Admittedly I haven’t listened to all of Kendrick Lamar’s latest album DAMN. Easily he’s the best rapper / lyricist creating and releasing music on a mainstream level right now. His latest album is heavy in religious undertones and has dimmer notes. From what I’ve listened to so far, this album should make him top 5 material on any serious list for decades to come.
On his second released track DNA, produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, the video is just as captivating if not more so than the previous HUMBLE; which began with Lamar dressed as a priest or bishop at its beginning. Because of Lamar’s rapid flow on DNA while appreciating the aggression, I was not in a place to fully analyze and listen to the details in the lyrics on my first listen. After seeing the video (which features a good performance from Don Cheadle), the visualization and imagery of it forced me to look up and follow along with the lyrics.
In the mist of the insane word play and creativity, Lamar spits…
Bitch, your hormones prolly switch inside your DNA
Problem is, all that sucker shit inside your DNA
Daddy prolly snitched, heritage inside your DNA
Backbone don’t exist, born outside a jellyfish, I gauge
See, my pedigree most definitely don’t tolerate the front
In context, he’s talking to or about another man who is weaker or lesser than. Apart of Lamar’s critique or dissection of his male advisory is that he is genetically / biologically non-heterosexual. We know “switch” (a man who walks feminine or like a woman; gay) is not a good thing because is grouped together in the track with, “sucker shit”, “snitch’n”, and not having a backbone as a man.
Later after the song restructures itself, the second half feels like another dope, amazing separate track that could stand on its own. Lamar then raps…
Tell me somethin’
You mothafuckas can’t tell me nothin’
I’d rather die than to listen to you
My DNA not for imitation
Your DNA an abomination
This alone to me would not send up any side eyes but coupled with the previous lyric and the religious notes throughout the album…side eyes commenced.
Elements in rap music and culture have had and will have anti-male-homosexual sentiments. I know it may not seem like it but this really isn’t a major concern for me, just me putting out an observation of what I read in that specific moment of watching when reading the lyrics.
I don’t view nor think Kendrick Lamar is a hyper-masculine aggressive homophobe. I mean he’s not advocated for or spoken in favor of discrimination and violence towards non-heterosexuals in public statements or interviews I’ve come across. However I do acknowledge that to me this still falls in the well of hetero supremacists micro aggressions. I also again acknowledge that this song and video are muthafuckin FIRE!