To Pimp The Black Woman: On Kendrick Lamar’s Limited Black Liberation
Raquel Willis
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Raquel, I appreciate your critical analysis in the midst of so much praise of this album. Your opinion seems to be that the use of female figures to personify white America in “For Free?” was a misguided choice with many negative, overlooked implications. My interpretation of this track is that the personification is very intentional. He’s trying to make a statement about racial inequality AND debunk an issue especially relevant to heterosexual men — the notion in dating culture that “pussy ain’t cheap but dick is free.” As a man, is he in the wrong for bringing this up? Everyone suffers certain injustices and everyone enjoys certain privileges (don’t get me wrong, some people’s injustices are grossly out of proportion). There are certainly injustices not given attention in this work, but all art has a limited scope. I don’t think Kendrick would agree that black men are more oppressed than any other black group, but I think it’s still valid for him to bring up inequalities relevant to his life experiences within the scope of this work.

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