Untitled Document Essay

Submitted By atgcde1018
Words: 748
Pages: 3

Nelson Mandela was the most prominent anti­racism activist of Apartheid South Africa. He died in 2013, aged 95, after spending his life campaigning for racial equality. Kendrick hopes that he can continue Mandela’s legacy through his rapping. He has encouraged his fans to research Mandela’s life. They will become an army fighting for justice. At the same time, Kendrick recognises that he isn’t perfect. His fans must accept that he’ll make mistakes, and he won’t always be able to do the best he can. The central theme of this song is directed at Kendrick’s fans — will you be there through thick and thin, trials and tribulations, achievements and mistakes? “Sermons” are part of a typical church service, and talk on a religious or moral subject. While
Kendrick delivers his sermon in the present, can he trust his fans to spread his legacy into the future, once he’s no longer here? Since Lamar’s image is relatively clean: he doesn’t smoke or drink and is engaged to his high school sweet­heart — finding cocaine in his car evokes conspiracy theory. While the
“establishment” may be threatened by his controversial thinking, Kendrick asks his fans if they’ll stand behind him, or will they stereotype him as “just another gang banger”? Kendrick wants to be revered like the iconic Nelson Mandela. As he did in the first verse
, K. Dot begins the second verse with a series of rhetorical questions for his fans. Just as Nelson Mandela’s wife waited 27 years for him to be released from prison, Kendrick wonders if his fiancée will wait 25 years
(the minimum sentence for murder) for him to return. Kendrick questions if becoming a martyr for the people is worth the suffering of his family. Kendrick continues to draw parallels with Mandela
, who was incarcerated for almost three decades in South Africa during the Apartheid era. After becoming President, many people expected Mandela to seek vengeance and retribution against his oppressors. However, he enacted a policy of forgiveness — Kendrick is asking if the listener is magnanimous enough to do the same. Kendrick alludes to the parable of Daniel
, whose belief is tested when he’s thrown into a lions den after his friends betray him. Daniel’s true enemies are not the lions, or the King who placed him in the dungeon, but rather his peers who betrayed him. This is stressed by the unnatural hissing of the lions, as if they were not lions but snakes in disguise. Lamar toys with the concept of loyalty being tested: his

den is fame and the lions he’s trapped with are the music industry — false friends who will try to take advantage of his power. Once freed from prison and elected as the first democratic president of South Africa, Nelson
Mandela was in the position to punish/ seek retribution. Instead of starting another civil war,…