“Mortal Man” by Kendrick Lamar

This piece is a spoken word poem delivered in parts throughout hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar's new album "To Pimp a Butterfly," until it is provided in full during the final track on the project called "Mortal Man."

The poem captures not only the theme of Kendrick Lamar's seminal LP, "To Pimp a Butterfly," but like most of the hip-hop I listen to, it reminds me, as an African-American male, of the environment my mother worked day and night to extricate me from. Mr. Lamar is deserving of the utmost respect for his willingness to step back into the troubled community he escaped from - with a mission to spread love and respect for one another - after achieving critically-acclaimed, worldwide success as an artist.
I remember you was conflicted
Misusing your influence
Sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power, full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screaming in the hotel room
I didn’t wanna self destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went running for answers
Until I came home
But that didn’t stop survivor’s guilt
Going back and forth trying to convince myself the stripes I earned
Or maybe how A-a my foundation was
But while my loved ones was fighting the continuous war back in the city
I was entering a new one
A war that was based on apartheid and discrimination
Made me wanna go back to the city and tell the homies what I learned
The word was respect
Just because you wore a different gang color than mine’s
Doesn’t mean I can’t respect you as a black man
Forgetting all the pain and hurt we caused each other in these streets
If I respect you, we unify and stop the enemy from killing us
But I don’t know, I’m no mortal man, maybe I’m just another nigga.
this poem was selected by didact, w.c. staff.

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