Depression isn’t a joke, trend, aesthetic, fashion, or style. It’s a serious mental illness that must always be taken seriously. Teenagers often contemplating suicide tend to tell people around them how incredibly sad they and how they struggle with depression in a secret cry for help. Often, those people usually do not help them, listen well, and take it seriously. Music artists always have thousands of fans who feel personally touched by them and their music. Artists like Chester Bennington, Kurt Cobain, Capital Steez, Donny Hathaway, are all artists who have committed suicide. Rest in peace. Kendrick Lamar has mentioned suicide in his music as well as depression he has felt since he was a child. These are huge red flags, while it is important not to place one person’s depression over another, Kendrick’s cannot be ignored just because he is famous. It is important that Kendrick gets the help he needs before it is too late. It is important to take all red flags seriously when dealing with depression.
One record Kendrick recorded, “u” magnifies Kendrick’s depression heavily. The track is set with him screaming inside of a hotel room, heavily drinking, and screaming everything he hates about himself. The track caught almost everyone’s ears, and when asked about it, Kendrick said “That song was pulled from past experiences growing up in Compton… nothing was more vulnerable than that record.” Depression has always been a theme for Kendrick because it is something he has to live with every single day, “these experiences go all the way back from good kid m.a.a.d city”. Kendrick’s album, “good kid m.a.a.d city” was released in 2012. To hold the same concerns for five years is extremly unhealthy. It is clear that Kendrick holds onto things in the past that cannot be changed, but is determined to change them, “I’ll write my wrongs, till I’m right with god”, says Kendrick in “Alright”.
“I’ve been dealing with depression since an adolescent”
Kendrick Lamar grew up on the Piru side of Compton. He’s lost many friends and family to gun violence. Kendrick has seen it all, prostitution, racism, drugs, murder, as well as many things he has not talked about. Kendrick largely blames himself for his sister’s teenage pregnancy, “What can I blame you for? N**ga, I can name several, Situations, I’ll start with your little sister bakin’. A baby inside, just a teenager, where your patience? Where was your antennas? Where was the influence you speak of?”. Kendrick is often referred to as a “conscious rapper”, meaning he sends messages that are meant to cause conversation, as well as speaking on serious topics in society. Kendrick isn’t content with his influence because he wasn’t able to help the people close to him. He was able to help his family as well as his city of Compton. This isn’t entirely true, Kendrick has donated up to 1.5 million dollars to the Compton School District, but the violence that continues to ensue is what really troubles Kendrick.
Kendrick also blames himself for his brother’s death “little brother you promised you’d watch him before they shot him. Where was your antennas? On the road, bottles and bitches. You FaceTimed him one time, that’s unforgiven. You even FaceTimed instead of a hospital visit. Guess you thought he would recover well. Third surgery, they couldn’t stop the bleeding for real. Then he died, God himself will say, “You fuckin’ failed”. This is Kendrick’s actual blood brother. When asked about Pup (Kendrick’s brother) he said, “It messes you up, all the way”. This is something that will be nearly impossible for Kendrick to let go. He said, that the purpose of his music is to give “The reasons, the purposes, and the solutions behind it” to growing up in Compton and the struggles that come with it. For Kendrick to be on tour performing his music, with that purpose in mind, and hear about his little brother being killed was truly heartbreaking for Kendrick.
We all know Kendrick Lamar is an international superstar. Which might be the hardest thing for him to handle. Kendrick, a boy from Compton, was never expecting to be in the position he is now. Kendrick being a black man with all this money, fame, and notoriety, but still seeing his city and other predominantly Black communities suffer must be very hard hitting on him. I hope that T.D.E. or other people around him are supporting him and getting him the help he needs before it is too late. Personally, Kendrick has always been a role model to me. I’ve had many near death experiences, but one has always stuck out to me because his song came on right before my life was saved. I don’t know what I would be without him, or if he was gone. Kendrick is an extremely inspirational figure whose music is some of the most real messages in today’s society. But behind that, he is a genuine person who focuses on being himself and staying true to himself.
“My latest muse is my niece, she worth livin’, see me on the tv and scream ‘That’s Uncle Kendrick’”