Thoughts going into the Grammys: Kendrick’s Turn

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I’m back y’all.

I know it’s been a minute, but I’ve been getting settled into a completely new situation at the house, and sadly I’ve been putting TDL on the back burner.That coupled with some technical problems caused a slight malfunction to TheDarkerLens. Bad news: I had to repost everything, and unfortunately I lost a couple from last year.  But now that everything’s good, expect more TDL posts on the way.


Now back to the topic.  


When it comes to most things in my life, I’m pretty optimistic. I always hope for the best in my school  and whatever sport I’m playing, and I always believe that the best possible outcome will show itself. Helen Keller once said “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

Now while I do like to keep a positive outlook, there are a few things that I’ve simply given up on. The first one, is the possibility of 100% percent harmony between races, for after the last couple of years, it’s becoming less and less like a possible reality. The second one, is the possibility of Tupac being alive, for as much as I want the Cuban Conspiracy to be true, I feel like he would’ve come out by now. And the last one, which kind of fits in with the first, is the possibility of black people getting the proper accolades they deserve for what they do. Richard Sherman and Cam Newton are successful black men who have fun playing football?

“Just a couple of thugs”.

Serena Williams is the most dominant player in women’s tennis?

“She might be a man”.  

President Obama passed the Affordable Care act for millions of Americans, ended the war in Iraq, turned around the automotive industry, and created 8.7 million jobs?

“Still running our country into the ground”.

The examples don’t end, and this goes across the board. One of the clearer examples of blatant disrespect comes in award ceremonies such as the Oscar’s and the Grammy’s. Now, the Oscar’s are a whole different beast for another post, but as for the Grammy’s, something is different this year.

Although for many years black people have been snubbed of well-deserved awards at the Grammy’s, it’s sometimes debatable that there might be some competition in the fields that they’re in. And on top of that, the work made by black people might not have been “Grammy winning” that year. But that was the past, and that was before To Pimp a Butterfly.

I distinctly remember staying up all night waiting for that album, hoping that one of my favorite rappers, Kendrick Lamar, will deliver with a quality project for me to listen to. I was simply hoping for some quality lyrics, some catchy hooks, and a banger or two to play in the car. Needless to say, my standards weren’t too high,


And then I listened to it.


I don’t even want to chalk it up to the thought-provoking lyrics, or the fusion of jazz, funk, spoken word, and Hip Hop. I don’t even want to chalk it up to the overarching message of the whole album. I say this because that was the closest thing I’ve heard to a perfect album. This album gives you music you want, and music you didn’t even know you wanted. This album is extremely personal, while also having the ability to speak to so many people at once. And of course, this album was one of the most timely things anyone could’ve  produced given the state of the U.S. With songs like “Alright” that uplift an entire people despite the weights of society (police shootings, poverty, etc), “The Blacker the Berry” which speaks to the dichotomy between uplifting fellow black people and black-on black crime, and “Complexion”, which paints a vivid picture of the colorism that still exists amongst black people, this album puts music to the lives of every African American living in the United States right now. That’s why it’s certified platinum, and that’s why it’s nominated for 11 Grammys.

But even with all of that in its corner, I as well as others, are still not too sure if Kendrick will get what he deserves. He was already snubbed a Grammy in 2014 after Macklemore took it with “The Heist”, but that was a different time and this is a different album. To me, everything is lining up perfectly, now it just needs to happen.

So this monday, Lord knows I’ll be watching the Grammys to see if the right things happen. Right now I’m still not too sure if the Academy will do the right thing, but hopefully they can prove me wrong.

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