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Meaning of ‘All the Stars’ by ‘Kendrick Lamar’ with ‘SZA’

“All The Stars” by Kendrick Lamar ft. SZA is a deep introspection into the nature of love, dreams, and personal determination, laced with astute social commentary. In this track, Lamar confronts his critics and cynics, bearing his self-reliance and questioning the authenticity of those who offer conditional love.

It opens with a refrain about love and its haunting presence, before this is punctuated by Lamar’s assertion that “my dreams might let me know / All the stars are closer,” indicative of the perseverance and desire to conquer the obstacles in his path. Here, “the stars” symbolize his goals, aspirations, and dreams, that seem closer in his path of determination and resilience.

Gearing up for the verse, Lamar manifests a relentless defiance towards his detractors. The line, “You can bring a bullet, bring a sword, bring a morgue, but you can’t bring the truth to me,” showcases his invincibility to these threats, and underlines his resilience in the face of adversarial confrontations.

This unabashed determination becomes even more crystallized in the lines, “Fuck you and all your expectations / I don’t even want your congratulations,” staking his claim to his independence and disregard for the approval of others.

In the potent lines, “Corrupt a man’s heart with a gift / That’s how you find out who you dealin’ with,” Lamar reveals a streetwise wisdom. He’s wary of those who might offer gifts or advances, seeing it as a ploy to control or manipulate.

The following lines emphasize his selective company, “A small percentage who I’m buildin’ with,” affirming his strong belief in quality over quantity when it comes to his circle.

SZA’s verse provides a personal and emotional touch to the song, discussing feelings of not being loved and struggling with intentionality in her actions. The lines “It’s the way that you making me feel like nobody ever loved me… If you do, I won’t move,” express her vulnerability in her search for love.

The hook between verses centers around the idea of love, repeatedly asking and introspecting about it. Is it what you’ve dreamed about, or does it often end in disappointment? It offers a contrasting, questioning backdrop to the emphatic, assertive lines in the verses.

In essence, “All The Stars” is not just a song, but a powerful testament to Kendrick’s unique perspective on love, ambition, and the struggle of staying true to oneself in a challenging world. It’s an anthem for those who see the stars closer each night, and for those who dare to question what love is, and what it isn’t.

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