The first rapper to win the Pulitzer Prize has something important to say.
If you want to know who Kendrick Lamar is, there are a few questions that you need to ask first. Who is the king of rap right now? Who has never had a bad album? Whose influence rivals that of Beyonce?
Many people can dispute the real answer but in my opinion, facts only point to the award-winning rap artist, Kendrick Lamar.
Kendrick Lamar was called upon to direct and orchestrate the entire soundtrack for the record-breaking box office smash of a movie, Black Panther. He was passed the mantle as the King of The West Coast by Snoop Dogg, The Game and Dr. Dre during a concert. He definitely has not had an album flop since his debut in 2012.
Oh, and did I mention that he’s the first rapper in history to win the Pulitzer Prize? You know, to go along with his 86 awards, including 12 Grammy awards. To say the Compton, California-raised songwriter, rapper, and influential lyricist is accomplished would be an understatement.
Kendrick Lamar’s journey to stardom and becoming a household name in rap began in 2011. His hard work paid off by being named one of the top 10 freshmen on the XXL list. Then, shortly after being dubbed a top 10 freshman he released his mixtape, Section.80 to critical acclaim.
Kendrick Lamar’s release of the philosophical Section.80 led to his autobiographical album Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City (which brought about the unapologetic To Pimp a Butterfly). That album was supposed to be a thrown away except it turned into our treasure, Untitled Unmastered.
Lastly, his most recent album, DAMN. was so well-written we couldn’t even tell the underlying messages he dropped along his verses were about God and trying to break the curse of damnation.
Kendrick Lamar is not only one of the greatest artists of all time, but he is philosophical, evangelical and a staunch activist, expressing his viewpoints on life through his songs and interviews. According to the Pulitzer board, his work DAMN consists of a “virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”
So in recognition of his influential music and his impressive accomplishments as an artist and performer, we’ve gathered some of Kendrick Lamar’s best quotes and most powerful song lyrics for you to share.
1. Kendrick Lamar is a God-fearing man.
“My rights, my wrongs, I write ’til I’m right with God.” — Kendrick Lamar
2. Philosophy is one of Kendrick Lamar’s strong suits.
“Although the butterfly and the caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.” — Kendrick Lamar
3. He believes in loving yourself.
“Don’t you know your imperfections is a wonderful blessing?” — Kendrick Lamar
4. He encourages us to think about the consequences.
“I’d rather not live like there isn’t a God, then die and find out there really is. Think about it.” — Kendrick Lamar
5. Wise words from the King of West Coast Rap.
“You don’t need dollars to make you feel like you have a place in this world.” — Kendrick Lamar
6. Kendrick Lamar believes we can get through anything with a little faith.
“So the next time you feel like your world is about to end, I hope you studied because he’s testing your faith.” — Kendrick Lamar
7. He teaches us to stay true to ourselves.
“You know, the hardest thing for not only any artist but for anybody to do is look themselves in the mirror and acknowledge their own flaws and fears and imperfections.” — Kendrick Lamar
8. He believes in taking your future into your own hands.
“Build your own pyramids, write your own hieroglyphs.” — Kendrick Lamar
9. Kendrick Lamar talks on dealing with the real issues.
“Hip-hop is not the problem. Our reality is the problem of the situation. This is our music. This is us expressing ourselves.” — Kendrick Lamar
10. He reminds us that everyone has their flaws.
“My lyrics say I have morals, I have confidence, I have weaknesses, I have strong points, that I am a human being.” — Kendrick Lamar
11. He believes in stepping outside of your comfort zone.
“All I have in life is my new appetite for failure and I got hunger pain that grow insane.” — Kendrick Lamar
12. Being tough has different definitions.
“My new meaning for ‘keeping it gangsta’ is totally different from the usual. It’s really about takin’ care of your family, handlin’ your business, and puttin’ positive energy out there where everybody can benefit from it, not just yourself.” — Kendrick Lamar
13. He encourages you to keep doing what you love until you’re acknowledged for it.
“I’m standing on a field full of land mines doing the moon walk hoping I blow up in time.” — Kendrick Lamar
14. Everyone has ups and downs.
“Look at me, I’m a loser, I’m a winner, I’m good, I’m bad, I’m a sinner, I’m a killer, what I’m doing, I’m saying that I’m human.” — Kendrick Lamar
15. Kendrick Lamar believes in looking at yourself first.
“I don’t talk about these things if I haven’t lived them, and I’ve hurt people in my life. It’s something I still have to think about when I sleep at night. The message I’m sending to myself – I can’t change the world until I change myself first.” — Kendrick Lamar
16. He encourages us to be real with ourselves.
“This is reality. This is my world. This is what I talk about in my music. You can’t dilute that.” — Kendrick Lamar
17. He reminds us to put in 100% of effort into our dreams.
“Maybe because I’m a dreamer and sleep is the cousin of death.” — Kendrick Lamar
18. Sometimes it feels like you’re on your own.
“Ain’t nobody prayin’ for me, ain’t nobody prayin’ for me, ain’t nobody prayin’ for me, ain’t nobody prayin’“ — Kendrick Lamar
19. Kendrick has been through some toxic relationships too.
“A fatal attraction is common, and what we have in common is pain.” — Kendrick Lamar
20. He believes we all have different sides to us.
“I got power, poison, pain, and joy inside my DNA.” — Kendrick Lamar
21. Faith is important to Kendrick Lamar.
“If God got us, then we gon’ be alright” — Kendrick Lamar
22. He believes you have to face your fears with faith.
“Life will put many red lights in front of you, but sometimes we must push on the gas and trust God.”
23. Your self-worth is important.
“Look inside your soul and you can find gold and maybe get rich” — Kendrick Lamar
24. He sings about accept our own mistakes.
“Fell on my face and awoke with a scar, another mistake living deep in my heart.” — Kendrick Lamar
25. He reminds us that it’s good to be different.
“Live your life, live it right, be different, do different things.” — Kendrick Lamar
You can catch Eugene Aldridge furiously writing about something at 3 am. For whatever reason, palm trees make him smile. Check out more of his articles on YourTango.
If you’re searching for the best quotes, song lyrics and memes to share with the people you love (or just want to feel inspired yourself) … look no further! From the sweetest love quotes, inspirational sayings, and hilarious friendship truths, we’ve got you covered.