“Crown” by Kendrick Lamar
You may notice that on the cover to the “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers” album, Kendrick Lamar is rockin’ a “crown of thorns”. This is of course is a plot device, if you will, derived directly from the suffering of Christ himself.
The Lyrics of “Crown”
Well elsewhere on the album, K-Dot clarifies that he isn’t a “savior”. So he is not comparing himself to Jesus directly in this piece. But rather what he is alluding to is the idea of, as put forth in the bridge, of “heavy being the head that chooses to wear the crown’, and ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’.
In other words, being that so many people look up to Lamar, he also has a responsibility to “keep the music in rotation”, as in keep dropping tracks. And beyond that, the implication behind is that he is doing so with “love”. That is to say that staying hot in the game, to Kendrick, is not solely about generating income. Instead, part of that aforementioned responsibility also includes making music that actually has a positive impact on listeners.
But that noted, the vocalist also acknowledges that “you can’t please everybody”. Or put differently, he also seems to understand that some people will feel what he’s spittin’, and others will not. But still, “favor comes with favors”. And when Kendrick gives back it is not only to his family members but also to the fans who support him.
Something worth Mentioning
Lastly it should also be pointed out that, at least hypothetically, that in the first and third verses K-Dot acknowledges the fact that the rap game is indeed a dangerous one. No one is promised tomorrow. And as far as the music industry goes, that’s especially true as far as rappers are concerned.
The aforementioned danger is also part of his “crown”, if you will – Kendrick being out there like that with a target on his back, in a manner of speaking.
So reading in between the lines, the thesis sentiment can be gleaned as K-Dot wishing that those of us who are on the other end of this song can appreciate the sacrifices he makes for his artistry.
Credits for “Crown”
This track was produced and co-written by Duval Timothy, a musician from London whose presence can be felt throughout “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”.
As to be expected, “Crown” was also co-written by Kendrick Lamar. Another songwriter named Sam Dew is also given credits for the writing of this song.
Date of Release
“Crown” was released with the rest of its album on 13 May 2022.
The labels behind this track are Interscope Records, arguably being the most instrumental name in gangsta rap throughout the decades. Also involved is Aftermath Records, the label Dr. Dre founded in 1999 that has been a long-time partner of Interscope. Then there’s Top Dawg Entertainment, an indie company that came about during the early aughts, of which Kendrick Lamar has definitely been their biggest star. And lastly is the Universal Music Group, of which Interscope is a subsidiary.