Kendrick naively thought that by bringing his friends to an award show that it was of how a race years of institutionalization. Of course, it can't Kendrick exe Does this frustrations by stating that it should have listened to his grandmothers. Words of wisdom, which are at the centre of the sun
Grandmama, Tommy, don't change at this point the record, the hook as a tinge of resentment or annoyance It's almost like you shaking his head. Hendricks character is not able to fully grasped the concept of why people don't change or art change easily when raising institutionalize environment like Compton he's also not yet the position and to help them change, as he will eventually become by the arms and the hook leads into a bridge performed by the legit.
Sleep dog. Once upon a time there lived a heap by something less is only one month for having already did to african the body and the songs. Opening measures steeps entrance makes it very clear that institutionalizes attempted to enter that lineage of hypocrisy, Hop's historical use, a fairytale the once upon a time approach, dates back the slick, Rick Classic Chill story of nineteen. Eighty nine tells a cautionary story of two boys who turned a robbery at a young age, one of which is ultimately killed at the age of seventeen. and just as people about the little boy who was Miss Mapp via a little legs
they did. The money with a move on couldn't sounds like you have to leave out the somber had another than others that have signed the robber. The thought that is obviously, as I had the gates at the contrast created by telling a tragic story through the lens of a fairytale, is especially impact for it sheds light on the reality of children who grew up in environments like Compton, remember, Kendrick, witness, dispersed, murder, the age of six. These current quote fairytale stories, aren't an exaggeration there's some children's reality. Snoop dogs intonation it pattern on institutionalized, falls in line with the slick, Rick tradition. This the matter is also related, as both son speak on robbery as an action influenced by their environment, with the line took his homey to the show- and this is what they said. Stoop introduces burst to wrapped entirely from the perspective of Kendrick
call me at their war, showed something less there's only one way you can no longer one might imagine if one with adjacent passport did glass bottles go part of stepping up. The ground is almost took away from earth to begins with Kendrick Tommy, surrounded with what he described as walking. Licks slang for a person is appealing to steal from because they have a lot of valuable thought that the home is not able to differentiate. The ward show attendees from a rich commoner on the street, seeing wealth around him, the Hermes desire to steals and stick sure it's an instinct bread of an environment like Compton, born of institutional ism, midway through the verse dahomey.
scribes, the instinct as a defence mechanism and continuous fantasize about robbing all the rich people in attendance is one was away like defence mechanism. Tell me: did he quickly because it was born with modern law? Now nothing works, but it is good that this business now, like you, watch what you d be applied with the West Lynne. They lay remembers the open the rushing given the afflicted with dismay at Pisa. I guess my Grandmama was worn, and the black Sea is very interesting. That Kendrick describes a homeless, instinct steel as a defence mechanism. A defence mechanism is defined as an unconscious mental process initiated
avoid anxiety, their learned at an early age, usually childhood and are typically expressed by repression, denial or projection. argues that impulse, robberies and learned defence mechanism. The sees well these successful black men and women around him at the BT awards, and it subconsciously causes a homey anxiety. He redirect settings idea in the anger and an instinct to steal the roots of his anxiety, of course, is its position in society that makes obtaining this success. He sees extremely difficult nearly impossible. This idea is further back by a few Keith is is that our injected throughout the rest of the verse says no says now Kendrick another your co workers, but it's gonna take a lot for this pistol. The go cold, Turkey, of course cold. Turkey is a phrase that refers to quitting an addiction. Next
the line. Now I can watch his watch on tv and be okay Missy, I'm on the clock once that watch landing in LA being on the clock obviously refers to being at work and just a matter of seconds. Kendrick likens impulse robbery to work a day and and defence mechanisms. Clearly, the homey is acting on forces stronger than himself. The forces are environmentally bread and born of institutional ism. The verse concludes that the line remember steal from the rich and give back the poor will. That's me at these words, the homey lichens instincts to a Robin hood mentality, he's going to take the wealth disparity into his own hands and police himself. A high RO or at least justified in his actions. After the repetition of the songs hook, snoop enters again, it brings a song to a close
Once upon a time there was a little something dating damaging was still under the name. You could take a boy is shown in the woods you good night things much by your services. Snoop describes, Kendrick, being dazed, confused, talented, but still under the neighbourhood ruse. Other Kendrick reasons is home Instinct with psychological and environmental rationale is interesting to note that these sites do not come from the Kendrick played on record; rather, the homey himself Kendrick on record is in a difficult position. His life has changed.
Oz intentions were pure and sharing his new life. Experiences with his home is in Compton. He hasn't quite realised how deeply embedded in institutionalized minds day can be like sniff says in the following lines. You can take your boy out the hood, but you can't take the hood at the Homey Kendrick even hides a show money in the mosey rosy, his hotel room because he's a nervous, his own friend, my robin. The song concludes that the line Hollywood's nervous its unclear to us and to Kendrick himself, these part of Hollywood or part of the group of Homsey brought to Hollywood. At this point he seemed somewhere in between conclusions. Let's revisit the palm that entered, used institutionalized. I remember you was conflicting misusing air Florence Hendricks experience at the b to your words has left him conflicted about his new place in the world. While puffing is chest on king counter. Any moon of his rise to stardom seems to be fading. He's been
and to realise the complexities of his new world? Now up bringing in Compton has left an ill equipped to navigate it successfully. The line misusing your influence refers to contracts. Gesture of bringing is home to the award show willing to become frustrated with their behaviour, which he shrugs off with the songs her. She Don't change until you wash your ass at this point. Kendrick doesn't fully understand that is home. His behaviour is a product of institutional ism, he also doesn't get understand. The potential is influence has to shine light on issues and bring about change. setting the song within the hip hop fairytale framework works. A further solidify Hendricks Adolescent Mine state Institutionalizes, followed by the song, these walls, which begins with the reinstatement of the narrative poem with an additional line revealed. I remember you was conflicted misusing your sometimes I dared to say
What did Kendrick do the same when this and more on our examination of these walls next time on dissect They sectors written produced by me if you ve enjoyed what you ve heard considered viewing dissect on Itunes. There's no t behind this part guest. It's just me and reviews helped a lot follow at dissect podcast on the usual suspects, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and the exclusive episode notes at city scout Magda COM, the music by bureaucratic for more visit, bureaucratic dot, band camp dot, com.