Hmm… though this may be a very unpopular opinion I hate Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” video. I also kind of hate the song too… but not really 100% all of the way. (Girl what…) Yeah I know… that was a confusing statement and I hope by the end of this post I have cleared it up substantially.
I’m not a huge Kendrick Lamar fan… however I give credit when credit is due. He is a dope rapper, his music is 9/10 good. However … Kendrick Lamar’s new track “Humble” is problematic for me… and again I speak only for myself, so over the top Kendrick fans whether male or female please take a seat.
Humble By Kendrick Lamar Is Problematic And Here’s Why
The line in question that has everyone in a tizzy goes as follows:
I’m so fuckin’ sick and tired of the Photoshop
Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor
Show me somethin’ natural like ass with some stretch marks
Still will take you down right on your mama’s couch in Polo socks, ayy
While many have glorified Kendrick’s lyrics as pro feminist and so forward thinking…I kindly beg to differ. There’s nothing revolutionary about a man telling a woman how to look. It surely isn’t pro feminist to tell me your preferences right before you take me down. Because the truth of the matter is 1. I don’t care what your sexual preference is, I am not living for you and 2. Your “pro feminist/ pro natural” spiel is divisive. Can we compliment women as a whole without putting down any one particular group? Is that something that is possible in 2017… or are the only means of compliments tied to “one is better than the other”.
Now don’t get me wrong… I know hip hop has never really leaned towards the idea of respecting women as a whole. Misogyny runs rampant, so it is no surprise. Rap music has been taking jabs at women for as long as I can remember and I shamelessly shake my ass to these tracks as well. So I am certainly in no position to judge. “Humble” is a good song when taken at face value. It has a good beat, the production of that video was stellar, and the lyrics can actually be understood (guess who is absolutely NOT here for mumble rap… THIS GIRL!). But to make “Humble” more than what it is, is insulting. It is not a feminist anthem, and I don’t recall Kendrick ever stating it was. I, for one, believe that the attraction and attention towards these particular lyrics is so far beyond unwarranted it is ridiculous.
These particular lyrics did nothing new, and neither did the video. Because the lyrics and video are not deemed “distasteful” they are propelled into this forward thinking category, when in reality they offered nothing out of the ordinary. We have a woman shaking her ass on camera… how unique. Then we are offered the image that Kendrick wants to see… but what about the women that don’t fit into that category either? “Humble” has no different ulterior motive, it is a song. It is no different than any other man, rapping over a beat, telling women how he wants her to look. So while I can’t get on board with the praise this track is getting for this particular set of lyrics, I will say Kendrick has done another captivating job at getting a conversation going around his music. Well played! You can watch the video for yourself below and form your own opinions. I always welcome a healthy dose of conversation in the comment box below!