Kendrick Lamar Calls ‘Damn.’ His Calling to ‘Share the Fear of God’ in Open Letter
Kendrick Lamar directly addresses his spirituality and mortality on his most recent layered release, Damn. But one theme that is prevalent throughout the project is his thoughts on God—his personal relationship with God and what that means as he lives his life. Throughout the album, Lamar questions his own humanity in the eyes of the Almighty. So does he fear God?
K.Dot addresses this issue in an open letter in response to a recent DJ Booth.com think piece: "Praise & Questions: How Kendrick & Chance Talk to God in Different Ways" which explores how the Compton rhymer speaks to God.
Lamar's letter to DJ Booth reads in part:
I didn't expect anyone to catch it. How I express God. I went to a local church some time ago, and it appalled me that the same program was in practice. A program that I seen as a kid the few times I was in service. Praise, dance. Worship. (Which is beautiful.) Pastor spewing the idea of someone's season is approaching. The idea of hope. So on and so forth.
As a child, I always felt this Sermon had an emptiness about it. Kinda one sided, in what I felt in my heart. Fast forward. After being heavily in my studies these past few years, I've finally figured out why I left those services feeling spiritually unsatisfied as a child. I discovered more truth. But simple truth. Our God is a loving God. Yes. He's a merciful God. Yes. But he's even more so a God of DISCIPLE. OBEDIENCE. A JEALOUS God. And for every conscious choice of sin, will be corrected through his discipline. Whether physical or mental. Direct or indirect. Through your sufferings, or someone that's close to [sic] ken. It will be corrected.
Hence the concept 'The wages of sin is Death.' It shall be corrected. As a community, we was taught to pray for our mishaps, and he'll forgive you. Yes, this is true. But he will also reprimand us as well. As a child, I can't recall hearing this in service. Maybe leaders of the church knew it will run off churchgoers? No one wants to hear about karma from the decisions they make. It's a hard truth. We want to hear about hope, salvation, and redemption. Though his son died for our sins, our free will to make whatever choice we want, still allows him to judge us.
So in conclusion, I feel it's my calling to share the joy of God, but with exclamation, more so, the FEAR OF GOD. The balance. Knowing the power in what he can build, and also what he can destroy. At any giving moment."
You can read Kendrick Lamar's letter in its entirety at DJBooth.net.