"Do you hear me, do you feel me? We gon' be alright."
In the current world filled with social injustice, this song finds itself charting yet again. I really wish we didn't need this song. But yet here we are.
I'm sure everybody has their own chronicle of the current year they're longing to tell, so, here is mine.
I'm sure most people are aware with the social movement in Hong Kong for the past year. In a social environment where people are now afraid to express their political ideals and frustrations of government policies, I find myself saddened by all of this.
For me, I've been staying silent on the social issues for a long time. A part of me wants to also express my frustration through peaceful protests back in 2019, but the coward side of me held back. Things have since escalated in a extremely quick fashion, including both sides of the spectrum. I don't think most people would dare to even peacefully protest now. (If you're interested in the political climate of Hong Kong, feel free to search it up. I won't be addressing them much since it is a sensitive topic)
It's gloomy for a lot of Hong Kongers. Including myself.
I find myself coming back to this song almost religiously. The boldness of it, the passion of it, while it is very enjoyable melodically and sonically, with the instrumental filled with jazz and boom bap, it also fed into my inner desires. The brainwashing chants "We gon' be alright" in the chorus, I want to feel alright. I wanted someone to comfort me that even when "our pride was low, looking at the world like 'Where do we go?'", we are still, ultimately, going to be alright.
Kendrick in the music video acts as this savior-like figure, without constraints of the world, literally floating, celebrating his freedom with many. For me, I interpret the figure as a fascination of a lot of people, a nirvana-ic being. Not hindered by social injustice, being free from the bad of the world. Yet, back to the reality, chaos persists.
And that's why "We gon' be alright" feels bittersweet. We know we're never going to be alright. But, we have no choice but to feel alright. What can we do otherwise?
"I keep my head up high, I cross my heart and hope to die"
"I'm at the preacher's door, My knees getting weak and my gun might blow"
For me, it is a song written by a man from the depths of sorrow and anguish, finding no solutions to a ongoing problem, turning to faith, asking a higher power for help.
Faith is a powerful tool to humans. It can be a mental boost that none other can replicate. Faith in the belief of ultimate justice is the basis of this song. Alright acts as a moment of hope to Kendrick, and to a lot of people. Whether or not a good ending will happen, we may never know, but in the present day, Kendrick tells us, we will be alright. Whether or not to believe it, it is your choice.