Kendrick Lamar is coming hard for the premier of his next album on April 7th, 2017. After dropping The Heart IV (which potentially disses a slew of rappers/the entire industry), he broke out with his video for “Humble”. And the internet went wild for it. The visuals alone make it noteworthy to watch. And the video is closing in on 20 million Youtube views. Needless to say, Humble was the ingenious propellant for an album coming in a few days.
But that isn’t the only thing that has people talking. Rather, there is a component of the video that many Black women find troubling. Kendrick laid out his viewpoints on women and body ideals like so:
I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop
Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor
Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretchmarks
Still will take you down right on your mama’s couch in Polo socks, ayy
Those particular lyrics, and the accompanying visuals of a lighter skinned woman with/without Photoshop touch ups and a (beautiful) derriere with stretchmarks proposed a collective pause among some women out there. Many women didn’t care for what they considered the misogynistic overtones of the lyrics or suggestive message of the video. Thus, not everyone was appreciative of Humble no matter how good the song is.
And then there are those that found the message within that segment of lyrics to be quite empowering. So many times, black women are shamed for being who they naturally are. With that, there is the problem with black women being shamed by black men. And there is where Kendrick tried to resolve: the issue of men shaming black women for being who they are. What Kendrick set out to do was appreciate black women.
Being the man that I am, I look at the totality of the situation and realized Kendrick made a grave mistake: he tried to inflect too much of his preference into the equation. Instead of uplifting one, he put one type aside for the other.
This will be confusing (and even unimportant) to some. However, please give me a chance to break this down.
Kendrick Lamar Showed Unnerving Humility
As much as people love how much Kendrick Lamar highlighted the looks of one type of woman, he should have been cognizant of the looks of other. What Kendrick’s song did was potentially pit those that are natural vs. those that aren’t.
And this “one versus the other” moment gives way to the bigger problem that men have when it comes to women: the art of letting women be. As men, we haven’t realized that it isn’t our place to determine what a woman does with her body. Nor is it our place to make any decision for them. This is similar to the issue black people have with white people making commentary about black issues. At some point, white people need to realize that they are, and need to remain, on the outside looking in. This is the same for black men when it comes to black women issues. Being an ally is one thing, but pitting one type of woman against another due to the preferential is patriarchy at its worst.
Kendrick Lamar May Learn Something Or Not
I highly doubt any of this is going to keep any women that plan on buying is album from not swiping their credit/debit cards come April 7th. However, this is something to consider the next time Kendrick wants to rap about black women. My suggestion: choose those words wisely, sire. Your preferences are all your own. At the end of the day, black women should prefer who/what they desire without the commentary of black men.
‘Nuff Said and ‘Nuff Respect!!!
- Kendrick Lamar’s lyrics about photoshop and stretch marks are sparking a lot of feelings (mashable.com)
- The Internet Loves That Kendrick Lamar Prominently Featured Stretch Marks in His Video ‘Humble’ (time.com)
- A List of Personal SXSW Highlights (nymag.com)
- Rapper Claims He Faced “Intimidation and Exploitation” From Kendrick Lamar’s Team (thefader.com)
- Requiem for Auntie Fee, And All Black Women Gone Too Soon (newsone.com)
- Here’s What’s Coming To Netflix In April (newsy.com)
- Social media firms accused of ‘commercial prostitution’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Everything Coming and Going on Netflix in April (whotv.com)
- Here’s everything coming to Netflix in April (businessinsider.com)
- Man Shamed Trump Voters For Deporting Innocent Dad, Left Out 1 Huge Detail (madworldnews.com)