Kendrick Lamar

The Fall: On Greatness, Society and being a Sociopath

Last night I wondered, how much work do you have to put in til they [the public] consider you one of the Greats? This was prompted by seeing someone’s list of the current greatest rappers alive, with Kendrick Lamar on it.  Kendrick is fairly new to the scene as compared to the others on it, those considered veterans such as Nas, Eminem and Jay Z, but for someone, actually, a lot of people, he’s already there.

 

It got me thinking about his work.  He’s a decent rapper. He has the ability to be both ignorant and insightful, something many find difficult lately, or are simply too lazy to do.  But then, how can we consider him a Great?  I think it all boils down to the fact that we’ve grown accustomed to accepting what’s Less Than so when something’s mediocre, average and should be the bare necessity for any artist, to simple NOT be one-sided, we celebrate it like it’s the best thing ever. 

But that’s not the issue here.

One of the answers that I got to that question [I tweeted it] was “You have to die.”

 

You have to die for people to appreciate the true extent of your brilliance.

You have to no longer be able to create, for them to look back on your past work and see how amazing it is.

Isn’t that some shit?

People only see your excellence when they have to catch up and take all the time in the world analyzing it.

So, what I gathered from this is:

  • Most times, if you’re truly great, chances are, the majority won’t appreciate you, and if they do, it’s not immediate.
  • If you’re Great, you don’t create for the public. 
  • When you begin to create for the public, you have to sell out. Water it down. Come down to their level.

On death.

 

I understood the surface meaning, but then I thought of one of my favorite artists, The Weeknd.  He’s very much alive, well, in the physical sense, but what any fan can tell you is, Abel Tesfaye [The Weeknd] is far from alive internally.  

 

He is a man incapable of love, yet somewhat envious of those who can feel it.  We aren’t sure why he is as he is, we don’t know what happened to make the man switch off internally, but what we do know is, whereas he shuns the women who seek to love him romantically, he appreciates his fans, though he remains fully aware of the fact that they could leave at any moment.  It sounds like a sad existence doesn’t it? To most people it would. It’s easy to pity him because many of us feel our lives are only worth the love we receive.

I used to think so too. I understand why you may be shaking your hand as you “tsk tsk”, but let me tell you a little something about being an emotional person, and an artist..

Things hurt you in a deeper way than they would the average person.  Heartbreak stays with you, you force yourself to keep it on the surface, sometimes for inspiration, sometimes to feel like you have a colorful story, sometimes because you simply don’t know what to do with it.

I think to such people, every relationship, every interaction with a person, is a story in itself, and when it doesn’t end well, it’s a tragedy, not a simple end to a relationship.  

Everything is greater than it is. Nothing is ever what it is and to be honest, we don’t get over things.

You reach a point where you tire of constantly having to fix yourself and tell yourself this is simply Life. When you get tired of feeling like a mess who overreacts to everything. Of doubting your sanity, of wondering if there’s anything wrong with you because you can’t ever seem to find Peace.

And maybe, you decide to switch off. 

You decide your body can’t take the sleepless nights anymore.  Your heart can’t take the pressure and you can’t keep up with all this mess. You can’t constantly feel like you aren’t coping, and so you stop it.

Now, it’s not immediate.  It’s a gradual process. It’s constantly detaching yourself from anything that might take too much from you, anything you might feel the need to give yourself to.  It’s constantly saying “it doesn’t matter to me” until eventually, it doesn’t.  Until romance is just something to write about, but not feel.  Until intimacy is only for inspiration, not bonds.  Until you feel nothing more than what’s already within.  When things that used to make you want to help, or care, or intervene, are too far away for you to bother with.

 

I can’t tell you then you’ll feel “happy” or “fine”, but you’ll be within yourself and hopefully that’s a safer place than out here, for you. 

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Love For Sale

“You overlooking every nigga that ain’t quite ready,
To make it rain on you like about to break a levee,
Hold up, that pussy petty.
Yeah, your nails did, your hair did,
Your cell phone is selfish,It only got numbers that come with a Hummer..” – Kendrick Lamar, Memories Back Then

 

Is it really though?  And if so, what’s wrong with that?

See, you can use your mind to get ahead in Life, that’s expected.  You can use your name, it’s sometimes frowned upon but really, go ahead.  You can use who you know, what you’ve seen or what you can do. But using your body, that’s downright sleazy.  

A woman who only associates with wealthy men is considered a gold digger. Called a Ho, shallow, considered unintelligent, she disgusts many, is looked down upon and might as well be a prostitute according to them, she IS in their eyes, save for the street walking. 

And I think that has got to be the silliest way of looking at it. The worst. 

 

Why do people think these women are unintelligent/uneducated?

Possibly because back in the days when women were thought to not need an education,  she “needed” a wealthy man  for support.  Maybe, to shame them for their choice, to make them appear as nothing but bodies, mindless, starving vixens. Obviously to make them appear as ones not deserving of respect because people would think they have nothing to offer.  

 

These women are some of the strongest, smartest women in our society today.  Who else can realize that they can use what they have to get what they want and actually follow through to live as they want despite the judgement and backlash? 

 

Why should I be ashamed to use my body but proud to use my mind?  I mean, other people can know what I know, but if I have the kind of body that draws attention and admirers, are you telling me that I should ignore that, and not couple it with my intellect, because you’ll judge me? It’s not happening. 

 

“Say No to Struggle” A friend reminds me every time we’re together.  Honey, does it make sense to capitalize on everything that you have except the one thing you always possess, that comes naturally?

No,  this is not me telling women to actively seek out wealthy men, or to be escorts or sex workers, this is me telling them they have the right to, if they want to. 

Asa Akira’s a porn star who absolutely adores her job.  She gets paid to fuck and can take on as many men as she wants.  You can tell she happily comes to work. Pun intended. I’ve never seen her even the least bit uncomfortable in her scenes.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been called a slut, a whore..All I know is, I’m insatiable.” -Asa

Skin Diamond too. Everyone she works with from actors and actresses to photographers say she’s a breeze to work with because she’s passionate about it. Isn’t that lovely?

Would you do it? I mean, we all love sex. Okay, most of us do. But if you have a passion for it, as a woman, would you? Other than the obvious, explaining to parents…blah blah blah..what else would hold you back? I know “What would people think?” is on that mental list. How does that make you feel? That you’d let something as trivial as opinions that would have nothing to do with your actual job keep you from pursuing it? Logic says that fear makes sense. What does Love say?

It’s your body.

Your image.

Your Life.

Your conscience.

You are your responsibility.

I tend to tell people that Shame is an inherited emotion. We feel ashamed because people tell us we should be and that’s not fair.  If you insist, you have the right to tell me what’s appropriate in society, but you can’t tell me what’s appropriate for Me. 

People still do though. Often. Passionately. I’ve found their voices aren’t as loud as my feelings and my conscience. I wish it was the same for others.  

There’s no shame in doing what you want with what’s yours. It’s yours. Other people’s opinions are theirs. Don’t let them dictate what you do, they don’t know what you want nor need. 

Live. 

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