Alright by Kendrick Lamar

October 12, 2018 General Studies

Not all roads we go through in life are smooth, everyone will eventually go through hard times. In Kendrick Lamar’s lyrics to “Alright,” the theme or message about life is to continue having faith even after all the bumpy roads in life, and everything will be fine. Lamar has also gone through hard times but he knows how to overcome them and he wants to help his listeners through those hard times with the one thing that hasn’t failed him, faith. The song is more than just an enjoyful sing-along, it has a very deep underlying meaning as well.He uses many literary devices such as vernacular, repetition and allusions in his lyrics to gain a clear understanding from his audience.

Lamar begins his lyrics to “Alright” with the use of a post-slavery vernacular of uneducated African Americans from the south to portray the emotions of the past and present struggles of African Americans. The first line of lyrics, “Alls my life I has to fight”, is a refernce to the novel, The Color Novel, which is about post-slavery issues. The incorrect grammar, “Alls my life I has to fight”, exemplifies the southern, post-slavery vernacular of uneducated African Americans. The diction “life” implies constant and always. “Fight” implies the struggle to survive. This was a common social issue during post-slavery.

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Lamar also uses the literary technique of repetition. He begins the first two lines with “Alls my life” to imply that as an African American, he has struggled and continues to struggle his way through life. However, the most repeated phrase throughout the song is “we gon’ be alright”, were he once again uses post-slavery vernacular. The phrase “we gon’ be alright” strongly implies faith. According to Lamar, faith is very important, not only in the past but, faith will help us through today’s struggles as well. Lamar believes that even with today’s gangs, homicide and violence, keeping our faith will get …


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