Kendrick Lamar’s got a lot to say on his new record. But what really stopped me on my first listen was asking, “Is that Eckhart Tolle talking too?!” Spoiler: it is. On my first few passes, I think Kendrick has done it, yet again. If you need a quick intro to Tolle, read this (“Feel Then Choose”). Suffice it to say, the spiritual bend underlining the all-too-human realities of his work continues to evolve. Stunningly. And, in vivid detail.
Maybe since I just watched the Nina Simone documentary too, save for the mental health stuff, I am feeling like Lamar’s as close to a modern Simone as we’ve got. His musical curiosity and subject matter choices seem to know no boundaries. He’s willing to say, show, and emote things in a way only he is capable of doing. City of Compton, goddamn.
If you haven’t seen it yet, start here with the first video/single, and then give the whole album a play. I’m sure I’ll have even more to say on this as I digest it all.