If I told you that a flower bloomed in a dark room, would you trust it?

from Kendrick Lamar (Ft. Drake) – Poetic Justice Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Kendrick Lamar is the flower that bloomed (good kid) in the dark room (maad city).

It is almost impossible for a flower to bloom without light, though there are exceptions, leaving hope.

Could love grow from the darkness in Sherane’s heart? i.e. Could she trust Kendrick enough to love him too?

The flower could also represent Kendrick’s relationship with Sherane: both emotionally and sexually. It’s unlikely that their love could really bloom in such dismal circumstances, especially the gang tensions from her cousin. Sexually speaking, there is an illusion to sex/impregnation: a flower comes from a seed and when a man ejaculates in a woman, he gives her a seed.

We’re not done yet. Seems like the line also has a deeper philosophical connotation. There is a recursive logic following the song and the idea of “poetic justice” seems to be a meta-narrative about the disparity between conspiring or contriving love and what it actually feels like if it happens in the moment, kind of like the idea of a “self-fulfilling prophecy”. If you grew up in the hood, and you believe that growing up in the hood means you won’t amount to anything, then you won’t. If you don’t believe in love, or aren’t prepared to do what you must to get it (as Kendrick states more explicitly a little later), you aren’t gonna get it. This album is testament to the certainty of what is self-made in this world; things won’t happen unless you make them. Love, success, pure survival, it all has a common condition: effort.

ALSO a reference to 2Pac’s The Rose That Grew From Concrete Vol. 1, seeing as how this entire song is almost a subtle nod to Pac.

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