“United in Grief” is the opening track on Kendrick Lamar’s 2022 album ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.’ The song touches on a variety of topics including his success in the music, his mental issues, and his infidelity.
Kendrick Lamar released his fifth studio album ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’ on May 13, 2022. This is K Dot’s highly anticipated follow-up to his 2017 project ‘DAMN.’ Fans were delivered with a double album for their patience of over five years. Announcing the new album, Kendrick Lamar provided some context into what is about to come; “Love, loss, and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family. While the world around me evolves, I reflect on what matters the most. The life in which my words will land next.”
Infidelity is a topic Kendrick has touched on in several songs on the album. In “United in Grief,” Kendrick goes into specifics about a hookup he had while he was on tour. Kendrick is very much aware of the pain this has caused to his relationship with his fiancee Whitney Alford. Her vocals on the intro of the song demanding Kendrick to “Tell ’em, tell ’em the truth” are quite eerie. Whitney Alford also appears on the cover of this album.
Listen to “United in Grief” by Kendrick Lamar
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Kendrick Lamar “United in Grief” Lyrics Meaning and Song Review
Kendrick Lamar kicks off the song and the album by saying that he has been sitting on some thoughts for 1,855 days. This number equals exactly the number of days that have elapsed since his last album ‘DAMN.’ released on April 14, 2017, until his 2022 album. All the songs that follow are what he wanted to get off his chest.
Opening the song, Kendrick Lamar talks about weak men and demonic women. A man who cannot control his emotions is seen as unmanly and a woman turns into a demon when she is hurt. Kendrick does not spare his relatives, too. He calls his relatives out–the ones who spread false narratives. He calls them predators.
What is a rapper with jewelry?
A way that I show my maturity
On one hand, Kendrick Lamar is saying that the more mature a rapper gets, the better his influence over the industry grows. This is only true for high-caliber artists like Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, or Eminem. In another sense, Kendrick is saying that money and jewelry do attract a certain sense of respect in the music game. So, it is a necessary evil for even him despite trying to renounce worldly possessions.
In the lyrics that follow, Kendrick Lamar confesses that staying humble is his choice of lifestyle. He understands that time is his greatest enemy and all his accolades will wash away after he is gone.
Lamar also dives into his mental health issues throughout the album. He admits to seeking therapists’ support and he hopes that his psychologists are listening to this album. He is unpacking a lot in these lyrics and lyrics to come.
The hook of the song is dedicated to flaunting K Dot’s wealth. He talks about his luxury vehicles, a handful of mansions, and several hundred thousand worths of jewelry. As he mentioned before, these are all necessary evils for his survival in the music industry.
In the second verse of the song, Kendrick Lamar goes into detail about his infidelity with a girl with green eyes. Throughout the detailing of this woman, it is quite clear that Kendrick was starstruck by her looks.
Eyes like green penetratin’ the moonlight
Hair done in a bun, energy in the room like
Big Bang for theory, God, hopin’ you hear me
She was a model and her energy filled the room. The Big Bang Theory is a theory that states the entire universe sprung into existence from an infinitely small and extremely dense bubble of energy. This incident is believed to have been the single most chaotic event the universe has seen in its entire existence. Kendrick Lamar quickly brings God into the scene. He pleads with God to give him the strength to walk away from this girl. But he fails to get help from God this time.
This green-eyed girl had her own share of baggage with a broken home. Kendrick had his own demons. And they were in the wrong place at the wrong time for the perfect mistake. Both of them used sex to mask their pain. At that moment, in blissful ignorance, they were united in grief.
But it (or any other cases of infidelity) only amplified his pains and pains on his loved ones.
In the third and final verse of the song, Kendrick Lamar goes into further detail on his worldly possessions and how little they have actually meant to him. He bought luxury items out of necessity–not that of his. He talks about buying a Rolex that he wore only once. His mansions have swimming pools that he barely dips in. Lamar tasted luxury but he was not fulfilled.
Poverty was the case
But the money wipin’ the tears away
Lamar came from poverty and now he is worth a few million dollars. But he is still weeping. There is still some pain he is masking underneath. But at least he has a few million dollars to wipe his tears off.
A lot of people would argue that money solves all your problems. This is partially true. Money would fulfill basic human needs–but there’s a lot more to life than basic human needs that money cannot touch. Happiness is one of them.
Let us hear what you think about the song in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.