How to keep blacks at the bottom of the pile

Kendrick Lamar: industrialised vileness

A contorted form of racism

I don’t give a fuck: the best that can be hoped for from a black man

Dalrymple writes that an informant,

who keeps up more closely than do I with developments in the field of cultural vulgarity,

explains that a man called Kendrick Lamar, of whom Dalrymple has never heard, has won a Pulitzer prize for his ‘songs’, and suggests that Dalrymple look up their lyrics. One of the choruses goes:

I don’t give a fuck, I don’t give a fuck,
I don’t give a, I don’t give a, I don’t give a fuck

Another:

If I gotta slap a pussy-ass nigga, I’ma make it look sexy
If I gotta go hard on a bitch, I’ma make it look sexy
I pull out, hop out, air out, make it look sexy
They won’t take me out my element
Nah, take me out of my element

Perhaps this is meant ironically, but

when you listen to the decerebrate rage with which Mr Lamar intones these words, it is not easy to believe it. When I listened to Mr Lamar, I recalled those cats in laboratories whose higher brain centers had been severed, and whose amygdalae were stimulated with electric currents, reacting with insensate rage directed at nothing in particular.

We should not

assume that Mr Lamar’s ‘art’ is sincere, or that it expresses anything other than a lust for fame and money.

Dalrymple notes that

this kind of paramusical product is elaborated and marketed to ensure that blacks in America remain where they are—at the bottom of the pile.

How, asks Dalrymple,

did the horrible and disgusting coarseness that Mr Lamar so proudly exhibits develop? How did evil became good?

The worst aspect is

the cowardly and insincere fawning over Mr Lamar’s industrialised vileness by a cultural establishment. Could any intelligent, educated person find in Mr Lamar anything worthy of praise, emulation, or reward?

One of the judges said in defence of the award:

The challenge for future juries will be to maintain the mission of honouring high standards of excellence in an expanding sphere of music, and there lie both a sizable burden and huge new opportunity.

Dalrymple comments:

Mr Lamar is so good (by good, I mean evil) that it is difficult to conceive of anything better (i.e. worse). Future juries will have difficulty in finding anything more transgressive to award a prize to, thereby proving their open-mindedness to other minds so open, like their own, that they can contain nothing.

Underlying this

is a contorted form of racism: I don’t give a fuck is the best that can be expected or hoped for from a black man.

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