Kendrick Lamar's making sense

Damn, wouldn’t it be nice to spill our internal and external conflicts out on paper and have it come out as eloquent and lyrically superior as Kendrick Lamar’s latest album, “DAMN.” Reaching top of billboard charts, Kendrick Lamar has proven to reign as one - if not likely to many - as “the” greatest lyricists of his time.

But how does a kid from Compton, California (where lyrical flavor does not usually abound) come to reach such heights? A gift from God? Maybe. But Kendrick Lamar has proven time and again to use his inner demons, past experiences and now - what seems to be a conflicted sinner’s views - to shape his work into something monumental.

As a kid (this Rolling Stone article states), Lamar spilled lyrics out on paper to express what he was really feeling; doing that made things “make sense.” In his youth, Lamar was a witness to LA riots, gangs and, according to the article, saw his first murder at the age of five and his second at the age of nine. But Lamar has seen the dark side of inward conflicts too. He confesses in his album “I,” his battles with depression - beginning in his youth – turning a seemingly “happy” song, into something real and revealing of his inner struggles.

But “DAMN” seems to offer up suggestions for his struggles – that rather than being innocent, perhaps he’s striving for salvation in order to evade damnation. The battle we all face inside and outside of us can be heard through the voice of a kid from Compton, who used a pen and paper to convey what he was thinking – and what came out are lyrics that perhaps ignite the rest of us to make sense of our own conflicted selves.

Although many of us have not seen the same struggles Kendrick Lamar has, we all have to face our internal and external conflicts. Why not use our own pen and paper (in whatever form that may be) to propel us to a place where things just “make sense.”

Photo credit: HYPEBEAST 

Isabel Ward