The Poetics of Disclosure: An Analysis of Kendrick Lamar's Rap Music




Hollinger, Andrew

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In this thesis I analyze in depth Kendrick Lamar’s albums good kid, m.A.A.d city, To Pimp a Butterfly, and DAMN. Through a close reading of these albums, I examine the ways in which Lamar uses his music as a platform for prophetic music making. Lamar’s prophetic music making comes to bear three general points, corresponding to each album: first, that vices are inadequate to deal with death-anxieties and it is only Jesus Christ that gives meaning to death and life. Second, that capitalism is a tool of American Anti- Blackness and this relationship is undergirded by satanic forces. Third, that God is both a God of salvation and of damnation, so it is important to relate to God with due humility. Through these three points, I argue that Lamar’s prophetic music making can teach us something about the nature of the prophetic, that the prophet is a Divine-World discloser.