To Pimp a Butterfly
For Kendrick Lamar success comes in many forms. The Compton rapper uses his lyrical talent to get his message across.
Even if you are not a hip hop fan, you have probably heard of Kendrick Lamar. He has made music with some of today’s top musicians such as Dido, Maroon 5, Emeli Sande, Robin Thicke, Imagine Dragons, Sia and not to mention countless rappers.
In March of 2015 Kendrick Lamar released the album, To Pimp A Butterfly, and the lyrics are amazing.
I think the name of the album is very interesting. It is not a common name for a music album. It seems to me Kendrick Lamar maybe suggesting that we take advantage of everything around us even those things that are pure.
Kendrick Lamar is a very wise rapper who talks about consciousness and the reality of what he has witnessed or experienced growing up.
His lyrics come from a deep place within him and he does an amazing job expressing how he feels through his music. He is a true revolutionary when it comes to his craft.
The album, To Pimp a Butterfly, features well know music guest such as, George Clinton, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Ron Isley and others. This is not your commercial artist featuring rap album.
With songs like, “Wesley’s Theory”, “King Kunta”, “How much a dollar cost” and “Mortal Man”, these songs hit the core of what of hip hop with a message should be.
Kendrick Lamar is talking you back to a time when lyrics were important to the essence of hip hop music.
25 Success Lyrics By Kendrick Lamar
“Uneducated but I got a million dollar check, like that”
Kendrick Lamar is saying you don’t need a Harvard degree to be successful in life. If you follow your dream, develop a plan, work your plans and look for people who can help you achieve your vision and mission in life, no matter what it is.
“I can see the borrow in you, I can see the dollar in you”
I believe Kendrick Lamar is saying when people grow up and go through hard times they usually work hard as they can to climb out of the difficulty. It’s in the difficulty we see what we are, where we are and where we’re going.
“But remember, you ain’t pass economics in school, And everything you buy, taxes will deny”
Today more than ever it is important to understand money, economics and the corrupt banking system. No matter how hard you work or how much money you earn you will pay more taxes and the buying power of your dollar will decrease.
“Walking around like your God’s gift to Earth, N***a you ain’t s**t”
I believe Kendrick Lamar is saying, so many of us walk with our nose to the sky and our egos are inflated. No matter who we are or think where are we should not let our egos get the best of us. We must learn to be humble and know we are not better than anyone and no one is better than us. As are all human and we are all equal.
“I need forty acres and a mule, not a forty ounce and a pitbull”
The African-American people were made promises and those promises were not fulfilled but the American government.
People need is an opportunity to work hard receive equal rights. We are all willing to work hard and make something of our lives.
Unfortunately, to many blacks and Hispanics are stereotyped and believed all they do drink and have a Pitbull, dog.
“Oh America, you bad b***h, I picked cotton that made you rich”
In America, black people were slaves and on the backs of many African-Americans, Kendrick Lamar is saying, America got rich.
As a society, we need equal pay for equal opportunity.
“I can dig rapping, but a rapper with a ghost writer, What the f**k happened”
So many people claim to be authentic but really someone else is going the work while they reap the rewards.
We need to be honest with our self and with others. We need to go out and be the best and get help where we need it.
When we apply the formula, Try, Fail, Adjust, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
If someone else did that work then give credit where credit is due.
“Stuck a flag in my city, everybody’s screamin’ “Compton”, I should probably run for Mayor when I’m done, to be honest”
When you become a success and everyone can see what you are doing for the people in the community, people will say they appreciate you.
When you can influence people, and help it may not a bad idea to find better ways to help as many people as possible.
“Quid pro quo, somethin’ for somethin’, that’s the obvious”
This is a well know business concept for many people. Although business should not be, scratch may back and I’ll scratch your it happens every day.
The terms of all great deals should be win-win but if we go out we see it is very rare.
We need to do our best to help people and not expect anything in return. Like La0-Tzu said, “Before Receiving There Must Be Giving.”
“Be all you can be, true, but the problem is, A dream’s only a dream if work don’t follow it”
Do you have a dream? Is your dream so important to you but you’re afraid to take the steps needed to make your dream a reality?
Don’t be afraid, go out and do something to make your dreams come true. We will not be able to wish our dreams into reality but we must work hard and take action every day.
“If these walls could talk they’d tell me to swim good”
They say if the walls could talk what a story they could tell. Don’t wait around listening to negative stories. Tell yourself what you need to hear. Go out and take action. You will that yourself that you did in the future.
“These walls want to cry tears, These walls happier when I’m here, These walls never could hold up”
Connect the previous lyrics, “If these walls could talk they’d tell me to swim good”, to this statement.
If you listen to yourself you can create a life which is joyful. Sure, you will face sorrow, hardship, struggle and but you can overcome.
Work hard to achieve your goal and dream and nothing will stand in your way, not even fear.
“Knock these walls down that’s my religion, Walls feeling like they ready to close in, I suffocate then catch my second wind”
The walls we create in our mind, in society and against people must be fought so we can overcome prejudice and our own sticking thinking.
When people tell you that you can’t do something, prove them wrong by doing what they do not feel you can accomplish. Do not let others dictate the actions you take on your dreams. Even when times get hard, keep going. The light is close.
“Your behaviour is Sammy Da Bull like a killer that turned snitch”
I believe Kendrick Lamar is making reference to the infamous Sammy Da Bull who turned FBI informant.
In this world, we have our word and our honors. Create a loyal team and loyalty within the team. Do not quit on yourself, your family, friends and other loved ones who want you to succeed.
“A baby inside, just a teenager where’s your antennas, What’s your intentions, where is the influence you speak of”
Look at these lyrics in a business context. When you are new to business and start to make decisions that will impact your future make sure you understand your goals, have people who will help you achieve your goals, like a mentor, so you do not get off track and lose focus. Who will influence you?
“Try and fight my vices all day, won’t you please believe when I say”
All over the world Billion of people struggle with what holds them back. In business as in live, the decision we make and do not make can hold us back or propel us forward.
Be confident, know your purpose and tell yourself you will not fail. Others may not see that and that’s ok, you do. That is how you use your power to discover your life.
“Lucy gone move your mama out of Compton, Inside the gigantic mansion like I promised”
Lucy is the dream. A tool you can use to buy all the things you want. It’s a tool that allows you to experience all the happiness and joy of what money buys. Never give up on yourself as many people are counting on you.
“Abusing my power full of resentment, Resentment that turned into deep depression”
How do you look at the things that happen to you in life? Are you a victim?
In business as in life, at some point it will be important to take some time off and refresh your mind, vision and your mission. If you don’t take time off the dreams you have worked on, will soon starts feeling like a job.
Not everyone wants a job, so if you don’t want to quit your passion before it becomes a reality, take some time off.
“Thank God for Rap, I would say it got me a plaque, But what’s better than that? The fact it brought me back home”
When you are lost and unsure of the path to take in life getting back to the basics can help you refocus on what is important to you.
In business, you will have to sacrifice. Maybe you have to miss your kid’s baseball game or ballet recital. But when you are a success and have created the income you want you can spend more time at home with your loved ones as you can now control your time better.
The completion of your dream will give you the life you desire.
“I know how people work, I know the price of life, I know how much it’s worth, I know what I know and I know it well”
Look at any stats and you will get an idea of what is important to people. They say look at a person’s calendar and bank statement and you will know what they value.
The price you pay to be a success does come at a cost. In the end, it is your journey and the journey of the people who support you.
“I can attempt to enlighten you without frightenin’ you”
In business and in life people are afraid to explore the truth. You can tell people the truth, but if they are not ready they will not be receptive.
If you really know how hard entrepreneurs work and the things they give up and sacrifice, then perhaps you would not complete the vision for your life.
“I can preach for you if you tell me what the matter is”
In my opinion, men hold on to feelings and do not share important personal information about themselves.
In life, we have to find people we trust. Myself, I have a hand full of people who I trust with different parts of my life. It is important for us to talk to them on a regular basis
Get help with things you do not know or understand. This will help you break through your problems.
Many do not believe the power of prayer but I regularly ask pray for family, friends and people who are no longer in my life.
“I went to war last night, I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent”
Every generation has problems with depression. In school, we are not thought how to deal with our depression so it goes untreated. We all have done through tough times.
How we deal with our depression is important. If we do not deal with it you may fight a battle in your mind, life and subconscious for decade to come.
“Lift your head and keep moving or let the paranoia haunt you”
Do you want to succeed? Then do what the most successful people did. They got up after being knocked down. They lifted their head and put one foot in front of the other and kept moving.
Even on the days you do not want to do anything you have to get up and do something or the fear of not doing it will catch up with you one day.
“Just because you wore a different gang color that mines, Doesn’t mean I can’t respect you as a black man”
I believe Kendrick Lamar is saying, we might have different believes but we are human and I will stand up for you and you should for me.
Just like in business and in our communities, you have to know the differences and similarities of people. We are all different but in the end, we all have the same needs, wants and ambitions.
We all belong to humanity and we need to focus on the big picture and not get bogged down by small unimportant things.
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What one lyric stood out to you, so you can also break down barriers in society? Leave a comment below.
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Maveen has built his career in Banking, Insurance, Home and Automobile Sales. Providing exceptional customer service is his passion. Writing is a way to share his knowledge and help change the lives of million of people. Like the Facebook Page to support him.