“Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” by Kendrick Lamar

The tenth track on Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, M.A.A.D. city feels like three tracks bound together, intentionally, inalienably.  It must be, like a trinitarian necessity.  A raw paean to hope of memory in the midst of abrupt death, a desperate hustle that cries out for redemptive washing, and Maya Angelou leading wounded, angry young men to the Water.  The whole narrative of the album is worth a listen, but I keep this track on repeat because I can barely hold myself together during these words:

“I count lives all on these songs/Look at the weak and cry, pray one day, you’ll be strong/Fighting for your rights even when you’re wrong/And hope that at least one of you sing about when I’m gone/Am I worth it?/Did I put enough work in?”

(Note for my readers: the song spares no graphic voicing; it’s aware, but too gritty for simple audiences.  That means your kids.)

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a better anthem to the cultural work of the street prophet.

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