Album: DAMN. (2017)
Charted: 49 37
  • songfacts ®
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  • Lyrics
  • An introspective Kendrick Lamar delves deep into his own pride during this track rapping about how being one of the one of the best - if not the best - rappers in the game causes tension between his ideals and his actions. He admits "I can't fake humble."
  • See, in the perfect world, I would be perfect, world
    I don't trust people enough beyond they surface, world
    I don't love people enough to put my faith in men
    I put my faith in these lyrics, hoping I make amend
    I understand I ain't perfect
    I probably won't come around

    For Lamar, pride is one of a number of sins he finds it difficult to avoid. However, he hopes the lyrical content in his songs will make amends for the mistakes he makes.
  • Speaking to Zane Lowe during a Beats 1 interview, Lamar explained that DAMN. is an examination into why we're reacting to what's going on around us, and the need to change ourselves before we can change the world.

    "What I do is not for Kendrick Lamar, man," he told Lowe. "The best way for me to put it, To Pimp a Butterfly would be the idea of the thought of changing the world and how we work and approach things. DAMN. would be the idea, 'I can't change the world until I change myself.'"

    "When you listen to records like 'PRIDE,' 'HUMBLE,' 'LUST,' 'LOVE' - these are all just human emotions and me looking in the mirror and coming to grips with them," Lamar continued. "I would hope the listener can take heed and grab something from both of them, two ideas, and carry out their day to the best potential of themselves they see."
  • The song features ominous vocals by both Steve Lacy who is one of the founding members of R&B group The Internet and longtime Kendrick collaborator Anna Wise ("Real", "Institutionalized", "These Walls").
  • Steve Lacy also produced the slow-building, psychedelic beat for the track using GarageBand on his iPhone. Lacy prefers to use his iPhone, even though he has access to laptops and other professional studio recording gear. "I like to make music wherever I am," he explained to Wired, adding that he made beats on his phone before he got access to professional studios. "I got this piece called the iRig, I saw you could plug it into your iPhone, they got amps on here, see what cool guitar sounds I could get."
  • Kendrick Lamar samples himself during the bridge. The eerie sound effect is the same one that is present at the start of "The Heart Part 4."
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