Kendrick Lamar sat down with NPR for a brief interview, and during his conversation with David Greene he talked about his friend Chad Keaton getting killed and the last line from “The Blacker The Berry” – “So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street / When gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me?”
“It’s not me pointing at my community; it’s me pointing at myself,” says Kendrick. “I don’t talk about these things if I haven’t lived them, and I’ve hurt people in my life. It’s something I still have to think about when I sleep at night.
“The message I’m sending to myself — I can’t change the world until I change myself first,” he continued. “For instance, when Chad [Keaton] was killed, I can’t disregard the emotion of me relapsing and feeling the same anger that I felt when I was 16, 17 — when I wanted the next family to hurt, because you made my family hurt. Them emotions were still running in me, thinking about him being slain like that. Whether I’m a rap star or not, if I still feel like that, then I’m part of the problem rather than the solution.”
Listen to the entire seven-minute conversation below.