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When Kendrick Lamar released “i” in September, he had some critics saying he’d gone soft on the poppy feel-good tune. But with his new single, “The Blacker The Berry,” which he released Monday, surely K-Dot’s going to silence some of those haters.
He starts the track coming hard and strong, “I’m the biggest hypocrite of 2015 / Once I finish this, witnesses will convey just what I mean / Been feeling this way since I was 16, came to my senses / You never liked us anyway, fuck your friendship, I meant it.”
Pulling the song title from Wallace Thurman’s groundbreaking 1929 novel by the same name, on “The Blacker The Berry” Lamar follows in 2Pac’s footsteps and his iconic state of the community address “Keep Your Head Up.”
Beyond both songs referencing the line, “The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice,” Lamar, in his own right, is too issuing a public statement, tackling social issues and calling out hypocrisy — for instance, at those outraged over Trayvon Martin’s killing while gang-banging still plagues neighborhoods.
That’s the same sentiment that caused a stir around the rap phenom’s Billboard cover story earlier this year. And, here, it’s clear he stands by it, wrapping this new song, “So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street? / When gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me? / Hypocrite!”
This article originally appeared on Billboard.com.
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