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“We Cry Together” is the song that stands out the most on Kendrick Lamar’s fifth album, “Mr. Morale & the High Steppers.”

The single is a realistic but scary rendition of an argument in an abusive relationship. Lamar and actress Taylour Paige are saying some brutal things to each other in the back-and-fourth. It sounds as if Paige raps the entire verse while sobbing, and Lamar has an overtly aggressive delivery.

“We Cry Together” is provoking for a number of reasons. Check out why below.

Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers album cover.

Image Credit: rateyourmusic.com

The beat

Playing any song for the first time means only one thing – what does the beat sound like? The beat is not the be all and end all of a song, but in rap music, it is relatively important.

Straight of the bat, you get to hear this grimy beat overwhelmed by an eerie rhythm of the piano. The drums and bass are evident in the back, but are noticeably on the quieter side in comparison to the piano. The loud piano is then taken over by the two rappers with their tone. As soon as the beat drops, you get a feeling of what the feeling of the song could be.

The best thing about this beat however, is that it’s perfect to freestyle over. All the MC’s out there are probably licking their lips at the sound of this beat.

The layout

It’s incredible how Lamar decided to portray and execute this song. Instead of Paige and Lamar taking turns in long verses to have a go at each other, the song was more conversational.

The song is poetry in motion, in terms of the execution of the single. You can tell the two are having a conversation, and yet they have a flow that matches the beat. More importantly, since it’s a rap song, each line rhymes. It was really smart how the song flowed because you could almost visualize it. You could almost see it as a music video.

Similarities to “Kim” by Eminem

Eminem with his ex-wife Kim way back when.

Image Credit: cheatsheet.com

For those of you who have already listened to Eminem’s 2000 song called “Kim,” this song must’ve been a reminded of Slim Shady’s throwback single. However, “Kim” created an even more horrifying scenario in which he murders his real-life ex-wife. “We Cry Together” ends with the couple having sex, a little more realistic scenario of how normal toxic relationships would go.

If you haven’t heard a horror song before, “Kim” is it. Eminem is voicing both characters in the song, with snippets of his wife called Kim (unknown whether the voice really is his ex-wife or not), in some parts of the song. The majority of the song is Eminem rapping, and the conversation part comes in towards the end.

Both songs have a similar theme with the aggressive tone. Eminem though, is straight up yelling in the song. The raspiness and his throat creaking is evident when he’s screaming. The beat is also strong, impactful, and hostile. “We Cry Together” and “Kim” also feature crying, where both females’ tears are heard loud and clear. It’s rare to hear something of this nature in a rap song. More of this is evident in the rock and heavy metal genre.

The themes

The song begins with the abusive relationship voiced by Lamar and Paige. Later on however, the track takes up some important topics. These include patriarchy, politics, feminism, and gender roles.

“See, you the reason why strong women f****d up,” Paige raps. “Why they say it’s a man’s world, see, you the reason for Trump / You the reason we overlooked, underpaid, under-booked, under shame.” The theme of gender roles is glaring in these lines.

Paige continues, “You the reason Harvey Weinstein had to see his conclusion / You the reason R. Kelly can’t recognize that he’s abusive.”

Lamar snaps back in the track. “Man, shut the f**k up, we all know you still playin’ his music / Said I’m tired of these emotional-a*s, ungrateful-a*s b****es / Fake innocent, fake feminist, stop pretendin’ / Y’all sentiments ain’t realer than what you defendin’.”

It really is a captivating track, and one that cannot be missed at any cost. You can listen to it here. 

Published by: HOLR Magazine.