Kendrick Lamar's "i" Lyrics Are Soulful, Infectious & Will Inspire You To Love Yourself — LISTEN

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Recording artist Kendrick Lamar performs on the Marilyn Stage during day 1 of the 2014 Budweiser Made in America Festival at Los Angeles Grand Park on August 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Anheuser-Busch)
Source: Christopher Polk/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Tuesday, Kendrick Lamar released “i,” the first single from his highly-anticipated, to-be-released second album. Lamar's 2012 opus good Kid, m.A.A.D. city is without a doubt one of the best albums in recent memory, and I had crazy-high expectations for this new song. My expectations were no match: The Rahki-produced track blasted right on past 'em and skywrote "I JUST LEFT YOUR EXPECTATIONS IN THE DUST, YA BISH." The Twitterverse's reactions to the "That Lady" sample and the real-talk verses are split down the middle, but I am in the "I love this track" camp. 

After a few listens, I dug into the lyrics. What I found: The feel-good song's verses cut deep. The theme that runs through “i”: The world can be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad shit sandwich. It's easy to feel powerless against the shit sandwich. Lamar repeats his secret to living in a shit sandwich of a world throughout the chorus:

And I love myself
(The world is a ghetto with guns and picket signs)
I love myself
(But it can do what it want whenever it wants and I don’t mind)
I love myself
(He said I gotta get up, life is more than suicide)
I love myself
(One day at a time, sun gon' shine)

I immediately thought of the RuPaul's Drag Race sign-off: "If you aren't gonna love yourself, how the hell are you gonna love somebody else?" 

At the end of the third verse, K. Dot hits us with just how powerful self-love can be:

The sky can fall down, the wind can cry now
The strong in me, I still smile

If you aren't gonna love yourself, how the hell are you gonna deal with the shit sandwich of a world we live in?

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