How many things in life really need to be explained? For example, we all know the Sun is hot, right? But is it necessary for us to know the actual temperature of that motherfucker? Like, even if a sudden and substantial rise in the Sun’s temperature signifies that it’s about to explode, what the fuck could we do about it? By the way, if you’re wondering, it’s alleged that the Sun is approximately 27 million degrees Fahrenheit at its core and around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface. Do with that information as you wish. Also, global warming has more to do with man-made pollution than the Sun’s temperature. In my opinion, people are like the Sun—they’re consistently and predictably themselves. Constitutionally, people are who they are. Liars are dishonest by nature. Cheaters aren’t fair because they lack morality. Thieves steal because they want to. Hateful people are inherently thoughtless. Stupid people are devoid of logic and reasoning. And so on and so forth. Why is that so difficult for people to understand? How many of your fundamental views on people are original and uninfluenced? Can you name a universal culture, government, religion, or group of people who’ve founded a belief system that requires, or even encourages, people to think for themselves?! You’re going to hate to hear this, but smart people know, for a fact, that most people want to be controlled to some extent. Y’all clearly don’t know what freedom is. Furthermore, you don’t want freedom, and you don’t want anyone else to have it! Contrary to popular belief, freedom and free will aren’t myths, they exist. If they didn’t, jails wouldn’t exist! Think about it. Criminals are routinely apprehended and incarcerated after violating the law. If laws are meant to deter people from violating specific codes and policies, but people violate those things anyway, doesn’t that mean said violators are acting freely? Even if they were coerced, the coercer is a violator too. “Breaking the chains” and “thinking outside the box” are phrases used to describe actions of autonomy and self-sufficiency. If right-wing extremists have taken “woke”, a term meant to detail consciousness and enlightenment, and turned it into something derogatory, what’s next? If convincing people that something beneficial to them is detrimental is as easy as perpetuating propaganda, how easy is it to convince people that oppression is a part of freedom? If you claim to be aware that you’re not free, in a “free” country, but you’re convinced that there’s nothing you can do about it, what does that mean?
Every day, we’re all pestered by popular culture’s penchant for publicizing perfectly impertinent information. I steer clear of most of social media and pop culture’s fondness for uselessness, but a lot of that shit be too prevalent to ignore. Do you know how I know AI is going to spark the apocalypse? Because those stupid-ass algorithms still haven’t figured me out! Over half the shit that pops up in my social media recommendations is of no interest to me. That “intelligence” is definitely artificial. Do you know what artificial means? It is simply defined as something made by humans. And everything human-made is guaranteed to be imperfect, especially humans. How many meritless people in the public eye are successfully spreading psychosomatic disinformation that prolongs and maintains rampant ignorance and pervasive lack of self-awareness? I’m talking about people like Donald Trump, Charleston White, Louis Farrakhan, David Miscavige, Kanye West, and anybody that believes their success validates and rigidifies their exclusive and polarizing sentiments. For example, Donald Trump is the least relatable president in American history. Very few Americans can relate to a person who has never struggled or fought for anything their entire life. How can an untested, generationally-wealthy celebrity millionaire tell the average person how to survive trying times? Better yet, how could that person even empathize with less fortunate people? People ally with Trump because they erroneously equate money to intelligence and superiority. Clearly, there aren’t enough examples of how greed and antipathy fuel most quests for financial primacy. If people weren’t too busy pretending to be more successful than they are, and if they weren’t infatuated with trying to occupy positions that they aren’t qualified for, they would notice that the people in the prominent positions they desire are as unsuitable and undeserving as they are! But contrarily, a lot of Trump’s supporters recognize all his faults, and applaud him for being so faulty and making the big time. If he can do it, you can do it, right? Much like the black men of America’s ghettos, Donald Trump is a product of his environment. He was raised around some of the wealthiest, shittiest people on the planet, and he became one of them by default. So, if rap fans can grow up in the suburbs just to be shot and killed at a party while pretending to be as hard as rappers pretend to be, maybe you can be the next George Santos and end up mingling with Donald Trump? Who knows?!
“Soul Food” is a rap album by the legendary Atlanta-based hip hop group, Goodie Mob. Side note, for your information, I am a Grady baby, and proud of it! Soul Food is one of the greatest rap albums of all time, in my opinion. Not only because the music is overall fantastic, but because those southern boys had something to say, and they for damn sure said it! Whether you like rap or not, I’d recommend giving Soul Food a thorough listening at least once in your life. You won’t regret it. To Pimp a Butterfly is not a better album than Soul Food—sonically or intellectually! Much like everything else, consciousness has become a trend. But unfortunately, people who follow trends are rarely genuinely interested in the essence or the purpose of it, they’re just impressionable, indifferent parties along for the ride. That’s a problem! And that’s why people have made Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” the highest-rated album of all time. Naturally, I was a Kendrick Lamar fan before most people knew who he was. I’ve always been a conscious guy and a rap fan. So, I’ve always gravitated toward artists with substance and seriousness in their lyrics. I’d been a member of several underground rap forums for a whole decade before K. Dot made his debut, which was around 2010. And as soon as he dropped, he had the internet buzzing. Moreover, almost immediately, people were comparing him to Tupac, which wasn’t a warranted comparison, to me. I don’t know if it’s the hype that makes me so critical of Kendrick, or the fact that he just isn’t as good as people say he is, but people have all but ruined Kendrick’s music for me. Because I’m constantly listening for shit that isn’t there! Before Kendrick, I was heavily bumping Nas, Tupac, Common, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, The Roots, Lupe Fiasco, Immortal Technique, J. Cole (who released “The Come Up” in 2007), and more. Granted, all of the rappers I named sing Kendrick’s praises. But to me, Kendrick is just extension of conscious rap. He’s not on the Mount Rushmore of conscious rap, because he’s not a founder. Kendrick has never said anything that I haven’t heard before or thought myself. He just aided in making conscious rap less underground and more commercial. Think about it. With the exception of Nas and Tupac, none of the rappers I’ve listed were, at their height, as popular and successful as Kendrick. And it’s not because their music sucks. It’s not because they aren’t as good as or better rappers than Kendrick. It’s because conscious people are a minority! Mainstream and minority are directly opposing terms. Being a Kendrick Lamar fan is a trend. And unfortunately, people who follow trends are rarely genuinely interested in the essence or the purpose of it, they’re just impressionable, indifferent parties along for the ride. Start thinking for yourself!