By Jonathan Hailey
America was going through some difficulties regarding race relations in 2015, and Kendrick Lamar captured the experience of people surviving life on the streets with the masterful “Alright” “When you know, we been hurt, been down before, n—-,” he rapped. “When my pride was low, lookin’ at the world like, ‘Where do we go, n—-?’/And we hate Popo, wanna kill us dead in the street for sure, n—-.” But he followed that with, “Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon’ be alright!”READ MORE: Detroit Police Search For Suspect Who Shot 51-Year-Old Man
Although the track described the realities of those below the poverty line, the “We gon’ be alright” hook gave a beacon of hope. Kendrick Lamar’s fourth single from To Pimp A Butterfly became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter protesters this past year.READ MORE: Eastern Michigan University Launches Program Exposing High School Girls To Careers In Aviation
“Alright” transcended music and weaved itself into a political movement by just keeping it real in the lyrics. Lamar said he wanted the song to be about hope and celebrating life. “Alright” is about wanting something more for yourself and working towards those goals.
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It’s rare when a song comes along at just the right time to perfectly fit the needs of a social movement. But that’s what happened here, and even though this song might be one married to #BlackLivesMatter, “Alright” is timeless. Because no matter what year it is, we’ll always need some reassurance that everything is going to be alright.