Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” video dropped yesterday to the surprise of a lot of his fans. The song and music video are getting rave reviews from various segments of the music-listening public and currently has over 5 million views on YouTube. However, everyone isn’t happy with Kendrick’s new song. He’s actually getting some backlash for praising stretchmarks on a woman’s body in the lyrics.
In one of verses on”Humble,” Kendrick raps:
“I’m so f—–’ sick and tired of the Photoshop. Show me somethin’ natural like afro on Richard Pryor. Show me somethin’ natural like a– with some stretch marks. Still will take you down right on your mama’s couch in Polo socks, ayy.”
Warning: This video contains lyrics and images that some may find offensive
Some credited Kendrick for rapping lyrics that they felt empowered women to embrace their natural selves.
Shout out to Kendrick Lamar for saying he likes women with stretch marks and all. These fake IG models can take a rest.— Ayomide O. Tayo (@AOT2) March 31, 2017
But there were others who felt that Kendrick didn’t go deep enough and still ended up sexualizing women’s bodies as many rappers do in their videos and songs.
I appreciate Kendrick mentioning stretchmarks. I also know he probably only means certain types of stretchmarks on certain kinds of women.— Elle J Kaye (@spokenELLE) March 31, 2017
He also touches on how he's "sick and tired of Photoshop" and displays an images of a light skin girl with no make up in his music video.— kaila (@kaichare) March 31, 2017
For all of his supposed brilliance that y'all assign to him it would be nice if he knew that black women didn't exist on two spectrum ends— Sierra (@SKEEerra) March 31, 2017
For some, all of the criticism for Kendrick over “Humble’s” lyrics about stretchmarks seemed highly hypocritical
Kendrick: Embrace your natural beauty. The hair and skin you were born in are beautiful.— Will (@Iad3uxieme) March 31, 2017
Feminists: OUR BODIES ARENT HERE TO PLEASE YOU PIG. pic.twitter.com/DkfKDJj3jJ
Kendrick said he like natural bodies… where is the problem…. 99% of y’all can’t afford surgery so why are you upset— Lance (@CashFlowinAsset) March 31, 2017
Besides the lyrics about stretchmarks, Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble” proclaims the same type of masculine braggadocio that we’ve come to expect from rap songs.
“If I quit this season, I still be the greatest,” he spits early on. “It’s levels to it, you and I know, b—- be humble.”
The backdrop of the song is a pretty spare beat by Mike Will Made It, according to Pitchfork, which features jarring piano key notes. It’s the music video that gives the song color. Here, Kendrick employs biblical and papal imagery like the Last Supper and Kendrick dressed in a Pope’s gown in what looks like an empty cathedral.
As Pitchfork notes, in most of the shots, Kendrick is in the center of the action and the camera is always focused on him. That’s the point: to showcase his dominance over his rap peers.
Given the captivating visuals used in the video for “Humble,” it will be interesting to see how the song fits into the larger narrative of his fourth studio album which is expected to drop sometime this year.
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[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for American Express]