It’s only been three years since Kendrick Lamar released his first major label album, “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City”, yet the 28-year-old artist has already had a significant impact on Hip-Hop. Contrary to popular styles within the genre currently, Lamar brings consciousness and substance through storytelling. All the while, Lamar brings out the competitiveness in other artists, only serving to motivate them to improve their music. My favorite song by Lamar was released in 2010, two years prior to the release of “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.” In the song titled “Cut You Off” Kendrick raps about trying to fulfill his destiny and become everything he can be, but the negative relationships in his life restrict him from doing so. His solution: eliminate them from his life, or “cut them off”. Lamar understands that people who you hold him back are toxic, so it’s important to distance yourself. But first, you have to recognize who these people may be.
Negative people rarely know what they stand for; they only know what they stand against. If the person isn’t “for” anything positive, they have a negative worldview. Take a moment to think about how it rubs off on you. In the beginning of “Cut you Off”, Lamar raps about this person in his life: “But I notice that her heart resides next to bitterness. Always hollering who she don’t like and who she kicks it with. Who she wants to fight…”
This person is constantly gossiping about others, often behind their backs. What makes you think they don’t talk negatively about you when you’re not around? This person makes it virtually impossible to be yourself in their presence because of how critical they are. Why be friends with somebody you can’t be your true self around? When describing this person in his life, Lamar raps: “Who’s Dooney and Bourke bag is fake, who’s holding the keys to the car she drove last year, or who’s messing with who and who needs a pap smear.”
When you share your dreams and aspirations, this person is the first to tell you that you can’t reach them. Maybe they’re not fulfilling theirs, so they don’t want to see you succeed. Or maybe they just don’t see what you see in yourself. Don’t listen to that person. You know best! Surround yourself with others who will support your goals and help you reach them.
Every healthy relationship is a two-way street. This person is driving down a one way street…in the wrong direction. You, being the good person you are, help your friends any way that you can. But when the shoe is on the other foot and you’re in need of help, this person is nowhere to be found!
Forgiving someone isn’t the easiest thing to do, but this person never can. As humans, it’s in our DNA to make mistakes, so having a friend who can’t forgive is absurd. They’ll still be angry about the last mistake you made while you’re on the verge of making another. This type of relationship is the breeding grounds for resentment. For Lamar, his family fulfills this role: “Constantly talking bad ’bout the next relative. Wanting me to take sides, but I’d never give in. Ever since grandma died, everyone parted ways.
Argue on holidays.”
If you want to reach your goals; if you want to be happy, you have to cut negative people off. Although it’s even harder to cut family off, it may be necessary. Understand that ridding your life of negative people is a gradual process. Some try their best to stick around. The key is to understand the value of your life and that you won’t be held back another second from being all you can be!