There is so much in the news today that breaks my heart, enrages me, and sucks all the air out of the room. To write about doing fartleks, intervals, and running shoes seems supercilious. Inane even. But, I also realize that running helps me to process and make sense of some of this. I’ve had Kendrick Lamar’s album To Pimp a Buttterfly on heavy rotation the last week. One line from his song “Alright” has been used at several Black Lives Matter protests since this summer. Seeing Black youth march chanting “we gon’ be alright” in response to all the violence is poignant to say the least. There is a refrain, of sorts, that echoes throughout the whole album, that connects with me on a number of levels–even running.
Abusing my power, full of resentment. Resentment that turned into a deep depression. I found myself screaming in the hotel room. I didn’t want to self-destruct. The evils of Lucy was all around me, so I went running.
I’m not gonna lie, if you don’t listen to hip-hop, this album probably is not an easy-listening album to tiptoe your way in to it. Try some Macklemore for that (no disrespect to him, ha). To Pimp a Butterfly is an intense, heavily political, personal, and emotional album. There were moments I winced listening to it because it is so raw. I also think it’s a brilliant peephole into one aspect of the Black experience today.
So, this weekend, I’m getting in a long run, look for a protest or march (there are so many issues, not even sure where to start) to go to, and also looking to shine some light into the darkness. If you need a soundtrack for that work, here’s “Alright.”