Home » Blog 8 » Blog 8 Wallace

Recent Comments

Blog 8 Wallace

The piece I decided to discuss is “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, which became associated with may different rallies with in the Black Lives Matter movement, and talks about police brutality as a whole against primarily African Americans. Lamar was inspired to write “Alright” by a trip to South Africa, and was inspired specifically by the cell where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned. In addition, Lamar told NPR in a 2015 interview that he was thinking about the history of chattel slavery in America, and explains how even 400 years later, we still need joyful songs and music to heal. He talks about the injustices that African Americans faced from police, using verses such as “Uh, and when I wake up, I recognize you’re looking at me for the pay cut, But homicide be looking at you from the face down, What MAC-11 even boom with the bass down?” which explains how homicide is a constant threat for black people, and more verses such as “N****, and we hate po-po, Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho”, which references that seeminglyw clockwork killing of black Americans by the police. Protesters from the Black Lives Matter adopted this song as their anthem, following killings of African Americans like Sandra Bland (a black woman who was found dead in a jail cell in Texas after she was arrested at a traffic stop) and Tamir Rice (a black 12-year-old who was playing with an Airsoft gun outside a rec center and was shot and killed by police). The song is an part of the hip hop genre, although it carries characteristics from the spiritual/gospel genre, such as the humming of voices in the back. The song includes a very noticeable saxophone in the background, which fades in and out throughout the song, alongside drums, and the hums of what sounds like a choir in the background. However, its actually Pharrell Williams who sings the chorus, the memorable “N*****, we gon’ be alright”.

1 Comment

  1. I also did a Kendrick Lamar song and it had a similar message about police brutality and the mistreatment of African Americans. I didn’t know about that Pharrell Williams was singing the chorus.

Comments are closed.

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message