Kendrick Lamar Reveals The Deeper Meaning Of “We Cry Together”

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On May 13, Kendrick Lamar returned with his fifth studio album, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. Over six months later, the critically acclaimed record remains one of the frontrunners for rap album of the year. What’s more, Mr. Morale has earned Kendrick a whopping eight Grammy nominations ahead of the 65th annual ceremony next year.

Needless to say, Kendrick Lamar’s latest full-length offering has left quite the mark on listeners. Obviously, there were plenty of songs on the album that got people talking, from “Purple Hearts” to “Auntie Diaries.” However, one song that really provoked entertaining fan reactions on Twitter was “We Cry Together.” The chaotic track features Taylour Paige, and it also boasted a theatrical Dave Free-directed short film. At a recent private screening of the film, Kendrick and his close collaborator connected with actress Tessa Thompson to discuss the unconventional track in detail.

Kendrick Lamar’s Taylour Paige-assisted “We Cry Together” Has A Deeper Meaning

Although “We Cry Together” appears to just be a critique of toxic romantic relationships, there is more to the story. According to the Mr. Morale artist, the song and accompanying short film attempts to creatively tackle cultural clashes.

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“Ultimately, the main thing is, [we wanted to show] people that we can actually identify with. Not only from our culture but from cultures all around the world,” Kendrick Lamar said. “I think we all have individuals out there that feel like they can’t find an agreement. Whether it’s their surroundings, or whether it’s their psyche that puts them in that environment.

“The main trigger for writing the dialogue was basically the state of the world within the last five years for me. And seeing my frustrations about how nobody, and none of our cultures or belief systems, can ever come to an agreement,” he continued. “So, in writing that I say, ‘OK, how can I make this feel personal but also holding up a mirror as a collective concept, rather than just a personal concept?”

In fact, Kendrick Lamar’s fiancée Whitney Alford hints at the song’s more profound meaning in its opening moments. After the Florence + The Machine sample kicks things off, she says, “This is what the world sounds like.” The spoken line is straight to the point, and based on what Kendrick has revealed, it explains the song perfectly.

Kendrick Lamar performs on the Pyramid stage during day five of Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 26, 2022 in Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

A last-minute addition to Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers?

Furthermore, K. Dot confirmed “We Cry Together” was not even supposed to appear on Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers. At the screening’s Q&A, he revealed that the song is actually the byproduct of its sensational short film.

“The crazy part about this joint is that it started with the film first and the music — putting it on the actual album — came after,” he explained. “The idea was always to capture this writing, not no song, [but] the writing and the film and the texture and the cinematography of it in order to get the full experience out.”

Revisit the SFW version of the short film for Kendrick Lamar’s “We Cry Together” below. Then, let us know in the comments if Kendrick’s new explanation has altered your appreciation for the track.


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