Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more, Kendrick Lamar once again stands alone as the leader of the New School. The gifted rapper reportedly brought an modest 4-bedroom house in Eastville, Calif., paying only $524,000 for it. Of course, a cool half million is nothing to scoff at, but considering his lucrative rap career and business ventures, K. Dot’s purchase speaks volumes for hip hop.
Hip hop is no longer the movement that it once was; more and more rappers are rejecting the humble beginnings the art form was born from, and instead, are embracing materialism as means of shallow self-expression. How often do we hear “artists” rapping about cars, clothes, and women with no lyrical ability? How frustrating is it when “artists” are given accolades and blessings when they don’t deserve it?
I’ve spoken at length about how annoyed I am with hip hop as a whole; how we’ve allowed the racist-capitalist-complex to rip apart the discomforting beauty that defined hip hop, and transformed it to an amorphous stain upon the culture.
But then came Kendrick Lamar …
K. Dot is similarly frustrated by the lack of lyricism and quality content within hip hop music. He let us know in that revolutionary “Control” verse.
But he took it a step further with this recent purchase; sending a message the culture that hip hop is not about physical possession; it’s about spiritual awakening, poetry, and enlightened realization. Of course, hard work should be rewarded with creature comforts; but the excessive ostentation is far from necessary.
Kendrick’s repudiation is noble. With every game-changing action, Kendrick serves as an example and inspiration for the power and potential inherent in every Black boy.