CAN KENDRICK LAMAR’S “ALRIGHT” BE THE NEW NEGRO SPIRITUAL?

After going through a bit of a rough patch this past weekend, someone reminded me that everything was going to be Alright. As a matter of fact the exact words used were “don’t worry, just like Kendrick Lamar we’re going to be Alright“. And while I am a smile through the hard times and a positive minded person, this occurrence was something that happened that had me feeling some kind of way.

The 2015 Negro Spiritual?
The 2015 Negro Spiritual?

Being the type of friend that my friend is to me and they knew what to say at the time that was needed — I mean I couldn’t have asked for a better person to lean on at my time of need. While the words of comfort were needed, this friend also knows that I am a huge Kendrick Lamar fan and gave me the verbal ear to bend and at the same time using a reference that resonates with me.

If you aren’t aware of the song or the attention the song has garnered since being released as a single, you must me be living under a rock. Kendrick performed Alright at this year’s BET Awards last month with a politically charged performance, subtlety decrying police brutality while using a police cruiser as a prop. Of course this did not sit well with FOX (FAUX) News and their talking puppets, claiming that both the performance and song incited violence.“Incite Violence” However, it seems to me, that that news reports was just code for them not liking anything that brings African Americans together; and completely “forgot” to mention that the fact that Alright reminds us that no matter how bad things are as long as we stick together we can and will rise.

The genius of the song besides its message is that it has the rare power to reach the youth and the older generation at the same time. With its empowering lyrics along with a beat that the youth can turn up, it bridges the generational gap by shedding a light on the problems of today while giving the older folks something to relate to with the youth.

Being the kind of introspective person that Kendrick is, I think he perfectly responded to FOX’s criticism of his performance, stating “This is our music. This is us expressing ourselves. Rather [than] going out here and doing the murders myself, I want to express myself in a positive light the same way other artists are doing. Not going out in the streets, go in the booth and talking about the situation and hoping these kids can find some type of influence on it in a positive manner. Coming from these streets and coming from these neighborhoods, we’re taking our talents and putting ’em inside the studio.” After Kendrick’s response FOX (FAUX) News had nothing else to say, I guess they decided to look for another form of Black expression to pick on.

To say that Alright is one of my favorite songs off of Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly album is an understatement, not only is it one of my favorite songs this year, it is also my go to song for inspiration. I foolishly thought that I was alone in thinking that Alright could be used as a source of motivation while giving you the needed incentive to keep pushing on and that others hear its power and used it for empowerment during rallies to highlight the legalized hunting of black people by law enforcement.

As it turns out I was wrong as Alright was used as a de facto rallying cry at this years “The Movement For Black Lives convention” that was held in Cleveland OH July 24-26. Alright was also chanted by protesters during an altercation with Cleveland police on July 26th.

Both incidents proved that Alright has the power to charge the batteries in our back and give us the motivation to march on, even in the face of adversary. Because of this and the effect it has on those that are feeling down, I vote add Alright to the list of the Negro spirituals of old.

And why not? Times have changed even though the same problems haven’t, so why not attack these problems with an updated soundtrack? After all every superhero needs a theme song right? Why can’t Alright be our new theme song?

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