Making sure my punctuation curve, every letter is true
Living my life in the margin and that metaphor was proof
Kendrick poetically justifies why his writing is vital to hip-hop. To explain this, he sneaks 4 literary mechanisms into the inner-workings of his rhymes (punctuation, letter, margin, metaphor).
Kendrick also sees himself as a “marginalized” youth and supports this with the metaphor in the very beginning of the verse.
Another literary mechanism: “proof,” as in proofread. One often writes in the margin of the page when he or she is proofreading.
When Kendrick say’s ‘'make sure my punctuation is curved’‘, he’s saying that when he writes, he doesn’t stop. Hence, when he uses punctuation, it is a comma, which is curved, instead of a period, which would signify a full stop. He then says ’‘every letter is true’‘ possibly implying that he can’t stop or won’t stop writing because what he has to say is important.
He’s saying that he lives his life in the margin, which is literally the small blank space at the end of the lines he writes. Metaphorically he’s suggesting that he lives life in the small time that he doesn’t spend writing raps. The genius of that metaphor proves his dedication to his craft.
He knows that each and every line he writes will be scrutinized to the point that even his punctuation is put under the microscope. So he gotta make sure that not only does he get his rhymes to come across exactly the way he wants them to, down to the letter but he also gotta make sure he actually lives what he talks about so he’s not a hypocrite (he talks about being real a lot). And this comes back to the line — living my life in the margin. So he literally lives what he writes about thereby living his life in the margin. Great metaphor proving what he just said.
In math class growing up you often had to write ‘proofs’ to show the answer and conclusion to your equation. Often they’re in the margin.
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