A New Book Gets to the Heart of Kendrick Lamar’s Sonic Rise
“Kendrick Lamar is my favorite rapper of the modern era,” says veteran pop-culture critic and fiction writer Miles Marshall Lewis. After Lamar won a Pulitzer Prize in music for his 2017 album, DAMN., Lewis began talking about the songwriter and record producer with his agents and editor, and eventually set about unpacking the unquestionable impact the artist has had on the music industry, and on society at large. The resulting book, Promise That You Will Sing About Me: The Power and Poetry of Kendrick Lamar (St. Martin’s Press), out next month, eloquently considers and contextualizes Lamar’s work, life, and lyrics through the lens of contemporary culture. We recently spoke with Lewis about some of the sonic components that make Lamar’s music so distinct.