Kendrick Lamar, “F*ck Your Ethnicity”

Another strange young (post-Black/ post-identitarian?) California (post-?) rapper (formerly K. Dot) self-releasing gorgeous, smart music. Great song– check out the pretty piano chords and synth throb.

Has anyone in Ethnic Studies grappled with this one?  “Racism is still alive” — what exactly is he saying about that statement?  Is he saying it’s wrong?  Presumably not, maybe just that he’s sick of hearing it, or thinks it’s a banal/boring thing to say.  Or that race/ethnicity doesn’t have much to do with the music he makes and why he loves it; or that he feels bullied when he’s told that his music must express his racial identity above all (“everybody lied to y’all, and you believed it”).

“I mosh pit”: I guess he likes punk — reminds me of Canadian rapper K’Naan’s “If Rap Gets Jealous” (“I’d rather do a stage dive”).


Now I don’t give a fuck if you
Black, White, Asian, Hispanic, Goddammit
That don’t mean shit to me
Fuck your ethnicity

Fire burning inside my eyes
This the music that saved my life
Y’all be calling it hip-hop
I be calling it hypnotize
Yeah, hypnotize
Trapped my body but freed my mind
What the fuck is you fighting for?
Ain’t nobody gonna win that war
My details be retail

Matter of fact, don’t mistake me
For no fucking rapper
They sit backstage and hide
Behind the fucking cameras
I mosh pit
Had a microphone and I tossed it
Had a brain, then I lost it
I’m out of my mind, so don’t
You mind how much the cost is
Penny for my thoughts
Everybody, please hold up your wallets

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