Yesha Callahan

Kendrick Lamar Made President Obama’s Favorite Song of the Year (But It’s Not the One You Think)


Fresh off his 11 Grammy nominations, rapper Kendrick Lamar can add another achievement to his belt. In a recent interview with People, President Obama said the Compton emcee made his favorite song of the year.

But it’s not the one you think.

While Lamar’s infectious hit “I” gave off serious self-love vibes, and his jazzy yet intense “Alright” became a protest anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement, President Obama went for a lesser known track off of the rapper’s album, To Pimp A Butterfly, the heady tune, “How Much Does A Dollar Cost.”

In the song, Lamar shows off his signature thoughtful lyrics:

How much a dollar really cost?
The question is detrimental, paralyzin’ my thoughts
Parasites in my stomach keep me with a gut feeling, y’all
Gotta see how I’m chillin’ once I park this luxury car
Hopping out feeling big as Mutombo
20 on pump 6, dirty Marcellus called me Dumbo
20 years ago, can’t forget
Now I can lend all my ear or two how to stack these residuals
Tenfold, the liberal concept of what men’ll do
20 on 6, he didn’t hear me
Indigenous African only spoke Zulu
My American tongue was slurry
Walked out the gas station
A homeless man with a semi-tan complexion
Asked me for ten rand, stressin’ about dry land
Deep water, powder blue skies that crack open
A piece of crack that he wanted, I knew he was smokin’
He begged and pleaded
Asked me to feed him twice, I didn’t believe it
Told him, “Beat it”
Contributin’ money just for his pipe, I couldn’t see it
He said, “My son, temptation is one thing that I’ve defeated
Listen to me, I want a single bill from you
Nothin’ less, nothin’ more”
I told him I ain’t have it and closed my door
Tell me how much a dollar cost

While President Obama went for an unlikely choice that shows he’s a serious rap fan, Mrs. Obama picked the ubiquitous tune, Uptown Funk, as her favorite song of 2015.

What was your favorite song of the year?

  1. December 10, 2015 - Reply

    Rolling Stone, “Barack digs a bit deeper with Kendrick Lamar’s hypnotic To Pimp a Butterfly standout “How Much a Dollar Cost.”

    “How Much a Dollar Cost” Lyrics Kendrick Lamar

    “I never understood someone beggin’ for goods
    Askin’ for handouts, takin’ it if they could”

    In various interviews Kendrick speaks about his mom and dad accepting handouts, depression and suicidal thoughts.

    Kendrick Lamar Talks About ‘u,’ His Depression & Suicidal Thoughts (Pt. 2) | MTV News

    In his 2015 Grammy award winning Rap Performance titled “I”, Kendrick Lamar writes, “I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent.”

    During a January 20, 2011 LAWeekly interview (Google search) Kendrick, born in 1987, the same year songwriter Suzanne Vega wrote a song about child abuse and VICTIM DENIAL that was nominated for a Grammy award, he told the interviewer:

    “Lamar’s parents moved from Chicago to Compton in 1984 with all of $500 in their pockets. “My mom’s one of 13 [THIRTEEN] siblings, and they all got SIX kids, and till I was 13 everybody was in Compton,” he says.”

    “I’m 6 years old, seein’ my uncles playing with shotguns, sellin’ dope in front of the apartment. My moms and pops never said nothing, ’cause they were young and living wild, too. I got about 15 stories like ‘Average Joe.'”

    It seems evident to me Kendrick identified the source of his depression, the roots of poverty, the child abuse/maltreatment that prevented him, his brothers, sisters, cousins, neighborhood friends, elementary and JHS classmates from enjoying a fairly happy, safe Average Joe and Josie American kid childhood.

    Seems the adults responsible for raising the children in Kendrick’s immediate and extended family placed obstacles in their children’s way, causing their kids to deal with challenges and stresses young minds are not prepared to deal with…nor should they or any other children be exposed to and have to deal with.

    It seems evident to me these PARENTAL INTRODUCED obstacles and challenges cause some developing children’s minds to become tormented and go haywire, not knowing OR NOT CARING ABOUT right from wrong…because as they mature, young victims of child abuse realize their parents introduced them to a life of pain and struggle, totally unlike the mostly safe, happy life the media showed them many American kids were enjoying. RESENTMENT

    I cannot speak for anyone else, but if I was raised in Kendrick’s family I would most likely be silently peeved at my parents for being immature irresponsible “living wild” adults who deprived me of experiencing and enjoying a fairly happy Average Joe American kid childhood with *Safe Streets* to travel and play on.

    Though like many victims of child abuse, most likely I would deny my parents harmed me, seeking to blame others for the pain my parents caused to me.

    I wonder how little Kendrick and his classmates reacted when their elementary school teacher introduced the DARE presenter and they learned about the real dangers of drugs and how they harm people, including their parents? Cognitive Dissonance

    In a Oct 25, 2012, LAWeekly interview (Google search) Kendrick talks about being a SIX-YEAR-OLD child who was not able to trust and rely on his mom…essentially he speaks about being emotionally abandon by his own mom.

    Frankly, imo by selecting “How Much a Dollar Cost” instead of “I”, Mr. Obama wasted an opportunity to “dig deep,” into the depression Kendrick raps and speaks about…depression caused by the culture of Child Abuse and Neglect that Kendrick speaks about in his many publicly aired and published interviews.

    (NY Times May 18, 2015 – Rise in Suicide by Black Children Surprises Researchers)

    Black *(Children’s)* Lives Matter; Take Pride In Parenting; End Our National Epidemic of Child Abuse and Neglect; End Community Violence, Police Fear & Educator’s Frustrations

    • December 11, 2015 - Reply


      ‘Deja Vu’
      ‘Sweet Ironies’
      ‘Sound That You Hear’

      The Hue-man Ethnic Movement on YouTube

      Mental Grafik on soundloud

      True hip hop fans unite…It’s time for a movement!

  2. December 10, 2015 - Reply

    President Barack Obama has always been a rap fan for a long time. He loves to listen to hip hop music and he understands a great deal about its culture. Kendrick Lamar is a very talented Brother. What is my favorite song of the year? There are so many. One is Tamar Braxton’s “Free Fallin'” Tamar’s new album is a classic. Another is Seal’s “Do You Ever.”

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