Kendrick Lamar - Vanity Slaves Lyrics

Uh-uh-uh, what up?
Uh, I'm tryna, what up?
Uh-uh, I'm tryna get something
Uh-uh-uh, I'm tryna, what up?
I say, what up?
Uh-uh, I'm tryna

Sometimes I wanna leave, sometimes I wanna cry
Sometimes I hate to bear the truth, sometimes I wanna lie
Sometimes I wanna school the youth, sometimes I wanna ride
Sometimes I wanna not think, sometimes I wanna vibe
Sometimes I wanna bump Tribe and zone out, this song bout a young boy
that's going wild inside, when my world collide
with your world where your girl and your kids reside
We kill the facades, we feel free to fly
We're birds that reserve in the charismatic sky
I care about my pride too much, if my clothes is new
if my ride is plush, if my hair is cut, if my diamonds is crushed
I look in the mirror, I'm trendy enough? Wrong
Insecurity roams the black community
Homes where kids must have jewelry
The high school female need earrings and details
so she can be cool to be amongst popularity
The various name brands that reach the price scan
that's not about the right price, but more like the right scam
to rule us all, confuse us all
Hit the bank within five minutes and then withdraw
Now let's draw the picture of a rapper with a chain
in a Range that is not paid for
My cousin from the South said he just bought him a house
that lives around his neck like a white collar
So why fast forward? Then I rewind
A time machine can help me double back to slavery times
Picking cotton from a field that a white man own
The blacker you are, farther you from the white man's home
Negro spiritual zones gave us some type of sanity
Before your vanity they parted our families
They put us in hundred-degree shade, and outside we bathed
The more we were afraid, the more they made rules
and trapped our minds in the cage, our freedom was so fake
Couldn't see it with the eyes of Tracee Ross, uh!
And school was exempt, see we couldn't have smarts
and a smirk could get you hurt, wound diversed from a scar
Four-hundred years of nothing, four-hundred years of suffering
Four-hundred years of tears and tribulation, miseducation
See what we facing is now coming, back to the roots
Remember whips on our back and if we would run they would shoot?
Call us niggers and figured that we'd never lived in pursuit
of happiness, we captured these feelings in things that we do
Thought it's abstinence in slavery, but we made it come to
a modern perspective, my shoe selection gotta be Louie
Her handbag gotta be Gucci, it's fake then she foobie
She still bad though, and her fake Gucci ain't that bad though
We filling up the gas for Rollies
Upgrade to twenty-sixes, out there riding Kobes
My cousin from the South, slavery start in the South and I bet ya
he overcompensates for the life of his ancestors
So blame it on the four-hundred years we never saw
The reason why the next four-hundred we gotta floss

Uh, I say the four-hundred years we never had nothing
Barely had clothes on our back
It's the reason why when we get a little bit of change
we over-exaggerate on our living expenses
So if you get your first big check and you cop a chain before you buy a house
You're a vanity slave
If you're a female and you got four, five, six rings on your finger
four holes in your left ear and a nose piercing
You're a vanity slave
If you got an '02 Monte Carlo with twenty-fo's on it
and on the back of the window it says "get on my level hoe"
You're a vanity slave
We all vanity slaves
and with that being said, can somebody please tell me where the mall at?
I'm not from around here
Hey Ali, where we at? Idaho?
Yeah nigga, you know the first of the month
You know them checks come in
I'm tryna get something, but what up?

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Kendrick Lamar Vanity Slaves Comments
  1. kyrat

    2020 baby shit still Slaps

  2. Moeketsi Senzane

    2019 Nov 17..... this song still goes in hard

  3. Donald Lester

    2019? Nigga this shit still apply hip hop never dies

  4. Misty Hess

    People keep telling about this dude - is he brian McKnight or . He awesome 💛🌀🙏

    Misty Hess

    I don't like him...I'm already and forever will be shopping at goodwill. Ohwell -- this might be some profound knowledge to other souls . Like my daughter...but I encourage her to spend 500$ a pop at Sephora coz I sent her there unbearably bored (happening already-- whilst using her papa debit card)..I take her thrift shopping. More fun and creative . It's her choice tho ! Just as I am vegan since 8 years...and she likes Chicken. I'd rather raise a free thinker than my clone . Thoughts?

    Misty Hess

    I miss Soul 4 real and Jagged edge . And Sade and Chaka khan and also Merle Hagard and Otis Redding . And Dorothy Moore . And my dads music -- Johnny Cash , Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn..btw ..yall heard that new T

  5. Levi Meyer

    What does Oct 22 mean

  6. Lamar Isn't a RB

    back when kendrick was actually good.

    Perry Saunders

    He still good, let's here your project. I heard you the next best thing since Nas, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G. Rap and Ghostface Killa! 😂

    Julian Serene

    Soo you're saying to pimp a Butterfly isn't good ?????

  7. Rusty Grapes

    Underrated Kendrick track, still listening 2019

  8. Gabe Torres

    When I first heard this I cried. Kendrick spoke for our generation at this point from the soul.

  9. Ray Caballero

    It's 2019, I can't be the only one here?

    Jamaal Harris

    Ray Caballero Not alone brotha💯

    Eric Brito Fitness

    we still listening

  10. Doc OJB

    2019 im here, who else ?

    Ray Caballero

    Thought it was just me, there's hope

    Snipps Barnes

    His music won't stop being listed to till we're all long gone from this place I'll be here in 2043


    Right chea wicha🙌🏿🙌🏿🙌🏿

  11. WiLd killerguy

    My Teacher Who Taught Kendrick (Mr Inge) Showed Us This Song In Class We Learned This It's About Vanity Slaves Which Means If You Own A Jewellery and not a House Your A Vanity Slave

  12. gianni

    I Love Kendrick so much.. he’s my favorite rapper all time with Kanye West

  13. Jordan Proctor

    OG Kdot

  14. Adesile Kazeem


  15. Ni Mo


  16. KiN CAMELL

    Heaven Yeah.

    Ps Peace to Phonte, Nicolay and Musinah.

  17. Bernet Moleko

    i'm here 2018 damn sometimes i wanna vibe

    Allan Watima

    We here man!

  18. dreamvillain

    yoooooo daykeeper been my shit for years and im just now realizing kendrick rapped on this. 🔥🔥

  19. kayque progresso

    kendrick i love u, come to brazil caralho!

  20. Mary Roberts-Watts

    Damn K, you hurt my heart being so real! We woke but we choke on the real wordz. They so dope, we learn from the real real we so woke. Ah.

  21. iDeal Khaoss

    This the type of shit to get millions of views overnight if something happened to k dot. Always been my favourite no one tells stories with his vocabulary.

  22. Can We get 1000 Subscribers with no video?

    2018 still on my playlist I love this shit



  24. Byron Garcia

    Only real Kendrick fans know wussup about this.

    Byron Garcia

    Still listening on July 18, 2018

  25. Sunkiing Rafeal

    Can't decide if I like this or part 2 more😥😥😥

  26. Kennedy HLYOTO

    greatest song in 2018

  27. O'sea middle

    listening to this track right now 2018 it's just greatness.. I'm just glad I got the chance to witness such greatness after losing great ppl

  28. KNUCK13Z

    If you understand the lyrics, this song is top 5 of all time.


    KNUCK13Z WORLD, so on the contrary... If you don't think the song is top 5, that simply means you don't understand the lyrics? Alright lol

  29. Eldar

    Real fans here

  30. Qa Qa


  31. Forgotten KingzTv

    S/o to foreign exchange tho they really brought me here

  32. Forgotten KingzTv

    2018 just brought me here 🔥🔥🔥

  33. Braian Patino

    Big shot !!

  34. Jada Hall

    2018 and still classic

  35. Nehemiah Ben Israel


  36. Jay

    Pay respect. This song is dope AF but Kendrick stole the beat from an equally dope rapper (Phonte) who sang on it first. Look at Daykeeper by Foreign Exchange.

  37. Grizzlybeatz

    Banger....check me out when you can

  38. Kingalex530


  39. Destini Tecorya

    This is great

  40. Langelisha Newday

    came here from jay's "story of Oj"

  41. Vic J.

    Wonder was that "cousin from the south" Karni Israel aka Cousin Carl? 🤔

  42. Lasselle Josephs

    i come here to get away from the annoying fanboys and zone out....ahhhh im at peace

  43. Dustincooper300

    This song speaks to all of us.
    We are ALL vanity slaves.

  44. Clubberlang

    Where did these beat come from?

    WakeupIsrael Shalom

    Clubberlang Ali

    Julian Serene

    Ali didn't make this.. a group called daykeeper made it

  45. Francisco Rubio

    Underrated...we need more people to hear the message of this piece of art

  46. Fritz The Cook

    Whose listening in 2017??

    Sahin Soysuren

    June 2018

    Bob Johnson

    2019 bro

    Bulelani Nomongo

    cjuare123 you’re in the future mate

  47. Dys. Funcshinal

    I was born in 98' and wasnt lucky enough to see the legendary Pac and BIG, but this is my generation Pac, im can safely say I'm his biggest fan, ima be devastated when he retire


    Preach bro

    Ball OUT

    Can't compare no one to Pack really.... He was that nice!👌🏾

    Jordan Proctor

    I feel ya 💯


    How tall are you exactly? I don't believe you could be his biggest fan

    Disconnected Roamer

    @ThePhreakass hes 4 foot he just happens to be really fat

  48. Jordy Franciscus

    knives callin knights callin
    rights fallen warrior time's haulin

    layers wurr needed

    now are we going back in time

    yeah just like i do

    RIP Big & Pac

  49. RIP George Smith

    Keeps me in check.

  50. Jay Rosado

    HOW Many more years till this is HEARD

    Dekoven Shemar Music

    Jay Rosado it's always heard only 1/3 of people are genuine

  51. Neo Nathan

    2016 and i still love this song. Dope

  52. Jozay phil

    Kendrick so special man

    Nehemiah Ben Israel

    Jozay phil “Special K”

  53. Ozzy Hadley

    This song gave me the mad chills! I love how he used FE's "Day Keeper" instrumental from their "Leave It All Behind" album.

  54. Damu OneLove

    Hear pac ?

  55. Dennis Mararia

    Heheh this was an exam questions in a local university in kenya......but dope i love kendricks music

  56. Ash Rahman

    A teacher quoted this in an exam.


    Ash Parker That's interesting! What exactly did she quote do you remember?

    Happy boy

    ArianVigil probably “If you get your first check and you buy a chain before a house, you’re a vanity slave”


    We need more teachers like that.

    WiLd killerguy

    @ArianVigil Regis Inge Thought Him That He Told Me That I'm his student

    Misty Hess

    Musta been just musing

  57. Jeff Kuiyaki

    this song was an exam question...luckily I was a fan


    Sometimes he wants to school the youth...

  58. Bakary Gakou

    it's dope I've never listened 2 him


    +Bakary Gakou wooooow you got so much shit to catch on type in top 30 kendrick verses brush


    while you're at it maybe you should check out the group foreign exchange. this instrumental is off of their album called leave it all behind. if you like thought provoking songs with melodies and great lyrics/stories over neo soul type beats then you might like them also. hiphop/r&b album.

    Maurice Smith

    +xMindInfliction718x phonte!!! phontigga know your stuff fam.

  59. Forked Gash

    This album is a classic to me, I was riding around town with my big bro while listening to this and every song brings nostalgia to me

    maximillian schauer

    Forked Gash which albul was this. my first kendrick albulm was section 80 so i wanna catch up


    maximillian schauer mixtape not album

  60. BiegeManta93

    The Young Legend in the Making.....

  61. Joey Cole

    This music is from FE's "DAYKEEPER!" He did this right tho! This dude is badd.

  62. oelivoRPND

    why the heck they took this album from spotify, fuk dem !!

  63. Leonitus

    where's the instrumental to this? can't find it anymore.

    Cedric Lloyd

    Daykeeper by foreign exchange

  64. Vuyisani Jikingqina

    The real 2pac's offspring. the song said it all!!!!

  65. Ra'Chael Baker

    I found this song by listening to J Cole's "Rich Niggaz" in the description on "Genius" they said "...Seems like a portion of people believe they can only “win” by killing, robbing, or fucking popular man to make it to the top. In other words be a vanity slave." I googled it and found this song, love how the universe worked on that one..

  66. GMoneyGifted

    Kanye got new slaves from this

  67. Keith Saunders

    More slavery happened before these 400 years he talks about.  Not saying he's wrong, just saying the history of slavery/Africans is longer and worse than he says.

    Keith Saunders

    & we repeat it to concrete it from opinion to fact?


    +Evil Focused they where really native americans that were found into slavery

  68. TheOldskool2009

    KL you doing it bro!!!!!....

  69. Latrice Cross

    kendrick lamar has knowledge above alot of rappers 👌🏿💯

  70. Ricardo Vera Ortiz

    Vanity Slaves created by Capitalism!!

    Disconnected Roamer

    Capitalism created vanity slaves actually

  71. Khari99

    i cant believe he rapped over daykeeper by the foreign exchange


    right, and he did a great job too

    Brittany Setters

    +AwesomeMiles8 right !!

    Edwin Lee

    Khari99 it was begging for a verse

    Henderick Mitchell

    @Edwin Lee First time hearing this but now that I think about he did pretty good with it. I loved the original cut anyway.

  72. JayMike Florida

    LmAo yeah doe man it got us all its some bullshit no doubt but we all are to some extent SMH ... #ThoughtfulThursday #VanitySlaves ... Peace family

  73. demetri rhodes

    What album or mixtape is this song from??


    "The Kendrick Lamar EP (2009)"

    demetri rhodes

    thanks bro. im always interested in kdots music. Heard of most of them except no sleeep till nyc, and c4. i always seem to stumble onto some new stuff just when i thought i had heard it all. Im infatuated with his music.(not on nuts tho lol)

    k.dot1478 xo

    +demetri rhodes you need to check out c4 :) the firet half of the album is sick


    kendrick lamar ep

  74. Wolfbreed_Bass

    This rap man... man... I need to find the lyrics to this...

  75. King Konz

    serious song... real meaning 

  76. Maria Perez

    Very powerful song!!

  77. uyi x

    wow this man has skills. vivid pictures executed rightly. Just heard this ep for the first time (got tired of waiting for his new album) and wow, he's been ill ever since. Though i'll see his story structure and painting game has definitely been upgraded. Can't Wait for his next work.

  78. Kay Davidson

    mad song

  79. DonInnovador

    Wow I had no idea this existed. Y'all gotta check out the original- Daykeeper, by the Foreign Exchange. This is dope but the original is smooth as hell.

  80. alex sfcat

    when kendrick dies this song will have 3-4m views.. 
    people don't listen greatness till someone is dead. 


    only about a three quarters left to a million 2 years later...


    alex sfcat I think it's was his best song.

    Bless Life

    Let's work together and share this Amazing piece of art

    Hachi boy

    alex sfcat i wanst able to listen to greatness because i wasnt born yet 2004 2pac and biggie died

  81. jcatep90

    kendricks legacy will live for decades.

    Hendrik Hinkelmann

    +jcatep90 To me the most interesting thing about this is that not just his legacy will live for decades, but that he'll leave me as some nonrecognized guy feeling his music, passing it to his own children, being deeply connected to this shit. Man you know what I mean. KING Kendrick Lamar.

    Hendrik Hinkelmann

    +jcatep90 To me the most interesting thing about this is that not just his legacy will live for decades, but that he'll leave me as some nonrecognized guy feeling his music, passing it to his own children, being deeply connected to this shit. Man you know what I mean. KING Kendrick Lamar.

  82. Sol Teo

    lol Gucci Mane

  83. Queens & Kings Rios

    love king kendrick

  84. B-Rai87

    This is deep ... 

  85. TheNiceguy1156

    real poetry.

  86. Donald Nelson

    Foreign Exchange beat. Daykeeper

  87. Dylan Chatman

    I don't know another rapper out right now other than K.R.I.T who spittin real shit like this

    Dylan Chatman

    Never heard of him..


    @JessikahAznBabyy isn't that 2 Chainz? lol

    Dylan Chatman

    @JessikahAznBabyy why you couldn't just say 2 chainz.. hah @ADAJ3 yah it is

    stephen white

    Isaiah Rashad
    Vince Staples
    Ab Soul
    Joey Bada$$
    Mick Jenkins

  88. Ahmad Muhammad

    I love how he speaks the truth :,)

  89. RE:Think

    Oh hey I know this instrumental! Its from one of my favorite groups Foreign Exchange and its called Daykeeper. They dropped what I think is one of the best hiphop albums of the decade "Connected" =]

  90. nick

    lovin' this track
    need more hits like this