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(6585)

Rank #13 in Music category

Music

Dissect

Updated 8 days ago

Rank #13 in Music category

Music
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Named “Best Podcast of 2018” by The New York Times, Dissect examines a single album per season, forensically dissecting the music, lyrics, and meaning of one song per episode.*Currently dissecting Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. (Season 5).*Past seasons include Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator (S4), Blonde by Frank Ocean (S3), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West (S2), To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar (S1), and Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (MS1).

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Named “Best Podcast of 2018” by The New York Times, Dissect examines a single album per season, forensically dissecting the music, lyrics, and meaning of one song per episode.*Currently dissecting Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. (Season 5).*Past seasons include Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator (S4), Blonde by Frank Ocean (S3), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West (S2), To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar (S1), and Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (MS1).

iTunes Ratings

6585 Ratings
Average Ratings
6345
115
66
24
35

Beefs

By bouglet - Nov 15 2019
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A season on the history of rap beefs, please.

wonderful

By helia karimzadeh - Nov 12 2019
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i was so close to giving it less stars just because more episodes.

iTunes Ratings

6585 Ratings
Average Ratings
6345
115
66
24
35

Beefs

By bouglet - Nov 15 2019
Read more
A season on the history of rap beefs, please.

wonderful

By helia karimzadeh - Nov 12 2019
Read more
i was so close to giving it less stars just because more episodes.

Listen to:

Cover image of Dissect

Dissect

Updated 8 days ago

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Named “Best Podcast of 2018” by The New York Times, Dissect examines a single album per season, forensically dissecting the music, lyrics, and meaning of one song per episode.*Currently dissecting Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. (Season 5).*Past seasons include Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator (S4), Blonde by Frank Ocean (S3), My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West (S2), To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar (S1), and Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (MS1).

S4E1 - Tyler the Creator: Flower Boy

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Our season long examination of Flower Boy by Tyler, the Creator begins with a biographical episode on Tyler’s upbringing in Los Angeles, the genesis of Odd Future, and Tyler’s discography  leading up to the release of Flower Boy.
Listen to Dissect on Spotify and enjoy episodes a week early + exclusive bonus content. For 60 free days of Spotify Premium, visit spotify.com/promo/dissect
Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram.

Apr 23 2019

43mins

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S2E1 – Kanye West: The Elephant in the Room

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Dissect is back!
Season 2 of Dissect is dedicated entirely to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is an aural pageantry of West’s uncanny talents as producer and rapper, a sonic amalgamation of the four solo albums that precede it. It’s thirteen tracks are ambitiously scaled, a musical maximalism as yet unheard in the world of hip-hop.
Within this sonic coliseum, Kanye bares the confliction between his ego and insecurity, between the purity of his creative gifts and his incessant need for adoration. The album’s loose narrative outlines Kanye’s rise and fall from public grace, a kaleidoscopic meandering into the deep recesses of his mind, his fantasies. One moment he’s brash and confident, the next he’s vulnerable and lost.
Our first three episodes this season will serve as a preface to Tw

Aug 01 2017

35mins

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MS1E1 - Lauryn Hill: An Education

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Today we begin our 8 episode mini-series on of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. We start with Ms. Hill's upbringing in New Jersey, her rise with The Fugees, and the events leading up to the creation of Miseducation.

Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram. Subscribe to our newsletter at dissectpodcast.com.

Nov 06 2018

45mins

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S3E1 – Frank Ocean: A Man of Art and Mystery

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Season 3 of Dissect is dedicated entirely to the music of Frank Ocean. Today we begin with Ocean’s upbringing in New Orleans and his move to Los Angeles after Hurricane Katrina. We’ll then break down his landmark 2011 mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra.
Dissect is a Spotify Original Podcast.
Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram.

May 22 2018

40mins

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S1E1 – Compton, K Dot, and Kendrick Lamar

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Episode 1 of Dissect examines Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly with the history of Compton, California and Lamar’s transformation from K Dot, a young mixtape rapper, to Kendrick Lamar, a true artist.

Aug 23 2016

20mins

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S1E2 – good kid, m.A.A.d. city by Kendrick Lamar

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Dissect podcast continues its preface of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with an overview of Lamar’s major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d. city.
good kid, m.A.A.d. city spans one pivotal day in Lamar’s teenage upbringing in Compton, California. The album’s protagonist, Kendrick himself at age 16, is jumped by gangbangers in front of Sherene’s house, Kendrick’s girlfriend at the time. Kendrick and his friends retaliate, leaving one of Kendrick’s best friends dead in his arms.
While debating whether to retaliate once again, Kendrick and his friends are approached by an old woman, who leads the children in the Sinner’s Prayer. This sets Kendrick on a new path, dedicating his life towards family, God, and music.
Thematically, the album explores the idea of a good kid in a mad city and the ways in which one’s environment influences can taint the purity inherent in us all. He also battles  to reconcile his love and r

Aug 25 2016

34mins

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Dissecting IGOR with Anthony Fantano

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In this special BONUS episode, Cole talks to Anthony Fantano (The Needle Drop) about Tyler, The Creator's IGOR and where the album fits into Tyler's legacy. Then co-host of Watching The Throne Chris Lambert joins Cole for a song by song dissection of IGOR's narrative and the meaning behind the album's title.

Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram. New episodes release every Tuesday.

May 24 2019

2hr

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S2E2 – Through the Wire by Kanye West

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Our serialized analysis of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy continues with part two of our three part introductory preface.
On our last episode, we followed the artistically gifted and confident young Kanye West as he ascended up hip-hop’s totem pole through his uncanny work ethic, unmatched determination, and unique production style.
On October 23rd, 2002, just two weeks after his deal with Roc-A-Fella Records was announced, Kanye fell asleep at the wheel and collided headfirst with an oncoming car, breaking his jaw in three places.
Just two weeks after his accident, and with his mouth still wired shut, Kanye would record “Through the Wire,” the song that would ultimately launch his rap career.
On today’s episode, we dissect “Through the Wire” as an example of Kanye’s early pro

Aug 08 2017

30mins

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S5E6 - YAH. by Kendrick Lamar

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YAH. formally introduces DAMN’s protagonist: Kung Fu Kenny, a prophet who rejects God’s call. Kenny chooses instead to follow his intuition toward sex, money, and murder -- the very traits named on the album’s previous track DNA.

Say hi @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram. Purchase Dissect merch at https://shop.dissectpodcast.com/. Listen to original Dissect themes on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/2k8BsZM

Oct 29 2019

40mins

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S1E3 – Wesley’s Theory by Kendrick Lamar

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We begin our season-long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the album’s opening track, Wesley’s Theory.
To Pimp a Butterfly is a concept album that documents Lamar’s journey from caterpillar to butterfly (metaphorically, of course). Wesley’s Theory introduces the album’s protagonist, Kendrick himself, a young, naive rapper that has achieved stardom and escaped from the cocoon of Compton. We also meet the album’s antagonist, Uncle Sam, who looks to exploit young Kendrick for profit.
Through the lens of this song, we’ll cover topics like the American Dream in modern society, the origins of the phrase “40 Acres and a mule”, Dave Chapelle’s exit from his hit TV show, and Wesley Snipes’ tax evasion conviction.
We’ll also examine how Wesley’s Theory is written cinematically and sets the stage for the narrative that unfolds throughout To Pimp a Butterfly.
If you li

Aug 30 2016

28mins

Play

MS1E2 - "Lost Ones" and "Ex-Factor" by Lauryn Hill

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Ms. Lauryn Hill begins Miseducation with a dualistic examination of heartbreak. "Lost Ones" is a scathing, venomous assault while "Ex Factor" reveals the pain beneath Ms. Hill's harden exterior.

Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram. Join our newsletter at dissectpodcast.com.

Nov 13 2018

44mins

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S2E3 – The Old Kanye

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We continue our serialized examination of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy with third and final installment of our introductory episodes.
Our job today is frankly impossible. We’re going to cover the four masterful albums by Kanye West in just under forty minutes, a borderline audacious premise for a show about in-depth analysis. But we must remember the larger goal: to provide context, to get a basic understanding of the trajectory of Kanye’s musical output and success. We’ll cherry-pick a song or two from each album that’s representative of Kanye’s production and lyrical subject matter at that particular time, gaining a broad sense of the evolution of Kanye’s art leading up to our main course, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Listen to Kanye’s discography on Apple Music.
If you enjoy Dissect, consider dropping a review on

Aug 15 2017

42mins

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S2E4 – Dark Fantasy by Kanye West

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We begin our serialized examination of Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy with the album’s opening track “Dark Fantasy.”
From its opening moments, “Dark Fantasy” establishes the sound, themes, and narrative that will be explored throughout My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
Sonically, it consolidates Kanye’s entire musical palate and creative powers developed over his first four solo albums. It’s a beautiful amalgamation of soul, hip-hop, RnB, classical, and gospel, at once seamless and juxtaposed, and utterly grandiose.
Lyrically, we find Kanye at perhaps his most economical. Woven within just two compact verses and a brief bridge, Kanye establishes a complex character who appears confident and living a luxurious life of fame and fortune. But veiled beneath the surface is a strugg

Aug 22 2017

33mins

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S3E2 – Thinking About You by Frank Ocean

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Our serialized examination of the music of Frank Ocean continues with a look at the cultural impact of Frank’s open letter that revealed his sexuality days before the release of Channel Orange. Then we dissect Ocean’s biggest hit to date “Thinking About You.”
Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram.

May 29 2018

34mins

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S4E2 - Foreword by Tyler, The Creator

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We begin our season long analysis of Flower Boy by Tyler the Creator with the album’s opening track “Foreword.” We find Tyler laying out the themes that will be explored throughout Flower Boy as he questions his success, his chronic loneliness, and the nature of life itself.

New episodes of Dissect release every Tuesday. For 60 free days of Spotify Premium, visit spotify.com/promo/dissect.

Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram.

Apr 30 2019

33mins

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S3E13 - Nights by Frank Ocean

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We dissect "Nights" by Frank Ocean, a two-part odyssey whose iconic beat switch divides more than just the song's two halves.

Listen to Dissect for free on Spotify and get episodes a week early plus exclusive access to bonus episodes. Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram.

Aug 21 2018

38mins

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S2E5 – Gorgeous by Kanye West

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We continue our serialized examination of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West with the album’s second track “Gorgeous.
“Gorgeous” is undoubtedly one of Kanye’s strongest displays as lyricist and rapper. There’s nary a wasted word on “Gorgeous” as Kanye seamlessly weaves cheeky pop culture references with poignant racial anecdotes and self-empowering affirmations. It’s a blueprint to atonement, to overcoming uncontrollable forces with sheer grit, determination, and self-assurance. Kanye seems less concerned with how to end racism and more concerned with how to overcome it, how to do great things in spite of it.
Layers of emotional and psychological complexity are added when we consider the song’s hook, an observation on Kanye’s psyche after the VMA backlash. It subtly reveals that

Aug 29 2017

37mins

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S2E11 – Runaway by Kanye West (Part 1)

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Our serialized examination of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West continues with a Part 1 of our double episode on the album’s nine-minute emotional centerpiece “Runaway“.
According to Runaway’s co-producer Emile Haynie, Kanye conceptualized “Runaway” in just four minutes. We dissect the iconic opening piano line, examining its conscious use of overtones and rhythmic deception.
After deconstructing the song’s beat, we turn to its lyrics and Kanye’s

Oct 17 2017

35mins

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S2E6 – Power by Kanye West

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Our serialized examination of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kanye West continues with the album’s third song “Power.
From its meticulous, heterogeneous production to its tightly wound lyricism and complex, metaphoric thematic content, “Power” is a detailed, intricately chiseled marble statue approach to songwriting. Kanye simultaneously explores power both as a concept in and of itself, as well as its personal affects on his life and mind. It’s something Kanye clearly struggles with. He’s smart enough to recognize power’s ability to deteriorate his spirit, but also recognizes his own inability to let it go.
Listen to “Power” by Kanye West on Apple Music.
If you en

Sep 05 2017

42mins

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S3E3 – Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean

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Our serialized examination of Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE continues with “Super Rich Kids”, a tragic rumination on the effects of wealth disguised as a party anthem.
Follow @dissectpodcast on Twitter and Instagram.

Jun 05 2018

34mins

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Introducing Dissect: A Serialized Music Podcast

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We live in a world creating and consuming more content than ever before. Every minute of every day, the world generates nearly three million Facebook posts, tweets and Instagram photos, and over two hundred million e-mails. There’s a 24-hour news cycle, infinite blog posts, and an entire history of music that you can now stream instantly from your phone.
We’ve quickly become a scrolling culture, hurriedly swiping through an infinite swath of content that seems to replenish without end.
Dissect was created to counter this cultural shift.
After too often feeling exhausted and unfulfilled from binging  my daily digital diet, I wanted to create a platform that forced me to think critically, not passively. I wanted to spend hours with one thing, not a few minutes with a zillion things. And I wanted to reward artists who, in the face of our new consumption habits, continue to craft their work with care, complexity and depth.
And so, Dissect was born: a serialized musi

Aug 13 2016

1min

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S1E1 – Compton, K Dot, and Kendrick Lamar

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Episode 1 of Dissect examines Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly with the history of Compton, California and Lamar’s transformation from K Dot, a young mixtape rapper, to Kendrick Lamar, a true artist.

Aug 23 2016

20mins

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S1E2 – good kid, m.A.A.d. city by Kendrick Lamar

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Dissect podcast continues its preface of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with an overview of Lamar’s major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d. city.
good kid, m.A.A.d. city spans one pivotal day in Lamar’s teenage upbringing in Compton, California. The album’s protagonist, Kendrick himself at age 16, is jumped by gangbangers in front of Sherene’s house, Kendrick’s girlfriend at the time. Kendrick and his friends retaliate, leaving one of Kendrick’s best friends dead in his arms.
While debating whether to retaliate once again, Kendrick and his friends are approached by an old woman, who leads the children in the Sinner’s Prayer. This sets Kendrick on a new path, dedicating his life towards family, God, and music.
Thematically, the album explores the idea of a good kid in a mad city and the ways in which one’s environment influences can taint the purity inherent in us all. He also battles  to reconcile his love and r

Aug 25 2016

34mins

Play

S1E3 – Wesley’s Theory by Kendrick Lamar

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We begin our season-long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the album’s opening track, Wesley’s Theory.
To Pimp a Butterfly is a concept album that documents Lamar’s journey from caterpillar to butterfly (metaphorically, of course). Wesley’s Theory introduces the album’s protagonist, Kendrick himself, a young, naive rapper that has achieved stardom and escaped from the cocoon of Compton. We also meet the album’s antagonist, Uncle Sam, who looks to exploit young Kendrick for profit.
Through the lens of this song, we’ll cover topics like the American Dream in modern society, the origins of the phrase “40 Acres and a mule”, Dave Chapelle’s exit from his hit TV show, and Wesley Snipes’ tax evasion conviction.
We’ll also examine how Wesley’s Theory is written cinematically and sets the stage for the narrative that unfolds throughout To Pimp a Butterfly.
If you li

Aug 30 2016

28mins

Play

S1E4 – For Free? by Kendrick Lamar

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Dissect – A Serialized Music Podcast continues its season-long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the album’s second track “For Free? (Interlude).”
“For Free?” is a personal favorite of mine. It’s songs like this that separate Lamar from his contemporary hip-hop peers. He’s assembled some of the greatest living jazz musicians to back him a raucous, unapologetic critique of the American Dream expressed in a rapid-fire stream of consciousness.
It takes extreme versatility in craft to execute a piece of music of this caliber while still operating within the sphere of popular culture. When I saw Kendrick perform an intimate show at the Fox Theatre in Oakland, he opened with this piece. And the crowd went nuts.
Can we think about this for second? A theatre full of rowdy twenty-somethings went wild about a spoken word piece recited ove

Sep 06 2016

20mins

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S1E5 – King Kunta by Kendrick Lamar

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Dissect – A Serialized Music Podcast continues its season-long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the album’s third track “King Kunta.”
“King Kunta” is perhaps the album’s most unabashed tribute to the pervading funk influences throughout To Pimp A Butterfly. On its surface, King Kunta is boastful, heroic, prideful, and at times, vain. Upon further examination, however, we’ll realize there’s a deeper, contrasting message to the song’s calculated, overtly valiant air. We’ll also discover that “King Kunta” is the pinnacle of the album’s first act, which we’ve named Pimped by Consumption.
If you’ve enjoyed Dissect so far, consider rating us on iTunes. It really helps.

Sep 13 2016

25mins

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S1E6 – Institutionalized by Kendrick Lamar

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Our season-long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly continues with the album’s fourth track Institutionalized.
After the introduction to the album’s ever-important narrative poem, Kendrick begins to unpack the complexities of his new life of stardom. It begins with Institutionalized, a bouncing, head-nodding track that details Kendrick’s frustrations with his Compton friends’ behavior at the BET awards.
By naming the song Institutionalized, Kendrick alludes to broader issues that plague our country and manifest in the behavior of the impoverished and repressed population. Before dissecting this song, I believed minorities faced residual discrimination still resonating from our nation’s dark history. But until I researched institutional racism for this episode, I didn’t understand its complexities and

Sep 20 2016

29mins

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S1E7 – These Walls by Kendrick Lamar

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Dissect’s season-long analysis of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly continues with the album’s fifth track “These Walls.”
On “These Walls,” Kendrick speaks of various metaphoric walls to express the confinements of vice. It interweaves a complex threesome between Kendrick, an unnamed woman, and an imprisoned man serving a life sentence. Each deals with their own personal set of constricting walls that work to prohibit personal progress.
Upon first listen, “These Walls” is a similar experience to “King Kunta.” It’s so infectiously danceable and enjoyable that the intricacies of the story it tells is easily lost. But this only works to exemplify Kendrick’s extraordinary talent to craft radio-ready singles without sacrificing the album’s narrative or its ability to stand on its own under scrutiny. It’s only after thorough examination that one realizes its intricacies.
“Thes

Sep 27 2016

22mins

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S1E8 – u by Kendrick Lamar

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We continue our serialized examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the album’s next track “u.”
“u” is the album’s emotional rock bottom. It’s one of the most gripping, emotionally vulnerable records in hip-hop. It’s a confrontation of inner demons and insecurities told with an honesty rarely found in the genre.
If forced, I’d have to say “u” is my favorite song on To Pimp a Butterfly. From the unique production and musicianship, the metaphoric division of the song’s structure, the foley sounds of clinking bottles, and the moving execution of its heart-wrenching lyrics, “u” is a crowning achievement on one of the best album’s of all time.
Being a native of Sacramento, California, it’s an added bonus that the second half of “u” was produced by relatively unknown Sacramento musician Whoarei, who was found through his

Oct 04 2016

27mins

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S1E9 – Alright by Kendrick Lamar

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We continue our serialized examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly with the album’s next track “Alright.”
In the context of the album’s narrative, “Alright” takes place the morning after the drunken confession heard on the previous song “u.” After a therapeutic confrontation of his demons, it seems Kendrick has awoken with a more optimistic outlook and seems determined to overcome his anxieties.
Outside of the album, “Alright” has been adopted as an unofficial anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement. The song’s simple message of hope through solidarity and resilience has struck a chord with supporters of the movement, and the refrain “we gon be alright” has been heard chanted at protests and rallies across the country.
While Black Lives Matter is an ongoing movement, let’s think back to the time of To Pimp a Butterfly’s release in March 2015. Just three months prior, the decision not to indict the officer who kil

Oct 11 2016

34mins

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S1E10 – For Sale? by Kendrick Lamar

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Our season long examination of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s eighth song “For Sale? (Interlude).”
Whereas the album’s second track “For Free?” was an external reaction to the seductive lures of Uncle Sam, the American Dream incarnate, “For Sale?” is the internal reaction to seductive lures of Lucy, the Devil incarnate.
The contrast of “For Free?” and “For Sale?” starts to reveal the intricacies of the album’s overall narrative structure. While we’ve seen examples of the contrasting duality theme on a small scale in individual songs, we’ll now begin to see it appear in large scale between entire songs.
“For Sale?” takes place in Kendrick’s subconscious while he dreams. The majority of the song is told from the perspective of Lucy as she recounts the first time her and Kendrick met. It turns out, Lucy and Uncle Sam have a lot in

Nov 01 2016

25mins

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S1E11 – Momma by Kendrick Lamar

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Our season long examination of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s ninth track “Momma.”
On “Momma,” Kendrick returns home to Compton for the second time on the album. On his first return, he gloated about his success and status on the song “King Kunta.” This time around Kendrick shows signs of maturation. He’s reflective, nostalgic. Having been through the trauma of “u” and the hypnotic seduction of “For Sale?,” home is now a place of grounding comfort that helps Kendrick in his search for clarity and contentment.
On verse three, Kendrick returns to another, more metaphoric home: Africa. He recounts an experience in South Africa in which he feels an inert kinship with a boy there. It forces Kendrick to reconsider his entire identity and sends him spinning into an existential crisis that’s reflected in the song’s abstract outro.
By its conclusion, “Mom

Nov 08 2016

29mins

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S1E12 – Hood Politics by Kendrick Lamar

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Our season long examination of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s tenth track “Hood Politics.”
“Hood Politics” begins with a voicemail Kendrick receives from an old Compton friend. He calls out Kendrick for never answering his phone, dressing differently, and forgetting about his friends.
The voicemail triggers Kendrick’s survival’s guilt for escaping Compton. Earlier on the album, Kendrick was sent into a fit of manic depression by his survival’s guilt on the song “u.” On “Hood Politics,” Kendrick attempts to convince himself of the street credibility he’s earned as a youth in Compton, and how he’s remained true to his roots despite his success.
The song is divided into three verses that speak on varying politics: Verse one centers around hood politics, verse two talks of governmental politics, and verse three speaks on hip-hop politics. Kendrick chooses a high-pitched voc

Nov 15 2016

30mins

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S1E13 – How Much a Dollar Cost? by Kendrick Lamar

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Our season long examination of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly continues with the album’s eleventh track, “How Much a Dollar Cost?”
Plagued by Uncle Sam (the American Dream) and Lucy (temptation), Kendrick has stood at a metaphoric crossroads for most of the album, deciding whether to use or pimp his talent for good or evil. “How Much a Dollar Cost?” will force Kendrick’s hand.
The song tells a story of Kendrick’s encounter with a homeless man in a gas station in South Africa. The man asks Kendrick for a dollar, which he refuses due to his selfishness. The homeless man reveals himself as god in the final line of the song, and as it turns out, the cost of a dollar was Kendrick’s spot in heaven. Upon this discovery, Kendrick is humbled, asks for forgiveness, and it set on a path of righteousness.
And while Kendrick’s spot in heaven was the answer to the question of “How Much a Dollar Cost?”, we can a

Nov 22 2016

32mins

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S1E14 – Complexion (A Zulu Love) by Kendrick Lamar

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We continue our season long analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar with the album’s twelfth track “Complexion (A Zulu Love).”
After battling depression, survival’s guilt, temptation, selfishness, and suicidal thoughts, Kendrick was humbled by an encounter with god on the album’s previous track “How Much a Dollar Cost?”
Kendrick’s repentance represents the album’s axis point and signals the beginning of Act 4, which I’ve titled “The Butterfly Sheds Light.” Having been humbled by god, Kendrick will embrace his leadership role, and become an advocate for the Compton’s of the world. Over the next four tracks, Kendrick will speak directly to the black community and preach a message of unity, love of self, and independence.
Kendrick’s first order of business will be to address colorism and black beauty on “Complexion (A Zulu Love).” Inspired by his pivotal trip to South Africa in 2013, “Complexion” attempts to negat

Dec 06 2016

31mins

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S1E15 – The Blacker the Berry (Part 1) by Kendrick Lamar

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Our season long analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with the album’s thirteenth track “The Blacker the Berry.”
The song was the album’s second single and released amidst the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s incredibly potent, packed with references to the historic oppression of the black community, race relations in contemporary American society, police brutality, the US penitentiary system, and the complexities of black identity, among many others.
Central to “The Blacker the Berry” is an idea known as “double-consciousness.” Coined by writer W.E.B. Du Bois, double-consciousness describes the internal conflict experienced by the oppressed groups living in an oppressive society (see: black people in white America). Du Bois argued that attempting to reconcile your African heritage while being raised in a white European-dominated society posed psychological challenges. In his book The

Dec 13 2016

31mins

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S1E16 – The Blacker the Berry (Part 2) by Kendrick Lamar

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Our season long analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar continues with part two of the album’s thirteenth track “The Blacker the Berry.”
The song was the album’s second single and released amidst the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. It’s incredibly potent, packed with references to the historic oppression of the black community, race relations in contemporary American society, police brutality, the US penitentiary system, and the complexities of black identity, among many others.
Central to “The Blacker the Berry” is an idea known as “double-consciousness.” Coined by writer W.E.B. Du Bois, double-consciousness describes the internal conflict experienced by the oppressed groups living in an oppressive society (see: black people in white America). Du Bois argued that attempting to reconcile your African heritage while being raised in a white European-dominated society posed psychological challenges. In

Dec 20 2016

28mins

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S1E17 – You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said) by Kendrick Lamar

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We continue our serialized examination of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar with the album’s fourteenth track “You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said).”
We’re currently in the midst of the album’s fourth act, which we’ve titled “The Butterfly Sheds Light.”  Having embraced his leadership role after his experience in South Africa, Kendrick is providing his community with a series of easily understandable and relatable songs focused on self-acceptance.
On “You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said),” Kendrick exposes the fabricated behavior of the members of his community who attempt to act in accordance to some ill-conceived notion of “cool” to fit in. His message for them is simple: be yourself, love yourself, and love those around you.
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Jan 03 2017

23mins

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S1E18 – i (Part 1) by Kendrick Lamar

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We continue our serialized examination of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar with the album’s fifteenth track, “i.”
“i” is the narrative conclusion of To Pimp a Butterfly, the apex of Kendrick’s teachings on self-love and self-acceptance.
Written for his incarcerated friends and suicidal kids he meets on tour, “i” was released as the album’s first single six months prior to the full release of To Pimp a Butterfly. This early version, which we’ll refer to as the “studio version,” does not appear on the album. Instead, a live performance of “i” is used. Because Kendrick uses “i” self-referentially as a climactic narrative tool, we’re going to first use the studio version to examine the song’s thematic content. In Part 2, we’ll cross-examine the live version as it appears on the album.
Kendrick’s vocal inflection throughout “i” is soft, child-like, and unassuming. Like the song’s “Complexion (A Zulu Love)” and “You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said),” there’s a calculated s

Jan 13 2017

28mins

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S1E19 – i (Part 2) by Kendrick Lamar

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We continue our serialized analysis of To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar with Part 2 of the album’s fifteenth track, “i.”
“i” is the narrative conclusion of To Pimp a Butterfly, the apex of Kendrick’s teachings on self-love and self-acceptance.
While the studio single version of “I” we examined in our last episode could’ve easily acted as the album’s narrative climax, Kendrick chose instead to use a staged “live performance” on the album. For those of us that were familiar with the studio single, hearing of the live version was at first a somewhat jarring experience. Of course, Kendrick knew this would happen. His using a live version is a strategic, self-referential appropriation, the reasons for which become clear when the performance comes to a halt after a fight breaks out in the crowd, and Kendrick recites a spoken word piece that puts an end to the scuffle.
The statement “Kendrick Lamar, by far, the realest negus alive” at the end of the spoken word piece is

Jan 17 2017

38mins

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