Kendrick Lamar Explores His Survivor’s Remorse In The Verse Of The Week

BARCODE:Verse Of The Week is a new weekly column where we at the WatchLOUD team will dissect the latest and great rap music has to offer.

In December of 2014, we were left with two of the biggest cliffhangers in the world: Stephen Colbert officially retiring the satirical Colbert Report before taking over for David Letterman at The Late Show and Kendrick Lamar dropping an untitled song before letting it vanish into the ether. The song encompassed many themes that Kendrick would later explore in more detail on his lauded To Pimp A Butterfly, but the enigmatic album rollout left fans confused as to why it wasn’t on the album. Over a year later, Kenny’s done one better and released another loosie for fans to salivate over.

Last night (January 7) on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Kendrick debuted “Untitled 2,” (unofficially titled “Blue Faces) another story-driven big band extravaganza of a track. The first two verses of the song show a sympathy to the Black experience unmarred by the respectability politics of “The Blacker The Berry,” but it’s the third verse where the song (and Kendrick himself) shakes loose of the reins and returns to the hole he dug inside himself.

Kendrick going back and forth with a stranger about the validity of his life experiences both solidifies his status as hood scholar (“Your projects ain’t it, I live in the hood/You living to keep warm, I’m living to pay rent/I paid my way through, prayed to Allah/You played your way through dealing with WiFi”) and allows Kendrick to take pride in bettering his own situation (“A brand new excuse is nothing to me, see I made my moves with shackled feet”). Whether he’s feeling charitable or just letting off some steam, Kendrick Lamar’s funky brand of introspection has earned its spot as Verse Of The Week. Check it out below:

“Wrote this song like I never went home and made it
You know the poverty stricken the lyrical broke boy and baby
Somebody say Kendrick American they sho’ is crazy
And I said “why?”
Then he looked me in the eye
He said homie you messed up
You breaking my good luck
You wishing for miracles
Living through shit, you’re crying hysterical
Settle for everything, complain about everything
Say your soul crack, my world amphetamines
You projects ain’t it, I live in the hood
You living to keep warm
I’m living to pay rent
I paid my way through
Praying to Allah
You played your way through dealing with Wi-Fi
Go fuck yourself, you talking to strangers
Same thing go for the ones you came with
We all came on the boat looking for hope
And all you can say is that you’re looking for dope
These days ain’t no compromise

Your pain ain’t mine half the time
A brand new excuse ain’t nothing to me
See I made my moves, with shackled feet”

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