We continue our serialized analysis of Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly by dissecting "Alright."
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcome to dissect long form, musical analysis broken into short digestible episodes. I'm your host Cole Cuchna today. We continue our serialized examination of to pimp a butterfly by Kendrick Lamar deposition, Kendrick reached national rock bottom and the song you and revealed manic depression and suicidal thoughts caused by his new life outside of Compton the context. Use and access point. It's a conclusion to act, two which we titled cocoon displaying the various ways displaying the various ways. Kendrick was mentally and emotionally walled, as he attempted to reconciles Compton mentality with his new life of fame, uninjured personalized, we saw a systemic racism, breathe an institutionalized mine state which manifested in Kendrick friends desire to rob the BT awards.
On these walls Kendrick misused as influence to exact revenge and imprison Compton enemy. By having said with the mother of his child on you, Kendrick drunkenly confronts the hypocrisy of claiming to be an influence on a world wide fan base, while failing to affect the people closer to him, his friends and his May in Compton. The conclusion of you signals act three of timber butterfly, which I've titled merging wings after a song with so much vulnerability, honesty, self analysis, pain and therapeutic release. Kendrick begin searching for answers at the outset, progresses he's right, lies the success that he wants believe would unlocked the world's treasures and bring him satisfaction as backfired after hitting rock bottom Kendrick will begin a new searching for meaning and purpose that search begins at the next track.
The atom, smasher single, all right, legal, we'll be all right. All right, maybe you'll, be all right. All right, we'll be all right in the context of albums narrative alright takes place the morning after the drunken confession heard on you, after therapeutic confrontation, with this demons It seems Kendrick as a working with a more optimistic outlook and seems determined to overcome its anxieties Outside the album. Alright has been adopted as an unofficial anthem, the black lives matter, movement, the songs, the message of hope through solidarity and resilience struck a chord with supporters of the movement and theirs. Rain, we gonna be all right, has been heard, chanted at protests and rallies across the country.
On our episode today will first dissect all right in the context of Tipp of butterflies, narrative within about all right through the lens of the country's current race relations and what it came to mean into the black lives matter movement. So without further ado, let's dissect. It's my life I had to fight all my life hard times, alright was produced by Contempo. Legend forever Williams, alongside tv in house producer, sound way for alpine I did the South Musical Foundation in contact with seemed originally intended for the wrapper fabulous in January two thousand fourteen over one. Here before the release of two pimp, a butterfly forever seen at a rat party, permitting new music from his ipod among the tracks. Previewed was a version of the alright beat, with a hook performed by fabulous this they disappeared in obscurity and rest
therefore, as a Kendrick version, we know today, shortly after to pit the butterfly was released. Fabulously the early version of all right, you don't even know every day a so called friends are foe, Nigger number. We was in a young, so the man I want to see blow Nigger then you get a low down cinema. Others thought I, like you well Nigger had its wits up the flow Agatha stay on a grab. At the moment we go beyond the legal right, legal, legal right, nickel, legal right. The image the unanimity will be on a legal right. We can be with early version, seems to align with Kendrick story of the songs creation, the concept of which he credits, deferral. Process of light was one of these where he already had it. He had the idea for me he's been feeding music. While I was on tour on a kayak to back and forth, and just
Will he give me no music that inspires me to put their energy? Whether sulphur, where this is this? Is fine I just always inspiration and always a phenomenal time worth living. So Look for our right to be. One of these is somewhat come another no by its to enjoy yourself musically track is based on a single cord that moves in parallel motion. One half step the harmonies are rich and jazz like, which makes introduction of the trap style, eight o eight drum striking, is adjourned The position that falls in line with the contrasting themes of all right, we discussed a spar, listen into the songs. Introduction then talk about some key references in the opening lyrics
it's my life. I had to fight Niger, it's my life hard times like ya, bad Chubbs, like gas Nazareth, I'm fucked up, homie you fucked up, but God got us and we gon be alright to fight a quote from Alice growth, Pulitzer Prize Winning, novel to color, purple right, led by the novel, supporting character, Sofia and independent black woman and early twentieth century who refuse to be abused by her husband. The court was made famous in the movie adaptation of the color purple and which Sophia play by upper Winfrey. Oh my life. I had to fight to thank my daddy. I had to find my uncle's had a fight, my brother's charge, a safe in family needs. I never thought I had
fight in my own country, the powerful message was directed at the novels main character, Sally whose abuse and tragedy many times over and ultimately fines dependence and strength by the stories end In all my life I had to fight has since been extrapolated for the novel and stands to represent. Then during strength of the black community, who have been forced to continually fight for its rights and equality in american society. In the context of Tipp, a butterfly the line is the first thing we here after sustaining the trauma of the arms previous song, you that's if you'll remember, ended with the lines and if I tell your secrets, the war Will now money can't stop a suicide, a weakness for context, ache fear those closing lines of you followed by the opening of all right
I don't know why you can stop with the weakest. It's my life. I had to fight my lifetime hard times like yeah. She was like yeah, that's a risk. I'm fucked up homie you fucked up, but if you just left open, ended unresolved with a clinking ba thou gone thought that suicide resolution then comes in a powerful way, the opening chords of all right contracts, exclaim nature. All my life. I have to fight the triumphant saxophone rip that follows a cue into a kind of heroic resurrection. We can just a man,
in our hero, Kendrick being down for the count, broken and bleeding ointment magically rise at the final moment, ready to fight again, of course, using the Walker to express this sentiment. Only works to align is personal struggles with the more you personal struggles of the black community, the introduction ten is a universal. I so struggles Kendrick notes hard times and bad trips then says: Nazareth, I'm fucked up homey you fucked up guy got us than we gonna be all right. It seems that, through God, Kendrick leaves there's no adversity too difficult to navigate. He finds solidarity in and common ground in the flaws within himself and his Hermes and preaches amiss. Of strengthened union and faith in God's plan, the songs hook the introduction perform?
farewell himself, legal beyond all right. All right, we'll be all right, maybe you'll be all right, all right I'll, be all right. Maybe you're right, I'm gonna like any great anthems. You listen! right refrain is simple, brief, catchy and, most importantly, extremely versatile, not a wasted syllable in the infliction of which its performers infectious and can be repeated, infinitely without tiring mama. In fact, its message it only gives stronger the more third we're going to speak more about all rights, refrain within the historical context of protest songs later in the episode, but for now let's hear the opening measures of the songs first verse awe and when
Wake up our recognition, lookin at me, full pay cut by almost having it in that you put a phased out. My mecca lemon device, tat skimming limiting about the verse begins with the line and when I wake up, I recognize looking at me for the paper, my mama, this compromise that all right in terms of the Alps narrative takes place the morning after the drunken saga view Kendrick, as awoke with a new found charity and takes a direct shot at Uncle SAM. He recognizes once and for all Uncle SAM desire to exploit Kendrick talent for financial gain, the proclamation of defeat Uncle SAM will no longer appear in the out from this point on, unfortunately, there any incarnations of sin, one of which will become very clear on the song second verse Kendrick continue saying, but homicide be looking at you from the face down what MAC eleven even boom with the base down
These two lines are especially cryptic. The first depicts the aftermath of a homicide and a subject. Perhaps Uncle SAM laying face down dead on the ground. He then France's a MAC Eleven gun, a semi automatic, that's typically equipped with a noise suppressor with this we were reminded of the silence displayed around the tragic deaths of many black Americans in the United States a parallel adage. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it doesn't make a sound likewise, if a gun, fires, and no one in the world cares about his victim. Does it actually kill? Next Kendrick speaks again on by this scheme in lamenting about bank electronic Romanian, a twilight when he put the average a minister. I tell my mama level, but that's what I like learner. Twenty of under my savage contract, refers to women, money and drugs is painkillers that put him in the twilight a temporary escape. He then exclaims Lord knows an occasion similar to the Tupac song of the same name is likely this,
the conscious, not as to box Lord knows, speaks on drugs as a relief from suicidal thought last and then make a promise that involves what is breaking down, even though I know that you want to put the gun down. I have another day about local public Roma brings no, no yet again another tupac reference on the album it certainly won't be the last
one of all right concludes with talks of Karma Heaven, and vice That's what I like law, no, twenty of them! I have it. Ella Monaco make him a ribbon. Everything it throws some time ago may have no preliminary here is the more rigour, no Mamma the fucking case and establish put a wreck. Tat always got going. Green taste is the day when Kendrick states reaping ever thing I so so my karma come in. Heaven Luminary hearings on my record of a mother fucking gangster in silence for the record Kendrick believes the true judgment about his behaviour, will come from God at the gates of Heaven, not from the judge. In the courtroom he placed on the double meaning of record one referring to his music. Perhaps specifically, the confession: The previous song you and the other being the court record. The verse Kincaid tell the world? I know it's too late, boys and girls think. I gone crazy
drown inside my vices all day. Will you please, but when I say like in you, Kendrick is on the edge in despair. He thinks self insane and losing its battle with vice versa. Than drown in sorrow, Kendrick works towards a different conclusion, with the songs, pre chorus knowhow throughout verse. One Kendrick spoken first person. I on the pre course he will shift to a shared experience. We when you know we ve been down before Nigger when a proud was low? Looking at the world like, where do we go nigger and we hate pauper when the killers a mistake was so nigger amid the brig to do when these. Given week my breath, we go beyond their alignment with the shared plight of the black experience. Kendrick fines solidarity and strength. He says we ve been hurt been down before when a pride was low. Looking at the world like, where do we go
through ambiguity. Kendrick achieves universality. The sentiments are applicable any of the various crossroads African Americans face throughout history or a face in the future in the context of Kendrick Zone, personal journey being her down and looking for an There's reflects the confessional sentiments of you, Kendrick Drink states and we hey Popa, wanna, kill dead in the streets for show this is the example of Kendrick tapping into and subsequently vocalize a general feeling among the members of his community. This case is frustration with the justice system that disproportionately targets black Americans and the general divide between police and members of the black community in places like Compton Next Kendrick says, I met the preachers door. My knees guinea, weak and my guy might blow, but we gonna be all right. The contrast here, striking Kendrick at the preachers door is a symbol of faith
that. He seeks the Council of God to set him on the right path in the midst of his hardships and the hardships of the black community. These guinea weak, plays, on the phrase weaken the knees which typically is an express of losing one's strengthen the faces, something overwhelming, but given that Kendrick set the preachers door, his knees are more likely getting weak because of extended prayer with the next line. My I might blow it would seem he's tired of waiting or believes that sometimes prayers and enough sometimes action is necessary. We can interpret these lines a number of ways. Kendrick could still be referring to the sentiments of you he's at the preachers door: weakened seeking guide on a new path in life and my gun might blow refers to the suicidal thoughts he submitted to having this internal nation is supported by the fact that Kendrick, as switch back to using I, instead of the collective we use throughout the pre chorus and alternative interpretation.
Play view to a more universal lens, reflecting the duality of peace and protest in the black community struggle to receive equal treatment in the United States and times of turmoil. Some may turn to religion, praying and peaceful protest other times. Frustration and plight express themselves and riot and rebellion often times it's a mixture of both it's highly likely Kendrick wrote. This passage should be interpreted on a personal, universal level, that's part of the brilliance of the song and this album. The way Kendrick is able to align a very personal journey with the broader struggles of the black experience. Of course, what unifies the two interpretation that the pre course is the line we gonna be all right, which leads to a petition of the songs hook burst. Introduces a new character in the Alps story. Lucy
What do you want to? Our should make us in a mule? Began anything's you, my name is low down what the fuck are. You can leave it the more this opening sound familiar with that fresh nearby. Let's play the opening first to have Wesley SIRI the alms opening track. My name is Uncle SAM Motherfucker. You can laugh at him again burst you have all right. What do you want to? Allow should anything's you. My name is low down what the fuck are. You can leave it the more the introduction. Uncle SAM and the introduction of Lucy are identical right away. Kendrick is being very clear. Evil doubts and appear in many incarnations and guises since announcing that it
of Uncle SAM and the opening line. The verse one it seems evil is transformed into Lucy Shore for Lucifer the devil incarnate. Just when it seems Kendrick is headed once again on a path of positivity temptation of sin shows itself looking again to take advantage of Kendrick bomber will mind state this time. Kendrick immediately Nice is the presence of sin yet can't help himself to temporarily relish in its temptations. Would you want to? I should die anything's. My name is no doubt what the fuck you can live at the mall away until it was illegal. I don't think about it at unless it is about making a mob line a bloody candy painted on illegal. They loved my magic in another. Nobody Hendricks, as I can see the evil. I can tell her. I know it's illegal, I don't think about it. I deposit every zero he's helpless under Lucy Spell returns,
escapism through materialism. He talks of flamboyant we painting a low writer, followed by the line digging in my pocket, a profit big enough to feed you every day. My logic get another dollar just to keep you Lucy S Kendrick, an endless spending spree similar to the adolescent fantasies displayed on the opening verse of Wesley SIRI. As the verse continues. Kendrick see, to come to his senses and snaps himself. Out of her spell signal by an outlaw of which momentarily raises a song in its tracks nobody be avoided as they believe you know. You can't do that on my mother s back for your wrap up black contracts or rest assured him. I raised my rooms right. Tell em right, we're gone, you know, Leben Frederick seems to be remembering the path is working towards before the presence of Lucy. We tells himself, I don't talk about it, be about it every day.
Go and later says haven't. I can reach you one day at a time. Kendrick will attempt to work towards a better life one that would eventually allow him into Heaven. The verse concludes that the mission statement I wrap a black contracts. The rest assured my rights. My wrongs. I write time right with God. The recording booth is Kendricks confessional. And he plants are right as wind gods, good graces, which he feels he's due to his behaviour on the outer spar after a rapid, vision of the songs, pre, coarse and hook, or I conclude that the dreamy hypnotic ultra lights in my prayers, the archer begins. I keep my head up high. I cross my heart and hope to die. Loving me is complicated.
The optimistic sentiment of all right are summarised with the line. Keep my head apply a promise Kendrick seals at the next line, cross my heart and hope to die. Of course, hearing hope to die so close to the suicide of thoughts of the Alps. Previous song, you we can also enter but this out you're through the lens of pessimism, keep my head up high could referred to as my stay under the influence of alcohol and drugs and crime. My heart and hope to die or a suicidal thoughts is truly fitting, then that this past, is followed by the line. Loving me as complicated a direct reference to the refrain living use complicated on you. Kendrick is battling pessimism and optimism, good and evil God and Lucy. The next passage closes out the song too afraid a lot of changes. I'm all right in Europe
favorite dark nights in my prayers. Kendrick is again citing the changes in his life since finding success in escaping Compton and he's had many. A dark nights is for trade on you in the context of the ombudsman it is all right is far from a resolution is more like an action plan. Kendrick the fighter is not won the battle he simply back on its feet, ready to fight again after his meltdown in the hotel room on you. He speaks again battling vice from the painkillers pretty pussy and Benjamin Averse one to the profit driven materialism of Lucy. First to buy through the pre chorus and refrain he's found, strengthen solidarity with the black community, realising that his personal, drugs are not unlike the history of the black experience in America, as he
as in the songs pre course we ve been hurt been down before Kendrick has remembered that fight is inherent in the black experience that progress has and will continue to be made due to the Fort Jude strength and general perseverance of his people. All my life if I had to fight indeed after confessing his sins on you, alright Seas, direct, laying out a path, a redemption through music and faith in God, will continue to fall. I am on his road to recovery and as he continue The battle, evil temptation, sin and its place in world outside of Compton onto paper butterfly. All right is still in service to the arms narrative, but our I did that narrative alright, has taken a life of its own beginning in two thousand twelve, when an unarmed black team tray on Martin was killed by George Zimmermann, who was subsequently acquitted without punishment, the hashtag black
lives matter emerged on social media outlets. It became a kind of Digital town square, where dialogue, frustration and debate could be expressed around issues, are racial profiling and racial inequality in the United States. The phrase we come to represent a national movement is pursuit was and continues to be, racial justice and social awareness. The movement intensified as more and more on our black men and women continue to lose their lives by the hand of the police and often sketchy circumstances, some of which were captured on video tapes In July, two thousand fourteen unarmed black man, Eric Gardener, was choked death on the streets of New York. Where were really saying I can't breathe within a month. Michael brow was shot twelve times in Ferguson, Missouri, which incited several nights of nation wide protests and riots, some
which were met with the response from the national guard. Then came the death of Jonathan Ferrel John Crawford as the afford: Lochlann Mcdonald, a kite girly to mere rice, air carriers, Walter Scott Friday, Gray, Sandra Bland, often sterling Philander Castille and at the time a writing. This key Lemme, Scott and Terence Crusher, while black lives matters and ongoing movement. Let's think back to the time of timber butterflies release in March two thousand fifteen, just three months the decision not to indict the officer killed, Michael Brown, ignited protests and rights across the country and the same month twice your to mere rice was seen: holding a toy gun, shot and killed by police, to pimp, butterfly, was released in the midst of this national chaos on March, fifteenth, two thousand fifteen less than a month after three lease Friday Grey, was arrested as this
pain, fatal, spine injuries while being in securely transported in the back of a motor car grazed death caused national unrest. Culminating into a state of emergency declared in Baltimore on June. Twenty eighth of Many fifteen Kendrick opened the BT awards the memorable performance of all right, the stages backdrop, dawn with an enormous american flag and Kendrick rapped on top of a cop car It was a seminal moment, it of course, evoked the jury of riot and protest, or through the imagery, came a message, a pause tv and solidarity. We ve been hurt been down before, but we got
all right. We will not be met when they reached the performance was praised by most but of course, was met with backlash from a few specifically for, NEWS reporter Corrado Rivera, throwing not helpful with a song to say the least, not helpful at all. This is why I say that hip hop is then more damage to young african Americans. Then racism in recent years. This is ignored, lay the wrong message and then to conflict. Yes, you heard that correctly reversal
the hip hop, has done more to damage African Americans and racism in recent years. While the ignorance of the statement, I think, speaks for itself, Kendrick did addressing comments or the interview with DMZ Doc. Each EVA sold as about hope, will turn into hatred, knows The message to the overall messages we gonna be all right: it's not the message. I want to kill people the event, the symbol of your bp performance. Is you standing on a vandalized cop car? Does that carry some weight and of what her, although saying? No, it doesn't. You know that the problem is we stand on. The kind of car, I think, is a tip Billy deluding the real problem, which is the ceaseless acts of killings of these young boys. Are you know there s? Nothing, for the most part, is avoiding the troll
You know this is reality this. This is my world this. When I talk about it, my music, you know you can't do that. You know we ve been on the card as the performers. Peace at that since this x, you do of course, would be a rage about what's goin on here. Of course, I speak on it. You know what it is every time you can't live overall message here we angry about. What's borne on here, we see was goin out, you know Tom out, but you can't do that. You eat can chat away, hope in our privileged that things will be ok. At the end of the day, there is not the problem. Reality is the problem of the situation This is our music. This is this: is us express ourselves in a rather go here doing the murders myself. I want to express myself in the end up in a positive light. The same way other artists are doing not going out of the streets go in the booth but the situation, you know and hope These keys,
five, some type of influence on it in a positive manner. You know come a funding. Recent come a funny. Neighbors were taken our talents and put them in The studio of course reversed comments, I feel the fire just a month after Hendricks performance on BT protesters in Cleveland chanted the size refrain after an altercation that lead police to using pepper, spread? the in the context of a protest It's a chant of hope and solidarity, of course, but is also one of defiance as if to say. But it's also one of defiance as if to say ever you do us we're going to be all right and there's nothing. You can do about it. It's a kind of op wisdom and showcasing the resilience of the black Spirit fresh or racist, soon arrived
was being chanted. Protests across the country, Ever news outlets, including BT, suggested that all right be the modern national black anthem and, while all right came to be the soundtrack of a movement because a hopeful message behind it. The infectious of the songs refrain should not be overlooked. Boil five syllables lend themselves perfectly the repetition it could be whispered, it can be shouted. His boat universal and specific relevant in any number of settings for contacts and for fun. Let's ample. A few protests anthems of the last fifty years. Listening for Commonalities between them, simple infectious to the point and easily repeatable. First Bob Marley get up stand up. I'll, be right
Am I you're right my next public enemies, fight the power by that date. Back SAM cooks, a change is gonna come
This is a law she's fine. De we shall overcome by PETE's eager then I believe we shall over some day we we shall overcome as a hymn popularize by PETE Seeger and became the unofficial, protest song of the civil rights movement in the nineteen sixties? Many have compared the impact of
all right too, we shall overcome as both express a message of hope and endurance. In the face of adversity, both became the adopted soundtrack to a movement conclusions, smile well. All right was embraced by the black lives matter, movement and a sense taken a life of its own outside of Tipp, a butterfly to reiterate the fact that, within the context of the I'm all right isn't integra piece of the narrative. It's a direct and powerful response of the arms. Previous tracked you it's a mission statement a call to action, if only to himself and a reminder that he and his community have faced hardships many times over in survived as the owl progresses will continue to follow. Kendrick as he battles with celebrity the survival guilt of leaving com. Then the arms new antagonists Lucy. Alright concludes. Recital of the narrative poem with an additional
three lines revealed. I remember you was conflicting misusing Florence, Sometimes I did the same abuse a map. Full of resentment them in their turn into a deep depression. Now, myself screaming and hotel room. I didn't want to self destruct the evil Lucy was all around me, so I will run fast ass if, from the perspective of life see that the arms next track for sales written which will explore its entirety next time on dissect they sectors written produced by me. Enjoyed. What you ve heard, consider reviewing dissect on Itunes, there's no team behind this podcast. It's just me and reviews helped a lot follow at.
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Transcript generated on 2021-02-11.