Monday, March 14

Who gets to say how black people see themselves? - Marlon James

"Nearly every rap album has that one moment you can’t get with. If you’re a woman, there are at least five. It’s been almost a year since I first heard Kendrick Lamar’s 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' an ambitious, spellbinding, masterpiece of a rap album, and it took me nearly a year to like it. The main reason: the 13th song, 'The Blacker the Berry.' Up to that moment, musically if not lyrically, 'Butterfly' is almost a quiet storm of an album, a record that gazes more inward than out, even as it tackles institutional racism and hood politics. Then comes 'The Blacker the Berry,' all booming drums and NWA-style rage. For the first time, homeboy is furious, as if he has just realized that the only response to the stereotype of the angry black man is to get angrier. It’s the part where I thought I would be most engaged, but it turned into the part that locked me out. ..."
NY Times: 25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going (Video)
W - "The Blacker the Berry"
GENIUS: "The Blacker the Berry"
The Atlantic: Kendrick Lamar Is Not a Hypocrite
Pitchfork - Grammys 2016: Kendrick Lamar Performs "The Blacker the Berry" and "Alright," Debuts New Track in Politically Charged Performance (Video)

2015 December: To Pimp a Butterfly (2015), 2016 March: When the Lights Shut Off: Kendrick Lamar and the Decline of the Black Blues Narrative by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah (2013)