Analysis of Kendrick Lamar's Music

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Kendrick Lamar: A Influential Hip-Hop Artist

Kendrick Lamar is one of the famous American rapper and music producers. Lamar hailed from California and was raised in Compton. The Compton city comprises of young population. Kendrick is well known for hip-hop music, which has transformed the American society in different ways particularly in response to issues of racism, war and police brutality in the country (Gourdine & Lemmons, 2011). This has led American society to progress in ensuring problems of racism and police brutality is handled effectively by the federal government. Lamar has used various techniques or style in his musical work especially in conveying a message to people. Therefore, the essay will analyze the technique or style used by Kendrick Lamar about his music. Further, it will discuss factors that have influenced his work and finally make a conclusion.

The Hip-Hop Style of Kendrick Lamar

Lamar adopted hip-hop style of music. He is well renowned or influential rapper in the country. The hip-hop is regarded as music style that was mostly initiated in the United States of America in the year 1970s (Gourdine & Lemmons, 2011). The technique involves use of stylized rhythmic music which commonly accompanies rapping as well as speech that is chanted. Furthermore, besides adopting hip-hop style of music, Lamar has ensured most of his songs vary in relation to rapping. In his hip-hop song, he uses variation which allows an individual to sense that there is some order undergirding the complex and most cases can be perceived to be contradicting (Gourdine & Lemmons, 2011). The variation technique comprise of repetition of familiar musical ideas while introducing some change to the music. For example, in his music known as “DNA” that was released in the year 2017, is a manifesto of a young person that has experienced many life challenges and how he has learned from such experiences. The truth about the song is that it embraces the idea of God’s creation and how important human being can be portrayed in the society. By using variation style, Lamar elaborates on how God delights adversity and ensured there is connection between singing and rapping (Gourdine & Lemmons, 2011).

The Influence of Kendrick Lamar's Music

Kendrick music not only has it influenced the society but has played an influential political role especially in enlightening the community about their rights. Kendrick has brought more light to community in his album known as “To Pimpa butterfly” (Bauer, 2017). The song promotes the importance of individual embracing the color of their skin at the same time providing a cultural viewpoint on the issue of racism in the United States of America. His politically determined lyric together with performances portrays different messages to the audience (Bauer, 2017). This is a crucial and important message which will resonate with the world and the generation to come. The technique has become youth-oriented as the majority of current generations are listening to the lyrics of his music. By aligning musical techniques and reaching many people, most of the western work has adopted the style and is used to convey different messages to people.

Kendrick's Political Standpoint

Kendrick political standpoint has influenced him towards adopting hip hop technique. Albums such as, “hood politics,” through Kendrick’s upbringing as well as rising to be a star, the album has enabled him to explore various issues related to politics (Gourdine & Lemmons, 2011). For instance, violence is regarded to be the major theme in most of his hip-hop music, as indicated in one of his song known as ‘Fuck Tha Police’, which points out the flaws in the government that are essential to the society and towards creating awareness to the general public on different practices by the government. Therefore, Kendrick’s' voice indicates anguish as he explains the political situation in the country. For the listeners with no understanding of the kind of language being used, the anguish in Kendricks' voice is more powerful and sends an important message to people (Love, 2016).

Collaborations and Reflections

Another factor that influenced Kendrick’s musical work was the fact that he focused more on highlighting various ways in which the community norms portray African Americans and the discursive aim of the depiction. Kendrick’s fame has gone global; he has branded his music to the extent that has attracted other musicians like Rihanna to collaborate with him (Love, 2016). He also performed with musicians such as Jay Z with the key aim of promoting peace for the entire globe to see. Working together with other artist has influenced him to spread information and motivate other people to promote peace within their artwork.

The Hip-Hop Soundtrack for Change

For several years, most African Americans have experienced racial discrimination, biases, subjugation, and repression and it has occurred for a long time. Kendrick’s work, Came from the bottom of making” explains the hardship journey which most Africans Americans took in ensuring there is equality, a battle that continues even at the moment, more than 150 years after liberation (Olivo, 2012). This has influenced him to use this kind of genre from the narrative of suffering and elaborating on struggling of the people. Hence, Lamar music together with his reflection on the music offers a new approach for the hip-hop industry. It is one way of encouraging others to embrace the idea of hope and not abandoning the realities as well as the need of the American people (Olivo, 2012).

The Message of Togetherness

Using hip-hop has enabled Kendrick Lamar has conveyed the message of embracing togetherness. Kendrick is known for speaking against gang-related actions and this has shaped his viewpoint concerning the world. He mostly inspires and encourages people with his music which demonstrates challenges many people go through. The power of his music demonstrates that people can overcome a given challenge towards working together and as one team. The idea that hip-hop as an essential weapon against individual oppressed influenced Kendrick Lamar to adopt the style in his music (Gourdine & Lemmons, 2011). Since most movements in the African American history experienced many challenges, hip-hop also faced a problem with voice, although, the voice developed and it provided hope to the individuals affected. As a result, most Kendrick Lamar lyrics epitomize societal and political stigma and unfair punishment. This has enabled hip-hop to be the soundtrack for change and a way of avoiding inequality through music (Gourdine & Lemmons, 2011).


As a conclusion, it is clear that Kendrick Lamar work has been influential not only to other artist but the society in general. One of the style or technique he adopted in his music involves hip-hop music. Hip-hop style entails using rhythmic music that is aligned together with rapping with the intention of communicating with people concerning a given issue. Through the style, he has been able to rise to fame and inspire people to embrace one another. The idea of American portraying African American differently influenced him to initiate hip-hop with the key aim of conveying the message of ensuring togetherness in the country. Another factor that also influenced this work involves the political standpoint of Kendrick. Through most of his song, such as “hood politics” the singer has exposed various vices within the society, particularly using violence for as a way of gaining power. Furthermore, music such as “Fuck the Police” that points out various flaws within the government. This has created more awareness among the people by using a more powerful voice in ensuring the message is well conveyed to the people.


Bauer, P. (2017). “Kendrick Lamar.” Encyclopedia Brittanica. Retrieved from.

Coscarelli, J. (2015). Kendrick Lamar on His New Album and the Weight of Clarity. Retrieved



Gourdine, R. M., & Lemmons, B. P. (2011). Perceptions of misogyny in hip-hop and rap: What

            do the youths think? Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 2(1) 57-72.

Love, B.  (2016). Good Kids, Mad Cities: Kendrick Lamar and Finding Inner Resistance in

            Response to Ferguson SA. Cultural Studies; Critical Methodologies, 16(3), pp. 320-323.

Olivo, W. (2012). "Phat Lines: Spelling Conventions in Rap Music." Written Language &

            Literacy. 4

(1): 67–85


October 05, 2023


Subject area:

Hip Hop

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Expertise Hip Hop
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