“Father Time” by Kendrick Lamar (ft. Sampha) 

For a conscious artist, the truth of the matter is that Kendrick can be confrontational. He occasionally touts his superiority over other, less-successful rappers and sometimes even gets into direct beef on song. Well in “Father Time”, he reveals that such tendencies were actually developed from his relationship with his father.

To note Kendrick’s dad, Kenny Duckworth, is a former gangbanger. And even though he apparently left the game while K-Dot was still young, that doesn’t mean that the gangsta mentality just up and left him. So as implied throughout this piece he was pretty hard on Lamar, particularly in terms of compelling him, as they say in the streets, not to take any losses.

But that said, most boys in the ‘hood don’t even have an actual dad to speak of. Kendrick acknowledges that fact also, and that such often leads to these individuals “overcompensating” in terms of proving their manhood. So it reads sorta like a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t type of a situation. 

But that said, the vocalist does give a special shoutout to the homey’s who “figured it out without a father”. He’s able to recognize that as hard as his dad may have been on him at times, coming up without a father can be even more challenging.

The Meat of “Father Time”

All of the above noted, the part of this song that has actually generated headlines, as to be sorta expected, is when Kendrick gets to mentioning the recent squashing of the long-standing beef between Kanye West and Drake. He admits to being “slightly confused” when such transpired in late 2021. 

And whereas some analysts have made a big deal out of this admittance, what the vocalist is ultimately saying is that in his world, due to his “daddy issues” and what have you, dudes don’t just make up like that. Furthermore, Kendrick admits in that regard that he ‘need(s) assistance with the way he was brought up’, i.e. expressing a desire to get such socialized hostility out of his system.

Kendrick Lamar's "Father Time" Lyrics

Vocalists on “Father Time”

The featured vocalist on this track, Sampha, is a musician from London. His only studio album to date, 2017’s “Process”, won him a Mercury Prize for Album of the Year.

The mother of Kendrick Lamar’s children, Whitney Alford, serves as an additional vocalist on Father Time.

Writing and Production Credits

The producers of this track are Bēkon, Grandmaster Vic, Beach Noise (Johnny Kosich & Matthew Schaeffer), DJ Dahi, Sounwave and Duval Timothy. And that group also co-wrote the song with Kendrick, Jake The Snake and K. Jones.

Release of “Father Time”

“Father Time” can be found on the album “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”. This album is Kendrick Lamar’s fifth-studio album. On May 13, 2022, the album was launched by Top Dawg Entertainment, Interscope Records, Aftermath Entertainment and a label Kendrick himself recently founded, pgLang.

In addition to “Father Time”, some other notable songs birthed by this album include:

Father Time

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