Smile (at least once in a while) No Makeup (Her Vice) by Kendrick Lamar (Ft. Colin Munroe)

Since she is always stressing over her appearance, she never takes the opportunity to simply smile and enjoy life

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December 19th, 2011

This may also mean that she needs to smile even through all the pain she is going through

January 24th, 2012

This could also mean that she feels immense pressure from both sides — that she simultaneously needs to enhance her appearance and be comfortable with who she is, the latter of which might be something that’s difficult to do because of her emotional scars (“him” in the earlier line). Lamar sees no makeup as freedom, she sees it as another form of the same vice — it’s still an expectation that is put on her. She is told when to smile.

K.Dot
October 11th, 2013

I think you should overlook people in personal to understand what is being said here, we are talking about society, people in personal and when I say people in personal, it is men you have to understand. This is some kind of an apology letter to women who have to feel so bad about themselves because of the judgement society gives them. The consequence of this mocking, is the omnipresent “make-up” which is used to hide the imperfections. It was said before, in verse 1, when make-up rhymes with blur; the auteur of this text seems to like women in their purest and most natural way to be. Women will never understand good men, they’ll refuse to be set off their chains and continue doing as such because their mentalities also have changed with time. It is a very interesting conclusion.

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And in her heart she hate it there but in her mind, she made it where
Nothing really matters,
Keisha's Song (Her Pain) by Kendrick Lamar

The woman hates her ‘profession’ (prostitution) but knows it is a necessary evil because without it, she would have no source of income

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She suddenly realized, she'll never escape the allure
Of the black man, white man, needed satisfaction
At first, it became a practice, but now she's numb to it
Keisha's Song (Her Pain) by Kendrick Lamar

The woman originally traded sex for money because she saw an opportunity in lustful men and seized it, probably never planning to do it again. However, she has since done this act so many times, she has become jaded and has grown accustomed to it.

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And in her heart, she hate it there but in her mind, she made it where
Nothing really matters,
Keisha's Song (Her Pain) by Kendrick Lamar

The woman hates her ‘profession’ (prostitution) but knows it is a necessary evil because without it, she would have no source of income.

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Matter of fact, don't mistake me for no fucking rapper
They sit backstage and hide behind the fucking cameras
I mosh pit,
Fuck Your Ethnicity by Kendrick Lamar

While most typical rappers hide in the dressing room before and after live concerts, only interacting with the fans at a bare minimum, Kendrick will jump in the front row and go crazy with his fans to show he appreciates them. He’s confident, but he doesn’t see himself as above his fans, and literally expresses this by getting off the stage and moshing.

Kendrick is also using this way as a way to boast himself. By saying “fucking” rapper, he implies that he looks down upon them. Kendrick sees himself as more of a poet.

Also of note, this video of Lil Wayne turning away an interviewer who questions him on his “poetry.” Lil' Wayne claims that he’s a “rapper”, not a poet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG2S9EUE0gA

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It's just me Jay Rock, Soul and Q Rigamortus by Kendrick Lamar

Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Jay Rock are label mates at TDE and form the collective known as Black Hippy

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And I'm Morpheus, the matrix of my mind Rigamortus by Kendrick Lamar

Morpheus was a character, played by Laurence Fishburne, from the Matrix trilogy.

Kendrick like Morpheus is a messenger whose sole purpose is to free you from the vague day to day routine know as your “reality” Morpheus was able to free Neo from the machine world with pills and help guide him into freeing his true potential . Kendrick on the other hand uses his words to free our minds from the mainstream sound we grown all too accustomed to hearing and enlightens us on more “real” topics. He also spoke of The Matrix on The Spiteful Chant.

More alliteration with “I’m Morpheus, the matrix of my mind”

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(Amen) Chuuch Rigamortus by Kendrick Lamar

When someone says ‘chuuch’ it means they are in agreement with what the previous person has said. It is similar to ‘amen’ or ‘word.’ The saying was popularized by rapper Snoop Dogg.

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Smoke good, eat good, live good
Smoke good, eat good, live good
Smoke good, eat good, live good
Smoke good, eat good, live good
Poe Man's Dreams (His Vice) by Kendrick Lamar (Ft. GLC)

‘His Vices’ include marijuana/tobacco, unhealthy food, and an all-around reckless lifestyle. A “poe man’s dreams” would be to live like this. .

Most subtle lyrics ever, they are initially sung and spoken as just the relaxing and great way of living but as song proceeds you see the recklessness of this behavior. One way to catch is to know that kendrick does not smoke so it provides a hint as to the context of what “good” really means


This can also be heard as “smoke a eager Edgar,” referring to Edgar Allan Poe, whose name and financial status is played on in the song title. Poe did indeed smoke (tobacco), but his main vice was alcohol.

This song samples the collaboration song by Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson off of the album, “Winter In America”. The song samples a part from the opening piece, “Peace Go With You, Brother”

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So won't you bear witness while I bare feet
So you can walk in my shoes and get to know me
Poe Man's Dreams (His Vice) by Kendrick Lamar (Ft. GLC)

Kendrick offers to take off the shoes he has on his feet so you can walk a mile in them to better understand his life

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