There are a lot of songs about “haters” out there, probably way too many, and most of them are expressions of clueless bullshit narcissism and flagrant insecurity. “Bitch, Dant Kill My Vibe” is an outlier, though, a song from the perspective of a sensitive creative person who seems legitimately afraid that jealous and unimaginative people may prevent him from making his art on his own terms. There are some threatening lines in the verses, but the tone of the track is subdued and melancholy. You can pick up on the introverted tone from the first chords, and he makes it explicit early on: “Sometimes I need to be alone.” Even one of the most aggressive parts of the song – “hide your feelings, hide your feelings” – comes off as self-directed before you get to the next line about threatening to steal a dude’s woman. It’s an emotionally complicated song, you can feel Lamar cycle through moments of doubt and cynicism as he struggles to hold on to his belief in his talent and vision.
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