Social media is ablaze with Kendrick Lamar’s new song “Auntie Diaries.”
On Friday, May 13, Lamar released his long-awaited fifth studio album Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. Throughout the album, K.Dot reflects on the roles that his family members play in his life and also examined his own relationship with fatherhood.
“Auntie Diaries” is one of the songs that is standing out the most given that it has Lamar rapping verses such as “My auntie is a man now,” “Demetrius is Mary-Ann now,” and using the f-word slur.
The most notable verse in the song goes:
“My auntie is a man now / I think I’m old enough to understand now / Drinking Paul Masson with her hat turned backwards / Back when it was comedic relief to say ‘[f-word]’ / [f-word], [f-word], [f-word], we ain’t know no better / Elementary kids with no filter, however / My auntie became a man and I took pride in it / She wasn’t gay, she ate p*ssy, and that was the difference / That’s what I told my friends in second grade / She picking me up from school, they stare at her in the face.”
Elsewhere on the track, Lamar notes that his “favorite cousin said he’s returning the favor / And following my auntie with the same behavior.” He then suggests that his trans cousin’s name is now Mary-Ann.
Lamar has always publicly been very religious – a devout Christian – which is something that comes up toward the end of this song. He raps, “I sat in the pew, you had stronger faith / More spiritual when these dudes were living life straight / Which I found ironic ‘cause the pastor didn’t see him the same / He said my cousin was going through some things / He promised the world we living in was an act on abomination / And Demetrius was to blame.”
“Auntie Diaries” ends with Lamar seemingly calling out his preacher for turning against his trans relatives:
“I said ‘Mr. Preacher man, should we love thy neighbor? / The laws of the land or the heart, what’s greater? / I recognize the study she was taught since birth / But that don’t justify the feelings that my cousin preserved’ / The building was thinking out loud, bad angel / That’s when you looked at me and smiled, said ‘Thank you’ / The day I chose humanity over religion / The family got closer, it was all forgiven.”
While some LGBTQ+ listeners are rightfully divided about “Auntie Diaries,” especially given its use of deadnames and inclusion of homophobic slurs, other listeners seem to appreciate that one of the most popular and well-respected rappers of this generation has released a song about loving his trans family members and normalizing their stories to a large audience.
Kendrick Lamar’s new album, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, is available on Spotify or wherever you stream music.