Imagine Lamar

Posted: February 2, 2014 in in the news, LA, Music
Tags: , , , , , ,

After the recent collaborations on main-stream TV (Grammy’s and SNL) of Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar, one could question…Is Imagine Dragons turning hip-hop? Does the band with Utah roots and Mormon members secretly want to spit rhymes like Kendrick Lamar? Adoring and God-fearing teen fans are also fearing this may be true–pleading on Instagram and Facebook: “Please don’t change!” “Kendrick Lamar ruined your songs” or “My mom wont let me listen to your music if you start cursing.”

imagine dragons and kendrick lamar post grammys

imagine dragons and kendrick lamar post grammys

Here are my two cents. Their live performances are definitely different with Kendrick Lamar. Dan Reynold’s voice is less fluid and “song-like” when Kendrick is about to get on the stage. In youtube videos from 2012 and 2013, his voice sounds more like the recording on the CD, but in recent shows such as the Grammy’s and SNL, his voice lends itself to harsher, more broken patterns emphasizing the rhyme. His mannerisms are also more hip-hop-esque. Flicking his shirt up like “it ain’t no thang,” “point out the bounce” [Jay-Z reference] in his step while he’s singing.

But it’s all good. You’ve got to prepare yourself for when you’re on the stage with Kendrick [just guessing]. And for all the kids out there who are scared Imagine Dragons is going to change…they wont. How many really successful bands change genres amidst the height of their career? But even if they did, is wanting to be like Kendrick Lamar so bad? Some people look at hip-hop and automatically judge it as being all about money, sex, having your way with any girl around, alcohol, big booties, violence, drugs etc. Or at least that’s what the majority of the Grammy voters [aged 50+] probably thought.

But when you listen to Kendrick Lamar, who by the way should’ve won all those Grammy’s, you hear something else–something original, something positive.

1. Swimming Pools: No. He’s not telling you to “Drank”

“now I done grew up round some people livin their life in bottles, granddaddy had the golden flask, backstroke every day in Chicago.” He’s relating to those people who live with alcoholics. His granddaddy is swimming/drowning in alcohol, and that’s not a good thing.

2. The Art of Peer Pressure

Rush a nigga quick then laugh about it later, aye aye aye aye
Really I’m a peacemaker but I’m with the homies right now

And momma used to say
One day, it’s gon’ burn you out

Kendrick describes peer pressure in full, detailed artistry, and how it’s easy to get mixed up in but that there are so many positive things and forces. We are all really Good Kids in a Mad City.

I could go on…but to close, what were Kendrick’s actual verses at the Grammy’s?

Bury me alive, bury me with pride
Bury me with berries, that forbidden fruit and cherry wine
Thank you berry much, but tonight’s my night and I’m Barry Bonds
Swingin’ for the fences, barbaric Kendrick in idle time

Everything in life’s subject to change, change whip, change grind
Change clothes, change opinions, right before I change my mind
I don’t really know yah business, been in there since I was bendin’ Lego blocks
Now you tell the world about me, dry snitch

Tater tots on my shotgun, now I gotta pop one at the stars
Sky’s the limit, I gotta finish as the first rapper on Mars
Mark my word, I’mma make my mark, even when they start their Martial Law
Even when these Martians alienate, my mental state is still at heart

Look in my eyes, tell me I died, tell me I tried, to compromise
Tell me you love me, tell me that I, don’t give a f*** and can barely decide
Wishin’ good luck on my enemies, all of my energy go to the almighty God
I could drown in a bottle of Hennessy, f*** your amenities, I’m gettin’ better with time

A few of my favorite meanings: “dry snitch”–when a person accidentally says something about somebody to the police. He says it regarding the fans or non-fans who are snitching on him and thereby spreading his music around.

“tater-tots”-potatoes were used to silence guns. In this case, making a potato into a childish thing kids like to eat but still saying he’s going to knock down all the other rap-stars in his way.

And then the last stanza says he doesn’t care if you’re a hater. He wishes you luck because he’s going to make it no matter what. Hate is just going to drag you down.


Now, that wasn’t so bad was it?

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