Kendrick Lamar's Surprisingly Calm Grammy Snub Reaction, Translated
XXL Magazine tried to do some Erin Andrews instant-reaction journalism yesterday, releasing part of an interview done with Kendrick Lamar shortly after his unexpected loss in every Grammy category that he was nominated for. But Kendrick was perfectly cool, calm, and collected about the whole thing in the snippets released so far. He's just a down-to-earth and talented guy excited about the future and who already seems to be over the Grammy "snub", fan reaction, and Macklemore's odd Instagram apology-receipt.
Photo Laura June Kirsch
And while Kendrick Lamar is cool, calm and collected--how else could anyone give such a poignant and constrained response to their hardest-fought and most public loss ever-it is not in the way many of us are accustomed. There is so much raging-intellectual-shade being thrown at Macklemore, the Grammys, and the entire state of the universe in Kendrick's brief statements to XXL that they actually turn into light. Since most Americans are pretty bad at identifying when a black man is truly angry, I've taken the liberty of translating Kendrick's remarks for you.
Quote: "It's well deserved;"
Translation: "No bitch can kill my vibe."
It was not "well deserved." Whenever someone says that something was honestly earned, the sentence ends there. If it ever continues with a "but..." or weird punctuation mark (such as ";"), a shade bomb is about to be thrown.) Kendrick's decision now or in the future to answer any question about Macklemore beyond the point of simple congratulation is a signal for everyone to hold their breath and duck.
Quote: "He did what he did, man."
Translation: "In the very upside down world of Popular Music Today, Macklemore is king."
By "he," Kendrick obviously means Macklemore, but by "did what he did," Kendrick is not conceding that Macklemore made quality music in-any-way-superior-or-deserving-of-recognition. This is Kendrick dismissing the state of music today if "what he did" earned Mack Grammy gold.
Quote: "He went out there and hustled and grinded."
Translation:" ...but the one in front of the gun lives forever."
As much as we may wish it did, Kendrick does not mean to suggest that Macklemore gave people oral sex in order to win Grammys. Instead, Macklemore created and distributed sub-par music and appropriated (almost) as many cultures as the entire history of colonialism while acting-and-looking like a children's cartoon villain. Macklemore did the hustle-and-grind necessary to trick the mainstream into somehow believing he's interesting and talented. Kendrick is OK with not winning a Grammy right now if they're giving them out to folks like Macklemore. He'll get his eternal glory some day.