To Pimp a Butterfly is the third studio album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on March 15, 2015 by Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records a week earlier than scheduled due to a label error.The album incorporates elements of free jazz, funk, soul, spoken word, and the avant-garde and explores a variety of political and personal themes concerning African-American culture, racial inequality, depression, and institutional discrimination.Its singles "i" (in 2015) and "Alright" (in 2016) each won Grammys for Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, with the latter also nominated for Song of the Year.
Blacker the Berry, is a racially charged song, noted for being a departure from the "self-love-promoting" "i", a single released in late 2014, however, contains a deeper meaning of the dangers of hypocrisy. Every verse in the song begins with "I'm the biggest hypocrite of 2015", followed by Lamar stating issues of racism in society. The final lyric — "So why did I weep when Trayvon Martin was in the street? / When gang banging make me kill a nigga blacker than me? / Hypocrite! " — reframes the meaning of the piece, and demonstrates an internal struggle within Lamar and the African-American community about issues of racism and events such as the death of Trayvon Martin. Lamar notes the hypocrisy of black men mourning Martin's death while also themselves committing violent acts against black men, forcing the listener to consider the complexity and perhaps inevitability of the hypocrisy discussed throughout the song.
Alright is the seventh song in the Album To pimp a butterfly and it provides a moment of hope amid To Pimp a Butterfly’s battle to find higher purpose. After “u” – where Kendrick lays out his burdens – “Alright” responds by detailing how Kendrick means to escape his troubles. By trusting in God, Kendrick is able to look past his failures and have confidence that everything will be okay – “we gon’ be alright.”On the surface, the motif is optimistic and universal, but the message is driven by specific pain and struggle. Awareness regarding the disproportionate police brutality against blacks has left many wondering if the U.S.A. has made any progress toward racial equality. Rather than despair, “Alright” assures listeners that, through solidarity, “we gon’ be alright.”The mantra made a strong impact in the 2015 summer of protest, as Black Lives Matter activists all over America chanted “we gon’ be alright” to mourn the countless black people killed by police in 2015 and provide hope for a better future.