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Meaning of ‘Fragile’ by ‘Tech N9ne’ feat. Kendrick, ¡MAYDAY!, Morgan

Released: 2013 • Features: Kendrick Lamar, ¡MAYDAY!, Kendall Morgan

“Fragile” by Tech N9ne, featuring Kendrick Lamar, ¡MAYDAY!, and Kendall Morgan is a bold anthem addressing the often-overlooked sensitivity of artists, particularly within the high-stakes, high-criticism field of hip-hop music. The track showcases the artists’ response to critics who aim to break them down while emphasizing their resilience and tenacity. It’s essentially a clarion call for recognition of the vulnerability of artists in an industry that doesn’t always respect that vulnerability.

We commence with a refrain belted by Kendall Morgan that sets the tone for the song, conveying the struggle of an artist facing criticism and the fear of failure. “You said you’d never ever break… down” basically addresses the strength an artist needs to maintain in the face of adversity, a common theme in the hip-hop community.

Next, Tech N9ne digs into the meat of the issue, “Some of the people appointed to give an opinion / Never do get it”, dropping a stanza that critiques the critics, suggesting their disconnection from the music they review. He goes further to express his frustration in lines like “Amateur writer dissin’ / He’s a beginner in hopes for your demise, folks I’mma despise.” Here, Tech N9ne is calling out those criticizin’ his work without really understanding his craft and the hustle that comes with it.

The second verse sees Kendrick Lamar step up to the plate and unload his perspective on the subject matter. “Tell me that I’m famous / Tell me that my name is / Big as Venus Jupiter and then Uranus” Kendrick jests about the inflated expectations and praise often placed on successful artists. His lines “Tell me that you love me, always thinkin’ of me / Unconditional, I’m hoping I’m your favourite” show an artist’s yearning for genuine recognition, beyond the superficial accolades often associated with success in the industry.

Ultimately, “Fragile” reminds us of the humanity behind the artists we idolize, elucidating the unseen side of the rap game. The title of the track, “Fragile,” is not a mark of weakness in this context. Rather, it signifies the vulnerable position artists often find themselves in when their art, their expression of self, comes under harsh critique. It’s a wake-up call, a plea for honest reviewing and fair play in a field where words can break or make careers.

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