Kendrick Lamar's "Heaven Help Dem" Lyrics Do A Great Job of Addressing Serious Cultural Issues — VIDEO
Fans of Kendrick Lamar can attest to the fact that he is a rapper who doesn't shy away from addressing emotional, social and cultural issues in his music. Although people like Azealia Banks used social media to express outrage at the 27-year-old Compton rapper's comments about the Ferguson protests in his Billboard cover story, perhaps Lamar's new song "Heaven Help Dem" with Jamaican-Canadian musician Jonathan Emile will earn him some redemption from those who felt slighted by his remarks. In the song, both Lamar and Emile use bold, descriptive lyrics as a way to address current sociocultural issues.
Here are some standout lyrics from "Heaven Help Dem":
Emile opens with the words: “Dedicated to the murders of Fredy Villanueva, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and too many others to name.”
He then raps: "When a cop dies, we all mortified/But when a cop kills, he don’t need no alibi/I’m not saying that they should be flawless/I’m telling you the world is lawless."
Lamar: "Y’all say the average black man only live to 25, ‘Pac died at 25. How many kids you know dead at 20? Five? Now that’s life, I know ten that’s crumbling in coffins."
Lamar: "This could be the day I might pass away, from an altercation my homie got into yesterday/Or mistaken identity/Him thinking I was the enemy when I never seen him a day in my life/This is life for a young black man..."
Emile: "Heaven help the man who takes another life/Heaven help the man who makes the other man fight/Heaven help the man who fears the other man because he got a tan/Or he black, or he white…"
There's also a video for "Heaven Help Dem" that helps highlight the issues with some pretty vivid imagery, including footage of some protestors wearing masks, presumably to guard against pepper spray, while others march through the streets holding signs that read, "Hands Up, Don't Shoot." There are also photos of Trayvon Martin and Mike Jones, along with a quick shot of prominent political activist Angela Davis, a KKK rally, and a clip of the famous 1963 March on Washington.
Check out the video for "Heaven Help Dem" below: