Music

Kendrick Lamar raps about trans relatives in ‘barrier-breaking’ new song

Maggie Baska May 13, 2022
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Kendrick Lamar raps on stage while wearing a black shirt and a brown pants

Kendrick Lamar opens up about his journey fighting prejudice and accepting his trans family members in new song, "Auntie Diaries". (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Fans have praised Kendrick Lamar for his new track, “Auntie Diaries”, in which he discusses his journey in accepting his trans family members. 

Taken from his new album, Mr Morales and the Big Stepper, Kendrick Lamar’s “Auntie Diaries” sees that star rap candidly about homophobia and transphobia and how they affected his acceptance of his trans relatives.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper opens up about his own past prejudices, and how he’s “old enough to understand now”.

Lamar raps about his close relationship with his “auntie”, a trans man, who “cut my hair at the pad” and was the “first person I seen write a rap”.

Lamar raps about other family members rejecting his relative, but says he “took pride” in embracing him.

In the second-half of the track, Lamar raps about his “favourite cousin” who later came out as trans, and the church’s response to her.

In his lyrics, Lamar deadnames his cousin, as well as Caitlyn Jenner, and also mentions dropping “f bombs” before he knew any better.

Addressing his cousin, he adds: “The very second you challenge that s**t I was kicking,” referring back to a time he stopped a white fan from using the N word during a concert.

“You said Kendrick, ain’t no room for contradiction.”

Fans have praised Lamar for his open conversation about the nature of prejudice in “Auntie Diaries”.

While some criticised Lamar’s choices of language, others argued that he intentionally used misgendering, deadnaming and hateful slurs to illustrate how he wrestled with prejudice in his past to move towards acceptance. 

 

“Auntie Diaries” is part of Kendrick Lamar’s new album Mr Morale & The Big Steppers, which is his first LP after winning a Pulitzer Prize for 2017’s Damn

The 14-time Grammy winner trailed the album with “The Heart Part 5”, the video for which sees Lamar use a series of deepfakes to transform into OJ Simpson, Kanye West, Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant. 

In the music video, Kendrick Lamar also transformed into ex-Empire star Jussie Smollett and rapped about playing the victim. He said: “That’s the culture, point the finger, promote ya.”

Smollett was convicted earlier this year for staging a racist, homophobic hate crime against himself. The actor was released from jail in March after serving just six days behind bars as he appeals his sentence. 

Mr Morale & The Big Steppers is out now.

 

More: kendrick lamar, rap

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