Unless you’ve been living under a rock, these past 24 hours have been filled with nothing but chatter, debates, and discussion surrounding Kendrick Lamar’s highly anticipated new album To Pimp A Butterfly.
While there’s still confusion surrounding its release, To Pimp A Butterfly is officially available on iTunes (after being published, unpublished, and published again) and can be streamed on Spotify right now. The 16-track album tackles a plethora of themes that affect the black community, including colorism, survivor’s guilt, self-love, depression, racism, and the list goes on.
While it may be too early to declare the most important track off the album, the Sounwave, Thundercat, and Terrace Martin-produced track “Complexion (A Zulu Love)” featuring Rapsody is at the top of the short list for its pro-black themes and rhetoric.
As the protégé of legendary producer 9th Wonder, Rapsody revealed she hadn’t heard Kendrick’s verse prior to last night, and had no idea what the song was about other than the broad topic of colorism. After receiving a call from Kendrick Lamar at the top of the year, January 11 specifically, Rapsody knew her feature could possibly end up on the Compton rapper’s forthcoming album.
Sharing a passion for pushing hip-hop culture into the future, this isn’t the first time the two artists have worked together. Back in 2011, Kendrick was featured on Rapsody’s “Rock The Bells,” which is off her mixtape For Everything.
As the beat begins to change on “Complexion (A Zulu Love),” you can hear Kendrick say “where my homegirl Rapsody at? I need you to speak your mind on this one loved one…”
“Let me talk my Stu Scott, ‘scuse me on my 2pac
Keep your head up, when did you stop? Love and die
Color of your skin, color of your eyes
That’s the real blues, baby, like you met Jay’s baby
You blew me away, you think more beauty in blue green and grey
All my Solomon up north, 12 years a slave
12 years of age, thinkin’ my shade too dark
I love myself, I no longer need Cupid
And forcin’ my dark side like a young George Lucas
Light don’t mean you smart, bein’ dark don’t make you stupid
And frame of mind for them bustas, ain’t talkin’ “Woohah!”
Need a paradox for the pair of dots they tutored
Like two ties, L-L, you lose two times
If you don’t see you beautiful in your complexion
It ain’t complex to put it in context
Find the air beneath the kite, that’s the context
Yeah, baby, I’m conscious, ain’t no contest
If you like it, I love it, all your earth tones been blessed
Ain’t no stress, jigga boos wanna be
I ain’t talkin’ Jay, I ain’t talkin’ Bey
I’m talkin’ days we got school watchin’ movie screens
And spike yourself esteem
The new James Bond gon’ be black as me
Black as brown, hazelnut, cinnamon, black tea
And it’s all beautiful to me
Call your brothers magnificent, call all the sisters queens
We all on the same team, blues and pirus, no colors ain’t a thing”
Rapsody’s gearing up to re-release her 2014 EP Beauty & The Beast, which will feature a couple new songs.
Here’s what we know about Rapsody so far.
PHOTO CREDIT: Creative Silence Photography