[Verse 1]

from Kendrick Lamar – Black Boy Fly Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

The first verse talks about Kendrick’s jealously of NBA basketball player Arron Afflalo. They went to the same high school together and lived 2 completely different lives. While Kendrick was out ditching school and running around with his friends. Arron was staying in school, and working on his basketball skills and achieving his goals into making it out of Compton and making it in the NBA. Kendrick was envy of all the things he accomplished while he wasn’t doing anything to achieve his goals.

Arron spoke to XXL Magazine about the line and amongst other things said that:

I think it’s a form of respect. I think it’s more credit to him than me because I can only imagine the feeling that I had—that hunger to be successful and you have it in front of your face. I remember my high school days, it was a good time for me. I was almost like the golden child in the city of Compton, or at least at Centennial at that time, considering where I was as a basketball player, and all the positivity I had around me, in terms of school and people appreciating me and showing me love for what I did on the court and in the community at that time in my life. So for him to kind of be in the background and who he is today, it showed you the perseverance that he had for so many years.

I never really thought about it that way, in terms of doing [school] with an ulterior motive. I’ma do what I have to do, and if that meant focusing on school, if that meant staying in the gym hour after hour, staying hungry and competing at whatever I had to do, I would do it. I didn’t really think of it in terms of it being an example for somebody else, I was just focused on me doing what I needed to do to succeed.

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