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Trans fans praise Kendrick Lamar for his 'allyship and activism' on new 'Auntie Diaries' track

August Brown, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

But Lamar also "Asked my momma why my uncles don't like him that much / And at the parties why they always wanna fight him that much / She said, 'Ain't no tellin' / N— always been jealous because he had more women / More money and more attention made more envy.'"

Later, Lamar also calls back to an infamous real-life moment onstage in 2018 when he brought a white fan up to rap with him, and she repeated anti-Black slurs that, from Lamar's mouth, would be a normal part of hip-hop vernacular, but made him stop the show to reprimand her.

In the wake of Dave Chappelle's "The Closer" controversy, around the comedian's transphobic language, this high wire act could easily have backfired for Lamar. While trans fans are going to have different reactions informed by their wide variety of lived experience, some have said they're grateful for Lamar's candor and the delicacy with which he uses hateful phrasing to compassionate ends.

"Like it or not the use of the f— slur, dead naming and misgendering is reality. I'm sorry he didn't sugarcoat it for y'all but it's realistic as personally I get dead named and misgendered by family to this day," wrote one trans female fan on Twitter. "This song may not be some of y'all's ideal version of allyship and activism but it's done in a way that holds truth and weight to the transphobia and homophobia in hip-hop. We should be grateful one of the most remarkable rappers alive chose to bring up this topic."

"A lot of ppl have problems with Kendrick's use of the f-slur here but it's important to remember the narrative frame the song uses," wrote another trans fan. "This becomes incredibly relevant at the apex of the song…I've looked over these lyrics countless times it's very clear that everything in this song is deliberate. It's an in your face re-telling of the events that lead a previously ignorant Kendrick Lamar to become understanding of LGBTQIA+ people & provoked him to fight for them."

 

By the song's close, the language reflects his understanding, ending with Lamar in church giving a full-bodied attestation of love and humility in the face of someone's deepest truths about themselves.

"Forcing me to stand now I said, 'Mr. Preacherman, should we love thy neighbor?" he says. "The laws of the land or the heart, what's greater?'"

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©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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