Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, who goes by just his first two names, was born and raised in Compton, California.

Lamar doesn’t consider himself a religious person, but there’s no doubt that he believes in God and that God is an important part of the rapper’s life. When asked about how some of his songs are religious in nature, he said,

I wouldn’t say I’m the most religious person, neither were both of my parents. I always do quote-unquote religious songs or whatever you want to call them from the standpoint where I’m trying to find answers. . . . I’m a sinner and I’m trying to figure myself out.1

But he seems to have figured at least some stuff out. When going on a ramble about how it doesn’t matter if someone landed on the moon or not (even though he thinks that’s probably not the case), he said religion doesn’t matter. It’s all about your relationship with God–minus all that other stuff:

Believe in God, it’s only one God. Fuck all that religion shit. Believe in one God, and do right. Try your best to do right, we ain’t perfect. Just do that and everything will be straight.2

It’s easy to assume that Lamar’s concept of God is based in the Christian one since the religious content in his songs tends to be based in Christianity.34 At the very least, even if he doesn’t consider himself a Christian, he’s a monotheist. And to him, God isn’t just an observer. He is actively pulling the strings.5 And now that we’re here, we might as well start talking about politics.

Political atheism to political activism

In the summer of 2012, Lamar made it clear that he did not believe in the political machine. After all, what’s the point of a president when God’s the one who’s really in charge? When asked if he thought his vote counted, he just laughed:

I’m not voting; I don’t do no voting. . . . Cause what’s goin’ on isn’t really in our hands. If it’s not in the president’s hands, then it’s definitely not in yours. . . . There’s something else that’s out there that’s pushing the buttons, so they can do whatever they want to do, been doing it for years, we’re all puppets.6

Or at least that’s how he used to feel. Just days before Barack Obama was reelected as president, he gave an interview saying he thought people put too much faith in a Higher Power and didn’t take personal responsibility for making political change.7 And he said he’d be voting for Obama:

I think I’m going to go ahead [and vote for Barack Obama], just because I cannot see Mitt Romney [winning]. I’ll be on food stamps my whole life! I just don’t feel like he’s got a good heart at all.8

So even if he was suspicious before that any of this matters, he seems to have turned into a Democrat overnight. If he decides to return to political atheism, let us know in the comments.

  1. Kendrick Lamar Talks Rap, Religion and the Reagan Era. MTV. []
  2. Kendrick Lamar Talks About Not Believing In Religion And A “Higher Power”? Ballislife. []
  3. KENDRICK LAMAR LYRICS – Faith. AZ lyrics. []
  4. KENDRICK LAMAR LYRICS – Kush & Corinthians (His Pain.). AZ Lyrics. []
  5. Kendrick Lamar Talks About Not Believing In Religion And A “Higher Power”? Ballislife. []
  6. Kendrick Lamar Talks About Not Believing In Religion And A “Higher Power”? Ballislife. []
  7. Kendrick Lamar Will Be Voting For Barack Obama, Saying Mitt Romney Doesn’t Have A “Good Heart.” Hip-Hop Wired. []
  8. Kendrick Lamar Will Be Voting For Barack Obama, Saying Mitt Romney Doesn’t Have A “Good Heart.” Hip-Hop Wired. []