Los Angeles–Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album, DAMN., was released on April 14 to rave reviews and critical acclaim. According to Lamar’s label Interscope Records, much of the album’s commercial success can be credited to white millennials buying the album to pay their racial debt to black people.
“After all the stuff white people have done to black people, the least I could do is listen to Kendrick Lamar” says local white man Chad Burns. Mr. Burns invited the Daily Ruin into his home to listen to the album from start to finish on his record player, which was situated underneath a poster of Ta-Nehisi Coates. “It’s just reparations, you know?”
At a time when racial tensions are bubbling up throughout the country, the release of Kendrick’s album was celebrated by white folks eager to show they are not racist. For a limited time, special editions of the album could be bought for a marked-up price of $19.99. These albums came with buttons with phrases such as “Ally of the Year” and “My other button is a safety pin.” The proceeds from those album sales went towards support groups for people living with white guilt.
Ashley Williams, a prominent member of WAG (White and Guilty), specified that the debt is largely owed to black artists by white artists for the immensely large profit they make from culturally appropriative styles. She took us to her lab at University of Missouri where she explained her research. “For every download of DAMN., Miley Cyrus’s capital is lowered by 2.4 twerks. Now for every record on DAMN. that breaks the ‘Top 100’, Kylie Jenner’s net worth depreciates by approximately 16 cornrows, with a standard error of 2 dreadlocks.” Ms. Williams is presenting her research next month at a symposium whose highly anticipated keynote speaker is Rachel Dolezal.