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Mortal Man
Kendrick Lamar Lyrics


Oh, oh, woah
Oh, oh
Oh, ooh
Yeah yeah, yeah
Yeah yeah, yeah
Yeah yeah
Yeah yeah, yeah

The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows stay propellin'
Let these words be your Earth and moon, you consume every message
As I lead this army, make room for mistakes and depression
And with that being said, my nigga, let me ask this question

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan (one two, one two)
Uh when shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows stay propellin'
Let these words be your Earth and moon, you consume every message
As I lead this army, make room for mistakes and depression
And with that being said, my nigga, let me ask this question

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
Won't you look to your left and right? Make sure you ask your friends
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

Do you believe in me? Are you deceiving me?
Could I let you down easily, is your heart where it need to be?
Is your smile on permanent? Is your vow on lifetime?
Would you know where the sermon is if I died in this next line?
If I'm tried in a court of law, if the industry cut me off
If the government want me dead, plant cocaine in my car
Would you judge me a drug-head or see me as K. Lamar?
Or question my character and degrade me on every blog?
Want you to love me like Nelson, want you to hug me like Nelson
I freed you from being a slave in your mind, you're very welcome
You tell me my song is more than a song, it's surely a blessing
But a prophet ain't a prophet til they ask you this question

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
Won't you look to your left and right? Make sure you ask your friends
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows stay propellin'
Let my words be your Earth and moon, you consume every message
As I lead this army, make room for mistakes and depression
And with that

Do you believe in me? How much you believe in her?
You think she gon' stick around if them 25 years occur?
You think he can hold you down when you down behind bars, hurt?
You think y'all on common ground if you promise to be the first?
Can you be immortalized without your life being expired?
Even though you share the same blood, is it worth the time?
Like, who got your best interest? Like, how much are you dependent?
How clutch are the people that say they love you and who pretending?
How tough is your skin when they turn you in? Do you show forgiveness?
What brush do you bend when dusting your shoulders from being offended?
What kind of den did they put you in when the lions start hissing?
What kind of bridge did they burn? Revenge or your mind when it's mentioned
You wanna love like Nelson, you wanna be like Nelson
You wanna walk in his shoes, but your peacemaking seldom
You wanna be remembered that delivered the message
That considered the blessing of everyone
This your lesson for everyone, say

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
Won't you look to your left and right? Make sure you ask your friends
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

The voice of Mandela, hope this flow stay propellin'
Let my word be your Earth and moon, you consume every message
As I lead this army, make room for mistakes and depression
And if you riding with me, nigga

I been wrote off before, I got abandonment issues
I hold grudges like bad judges, don't let me resent you
That's not Nelson-like—want you to love me like Nelson
I went to Robben's Island analysing, that's where his cell is
So I could find clarity—like, how much you cherish me?
Is this relationship a fake, or real as the heavens be?
See I got to question it all; family, friends, fans, cats, dogs
Trees, plants, grass, how the wind blow, Murphy's Law
Generation X—will I ever be your ex?
Flaws of a baby step', mauled by the mouth a bit
Pause, put me under stress, crawled under rocks, duckin' y'all
It's respect—but then tomorrow, put my back against the wall
How many leaders you said you needed then left 'em for dead?
Is it Moses? Is it Huey Newton or Detroit Red?
Is it Martin Luther? JFK? Shooter—you assassin
Is it Jackie? Is it Jesse? Oh, I know it's Michael Jackson—oh

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
That nigga gave us "Billie Jean" you say he touched those kids?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows stay propelling
Let my word be your Earth and moon, you consume every message
As I lead this army, make room for mistakes and depression
And if you riding with me, nigga, let me ask this question, nigga

I remember you was conflicted
Misusing your influence
Sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power, full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screaming in the hotel room
I didn't wanna self destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went running for answers
Until I came home
But that didn't stop survivor's guilt
Going back and forth trying to convince myself the stripes I earned
Or maybe how A-1 my foundation was
But while my loved ones was fighting the continuous war back in the city
I was entering a new one
A war that was based on apartheid and discrimination
Made me wanna go back to the city and tell the homies what I learned
The word was respect
Just because you wore a different gang color than mine's
Doesn't mean I can't respect you as a black man
Forgetting all the pain and hurt we caused each other in these streets
If I respect you
We unify and stop the enemy from killing us
But I don't know
I'm no mortal man
Maybe I'm just another nigga
Shit and that's all I wrote
I was gonna call it "Another Nigga" but
It ain't really a poem, I just felt like it's something you probably could relate to
Other than that, now that I finally got a chance to holla at you
I always wanted to ask you about a certain situa- about a metaphor actually
Uh, you spoke on the ground
What you mean by that, what the ground represent?

The ground is gonna open up and swallow the evil
Right
That's how I see it, my word is bond
I see—and the ground is the symbol for the poor people
Right
The poor people is gonna open up this whole world and swallow up the rich people
'Cause the rich people gonna be so fat
And they gonna be so appetizing, you know what I'm saying wealthy, appetizing
The poor gonna be so poor, and hungry
Right
You know what I'm saying, it's gonna be like
You know what I'm saying, it's gonna be
There might, there might be some cannibalism out this muh-fu-
They might eat the rich, you know what I'm saying?

Aite, so let me ask you this then
Do you see yourself as somebody that's rich or
Somebody that made the best of they own opportunities?

I see myself as a natural born hustler
A true hustler in every sense of the word
I took nothin', I took the opportunities
I worked at the most menial and degrading job
And built myself up so I could get it to where I owned it
I went from having somebody managing me
To me hiring the person that works my management company
I changed everything, I realized my destiny
In a matter of five years, you know what I'm saying?
I made myself a millionaire, I made millions for a lot of people
Now it's time to make millions for myself, you know what I'm saying?
I made millions for the record companies
I made millions for these movie companies
Now I make millions for, for us

And through your different avenues of success
How would you say you managed to keep a level of sanity?

By my faith in God, by my faith in the game
And by my faith in "all good things come to those that stay true"
Right
You know what I'm saying? And and it was happening to me for a reason
You know what I'm saying, I was noticing, shit
I was, I was punching the right buttons and it was happening
So it's no problem, you know
I mean, it's a problem but I'm not finna let them know
I'm finna go straight through

Would you consider yourself a fighter at heart or somebody that
Somebody that only reacts when they back is against the wall?

Shit, I like to think that at every opportunity I've ever been, uh
Threatened with resistance, it's been met with resistance
And not only me but, it goes down my family tree
You know what I'm saying, it's in my veins to fight back

Aite well
How long will you think it take before niggas be like
"We fighting a war, I'm fighting a war I can't win
And I wanna lay it all down"

In this country, a black man only have like
5 years we can exhibit maximum strength
And that's right now while you a teenager, while you still strong
While you still wanna lift weights, while you still wanna shoot back
'Cause once you turn 30 it's like
They take the heart and soul out of a man
Out of a black man, in this country
And you don't wanna fight no more
And if you don't believe me, you can look around
You don't see no loud mouth 30-year old motherfuckers

That's crazy, because me being one of your offsprings
Of the legacy you left behind, I can truly tell you that
There's nothing but turmoil goin' on so, I wanted to ask you
What you think is the future for me and my generation today?

I think that niggas is tired of grabbin' shit out the stores
And next time it's a riot it's gonna be like, uh, bloodshed
For real, I don't think America know that
I think America think we was just playing
And it's gonna be some more playing but
It ain't gonna be no playing
It's gonna be murder, you know what I'm saying?
It's gonna be like, like Nat Turner, 1831, up in this motherfucker
You know what I'm saying, it's gonna happen

That's crazy man
In my opinion only hope that we kinda
Have left is music and vibrations
Lot a people don't understand how important it is, you know
Sometimes I can like, get behind a mic
And I don't know what type of energy I'ma push out
Or where it comes from
Trip me out sometimes

Because it's spirits, we ain't even really rappin'
We just letting our dead homies tell stories for us
Damn

I wanted to read one last thing to you
It's actually something a good friend had wrote
Describing my world
It says:
"The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it
Its only job is to eat or consume everything around it
In order to protect itself from this mad city
While consuming its environment
The caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive
One thing it noticed is how much the world shuns him
But praises the butterfly
The butterfly represents the talent
The thoughtfulness and the beauty within the caterpillar
But having a harsh outlook on life
The caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak
And figures out a way to pimp it to his own benefits
Already surrounded by this mad city
The caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon
Which institutionalizes him
He can no longer see past his own thoughts
He's trapped
When trapped inside these walls certain ideas take root, such as
Going home, and bringing back new concepts to this mad city
The result?
Wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant
Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations
That the caterpillar never considered
Ending the internal struggle
Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different
They are one and the same"
What's your perspective on that?
Pac?
Pac?
Pac?!

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT (FRANCE), F.K.O. Music, BMG Rights Management, EMI MUSIC PUBLISHING FRANCE, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
Written by: Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears, Stephen Lee Bruner

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
To comment on specific lyrics, highlight them
Most interesting comments from YouTube:

Samnang Than

To Pimp a Butterfly
[Poem begins 10:39]

The caterpillar is a prisoner
to the streets that conceived it.

Its only job is to eat or consume
everything around it
In order to protect itself from this mad city.

While consuming its environment
The caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive.

One thing it noticed is how much
the world shuns him
But praises the butterfly.

The butterfly represents the talent,
The thoughtfulness and the beauty
within the caterpillar.

But having a harsh outlook on life,
The caterpillar sees the butterfly
as weak
And figures out a way to pimp it
to his own benefits.

Already surrounded by this mad city,
The caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon
Which institutionalizes him.

He can no longer see
past his own thoughts--

He's trapped.

When trapped inside
these walls,
certain ideas take root, such as
Going home
and bringing back new concepts to this mad city.

The result?

Wings begin to emerge
breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant.

Finally free
the butterfly sheds light on situations
the caterpillar never considered--
Ending the internal struggle.

Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different,


They are
one and the same.

What is your perspective on that?



Samnang Than

Just wanted to put out my perspective here. Feel free to comment, critique, or put your own perspective.

Notice the lines in the beginning of the poem and the last few lines, Kendrick mentions:

The caterpillar is a prisoner
to the streets that conceived it.

and

Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different,
They are
one and the same.

From the literal meaning of the caterpillar, people are prisoners to their set ways of thinking and being. The choice of the word "streets" is both figurative and literal. Some people are born and conditioned to the culture of the streets, their family culture, religion, etc. It can be interpreted as the people are only products of their surroundings if they let it. So what does the butterfly represent?

"The talent, the thoughtfulness and the beauty."

If we are the caterpillars, trapped within the walls of our set ways of thinking and being, and if the butterfly and caterpillars are one and same, then we have the potential and capability to be "talented and thoughtful." We have the ability to advocate and create changes within ourselves, others and our communities BECAUSE we are able to relate in some ways to others who share our struggles.

We can be the butterfly to the caterpillars of our generation and the next.



Robert Zaludek

Mortal Man"

The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel it
Let these words be your earth and moon
You consume every message
As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression
And with that being said my nigga, let me ask this question:

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan (one two, one two)
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel it
Let these words be your earth and moon
You consume every message
As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression
And with that being said my nigga, let me ask this question:

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
Want you look to your left and right, make sure you ask your friends
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

Do you believe in me? Are you deceiving me?
Could I let you down easily, is your heart where it need to be?
Is your smile on permanent? Is your vow on lifetime?
Would you know where the sermon is if I died in this next line?
If I'm tried in a court of law, if the industry cut me off
If the government want me dead, plant cocaine in my car
Would you judge me a drug-head or see me as K. Lamar
Or question my character and degrade me on every blog
Want you to love me like Nelson, want you to hug me like Nelson
I freed you from being a slave in your mind, you're very welcome
You tell me my song is more than a song, it's surely a blessing
But a prophet ain't a prophet til they ask you this question:

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
Want you look to your left and right, make sure you ask your friends
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel it
Let my words be your earth and moon you consume every message
As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression
And with that

Do you believe in me? How much you believe in her?
You think she gon' stick around if them 25 years occur?
You think he can hold you down when you down behind bars hurt?
You think y'all on common ground if you promise to be the first? Can you be immortalised without your life being expired?
Even though you share the same blood is it worth the time?
Like who got your best interest?
Like how much are you dependent?
How clutch are the people that say they love you?
And who pretending?
How tough is your skin when they turn you in?
Do you show forgiveness?
What brush do you bend when dusting your shoulders from being offended?
What kind of den did they put you in when the lions start hissing?
What kind of bridge did they burn?
Revenge or your mind when it's mentioned?
You wanna love like Nelson, you wanna be like Nelson
You wanna walk in his shoes but you peacemaking seldom
You wanna be remembered that delivered the message
That considered the blessing of everyone
This your lesson for everyone, say

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
Want you look to your left and right, make sure you ask your friends
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

The voice of Mandela, hope this flow stay propellin'
Let my word be your Earth and moon
You consume every message
As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression
And if you riding with me, nigga

I been wrote off before, I got abandonment issues
I hold grudges like bad judges, don't let me resent you
That's not Nelson-like, want you to love me like Nelson
I went to Robben's Island analysing, that's where his cell is
So I could find clarity, like how much you cherish me
Is this relationship a fake or real as the heavens be?
See I got to question it all, family, friends, fans, cats, dogs
Trees, plants, grass, how the wind blow
Murphy's Law, generation X, will I ever be your X?
Floss off a baby step, mauled by the mouth of
Pit bulls, put me under stress
Crawled under rocks, ducking y'all, it's respect
But then tomorrow, put my back against the wall
How many leaders you said you needed then left 'em for dead?
Is it Moses, is it Huey Newton or Detroit Red?
Is it Martin Luther, JFK, shoot or you assassin
Is it Jackie, is it Jesse, oh I know, it's Michael Jackson, oh

When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?
That nigga gave us "Billie Jean", you say he touched those kids?
When shit hit the fan, is you still a fan?

The ghost of Mandela, hope my flows they propel it
Let my word be your earth and moon you consume every message
As I lead this army make room for mistakes and depression
And if you riding with me nigga, let me ask this question nigga

[Kendrick Lamar:]
"I remember you was conflicted
Misusing your influence
Sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power, full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screaming in the hotel room
I didn't wanna self destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went running for answers
Until I came home
But that didn't stop survivor's guilt
Going back and forth trying to convince myself the stripes I earned
Or maybe how A-1 my foundation was
But while my loved ones was fighting the continuous war back in the city, I was entering a new one
A war that was based on apartheid and discrimination
Made me wanna go back to the city and tell the homies what I learned
The word was respect
Just because you wore a different gang color than mine's
Doesn't mean I can't respect you as a black man
Forgetting all the pain and hurt we caused each other in these streets
If I respect you, we unify and stop the enemy from killing us
But I don't know, I'm no mortal man, maybe I'm just another nigga"



Quique Ackerman

I remember you was conflicted
Misusing your influence
Sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power, full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screaming in the hotel room
I didn't wanna self destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went running for answers
Until I came home
But that didn't stop survivor's guilt
Going back and forth trying to convince myself the stripes I earned
Or maybe how A-1 my foundation was
But while my loved ones was fighting the continuous war back in the city
I was entering a new one
A war that was based on apartheid and discrimination
Made me wanna go back to the city and tell the homies what I learned
The word was respect
Just because you wore a different gang color than mine's
Doesn't mean I can't respect you as a black man
Forgetting all the pain and hurt we caused each other in these streets
If I respect you
We unify and stop the enemy from killing us
But I don't know
I'm no mortal man
Maybe I'm just another nigga
Shit and that's all I wrote
I was gonna call it "Another Nigga" but
It ain't really a poem, I just felt like it's something you probably could relate to
Other than that, now that I finally got a chance to holla at you
I always wanted to ask you about a certain situa- about a metaphor actually
Uh, you spoke on the ground
What you mean by that, what the ground represent?

The ground is gonna open up and swallow the evil
Right
That's how I see it, my word is bond
I see—and the ground is the symbol for the poor people
Right
The poor people is gonna open up this whole world and swallow up the rich people
'Cause the rich people gonna be so fat
And they gonna be so appetizing, you know what I'm saying wealthy, appetizing
The poor gonna be so poor, and hungry
Right
You know what I'm saying, it's gonna be like
You know what I'm saying, it's gonna be
There might, there might be some cannibalism out this muh-fu-
They might eat the rich, you know what I'm saying?

Aite, so let me ask you this then
Do you see yourself as somebody that's rich or
Somebody that made the best of they own opportunities?

I see myself as a natural born hustler
A true hustler in every sense of the word
I took nothin', I took the opportunities
I worked at the most menial and degrading job
And built myself up so I could get it to where I owned it
I went from having somebody managing me
To me hiring the person that works my management company
I changed everything, I realized my destiny
In a matter of five years, you know what I'm saying?
I made myself a millionaire, I made millions for a lot of people
Now it's time to make millions for myself, you know what I'm saying?
I made millions for the record companies
I made millions for these movie companies
Now I make millions for, for us

And through your different avenues of success
How would you say you managed to keep a level of sanity?

By my faith in God, by my faith in the game
And by my faith in "all good things come to those that stay true"
Right
You know what I'm saying? And and it was happening to me for a reason
You know what I'm saying, I was noticing, shit
I was, I was punching the right buttons and it was happening
So it's no problem, you know
I mean, it's a problem but I'm not finna let them know
I'm finna go straight through

Would you consider yourself a fighter at heart or somebody that
Somebody that only reacts when they back is against the wall?

Shit, I like to think that at every opportunity I've ever been, uh
Threatened with resistance, it's been met with resistance
And not only me but, it goes down my family tree
You know what I'm saying, it's in my veins to fight back

Aite well
How long will you think it take before niggas be like
"We fighting a war, I'm fighting a war I can't win
And I wanna lay it all down"

In this country, a black man only have like
5 years we can exhibit maximum strength
And that's right now while you a teenager, while you still strong
While you still wanna lift weights, while you still wanna shoot back
'Cause once you turn 30 it's like
They take the heart and soul out of a man
Out of a black man, in this country
And you don't wanna fight no more
And if you don't believe me, you can look around
You don't see no loud mouth 30-year old motherfuckers

That's crazy, because me being one of your offsprings
Of the legacy you left behind, I can truly tell you that
There's nothing but turmoil goin' on so, I wanted to ask you
What you think is the future for me and my generation today?

I think that niggas is tired of grabbin' shit out the stores
And next time it's a riot it's gonna be like, uh, bloodshed
For real, I don't think America know that
I think America think we was just playing
And it's gonna be some more playing but
It ain't gonna be no playing
It's gonna be murder, you know what I'm saying?
It's gonna be like, like Nat Turner, 1831, up in this motherfucker
You know what I'm saying, it's gonna happen

That's crazy man
In my opinion only hope that we kinda
Have left is music and vibrations
Lot a people don't understand how important it is, you know
Sometimes I can like, get behind a mic
And I don't know what type of energy I'ma push out
Or where it comes from
Trip me out sometimes

Because it's spirits, we ain't even really rappin'
We just letting our dead homies tell stories for us
Damn

I wanted to read one last thing to you
It's actually something a good friend had wrote
Describing my world
It says:
"The caterpillar is a prisoner to the streets that conceived it
Its only job is to eat or consume everything around it
In order to protect itself from this mad city
While consuming its environment
The caterpillar begins to notice ways to survive
One thing it noticed is how much the world shuns him
But praises the butterfly
The butterfly represents the talent
The thoughtfulness and the beauty within the caterpillar
But having a harsh outlook on life
The caterpillar sees the butterfly as weak
And figures out a way to pimp it to his own benefits
Already surrounded by this mad city
The caterpillar goes to work on the cocoon
Which institutionalizes him
He can no longer see past his own thoughts
He's trapped
When trapped inside these walls certain ideas take root, such as
Going home, and bringing back new concepts to this mad city
The result?
Wings begin to emerge, breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant
Finally free, the butterfly sheds light on situations
That the caterpillar never considered
Ending the internal struggle
Although the butterfly and caterpillar are completely different
They are one and the same"
What's your perspective on that?
Pac?
Pac?
Pac?!



All comments from YouTube:

Sewage Drain Coochie

The Tupac interview is becoming more and more relevant by the day

Amanda Klessig

GOTTA LOVE TUPAC. BLACK JESUS. Great song. REAL

Evan Liu

always has been up until now, sis. now's time to change that.

Sewage Drain Coochie

@jake fdafdaf i didn't downplay anything, i just said it's becoming more and more relevant, which it is. Obviously it's BEEN relevant for decades but to say it hasn't become MORE relevant (in regards to media attention, general population becoming more aware, civil unrest, etc.) is simply not true.

jake fdafdaf

@Sewage Drain Coochie Well you basically did by downplaying what happened then and before by stating it is becoming more relevant by the day when its always been the same amount of relevance lol. Just saying.

Sewage Drain Coochie

@jake fdafdaf never said it wasn't back then dude

38 More Replies...

smokyprogg

The editing on the Tupac interview is amazing. Feels like he's actually there.

RIP Pac

Discovery

@Henry Hernandez Link please

Henry Hernandez

Zixon idiot, Suge Knights son even confirmed it. Stfu

Discovery

@Henry Hernandez Dumbass, where’s your proof? Some article at the last page of Google?

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