Kites
by N.E.R.D (featuring Kendrick Lamar & M.I.A.)

Album: NO_ONE EVER REALLY DIES (2017)

Songfacts®:

  • Both Kendrick Lamar and M.I.A. jump on this reflection about refugees and Donald Trump's immigration policy. While K-Dot is well known for his socially conscious lyrics, British rapper M.I.A can speak from personal experience having arrived in the UK with her mother and siblings on her 11th birthday as refugees fleeing civil war in Sri Lanka.

    "[This] is about teenage life [and] living in a refugee situation because you were trying to find a different life," Pharrell Williams tod Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 Show. "And who better to enlist as feature on this song than the great Kendrick Lamar once again? And also M.I.A."
  • The track uses the image of a kite flying in the skies to overcome borders and barriers. No One Ever Really Dies is the first N.E.R.D. album that contains politically-orientated material. Explaining the reason for the change in direction found in his lyrics, Pharrell cited to The Guardian ongoing social and cultural changes:

    "I've made all kinds of songs in my career. People might say: 'Oh what about this song?' Yep, you're right. I recognize now. I get it. It was fun to me at the time, but the earth changes and the rules change. We have to remember that. Context is important."
  • An uncredited A$AP Rocky supplies the intro.

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