I chose this project because, as an artist, I know the difficult process behind writing lyrics. I believe that every word is pregnant with meaning and this project operates under that. I specifically chose the To Pimp A Butterfly album because this was the first conscious rap album I have seen garner public attention, and awards. Usually, radios and mainstream outlets prefer to play music that revolves around partying, but TPAB songs managed to top charts while critiquing the very community we are apart of; the true aim of rap/hip-hop.
Discussing pro-black messages from the album is a mandatory element that cannot be changed. My time briefing with Adam opened my eyes to the fact that the album may provide a plethora of topics or evidence for my project. Given this realization, I want to extract songs that pertain to the black experience and see if research supports the message. Thus, I aim to unpack and provide “scholarly” evidence to his claims because, even though the album was popular enough to obtain a Grammy, people still think the black experience is a matter of fiction in America society. My search of evidence would ideally help me critique if social issues within the black community have improved over the past few years. I would argue that this album is the appropriate choice for my project because Kendrick Lamar succeeds well at portraying the black experience. He currently a high charting artist who speaks bluntly about social issues over sonically impressive tracks. Also, the album is highly respected and was awarded Best Rap Album of 2015.
My biggest challenge would be sifting through the massive amount of content in the album to find songs that are topical. Certain songs may require deeper analysis to see if a message lies underneath because they are complex and sometimes confusing. A potential challenge could be finding articles that are relevant to the black experience. However, if I do not, that would be intriguing because it would show how important documenting and discussing the black experience is to the academic community. I must be clear on what songs I am going to discuss by the end of the first week the latest.
In regards to my readiness for this program, the late great Marvin Gaye said it best, “Let’s get it on”.