The County Building, Vantiy Slaves, and Self-Love: In Defense of Kendrick Lamar

YBA (Young Blackademic)

When I heard my first Kendrick Lamar song, my wife shared some of his music on my Facebook page. It was Vanity Slaves, a song from Kendrick’s mixtape titled, “Kendrick Lamar EP.” I heard it, and then I listened to it again, and again, and again.

I was hooked.

My friends from high school put me on conscious hip-hop (shout out to the Poetic Minds crew) but I just wasn’t diligent enough to find some artists on my own. But once I heard Vanity Slaves, I was never the same. Few artists have the capability of being entertaining, educational, and hood at the same time. This gift is what makes Kendrick so appealing to a budding academic like myself from Inglewood California.

Growing up as an economically vulnerable dark skinned Black male in any urban environment, you are subjected to a lot of ridicule. You get made fun of, talked…

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