Young Guru Reveals Hidden Meanings In Kendrick Lamar's "Euphoria"

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Music Tech: A Gateway to Awaken America's Youth with Young Guru - 2018 SXSW Conference and Festivals
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 13: Young Guru speaks onstage at Music Tech: A Gateway to Awaken America's Youth with Young Guru during SXSW at Austin Convention Center on March 13, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hubert Vestil/Getty Images for SXSW)
Guru proves that Kendrick Lamar went surgical with it.

Young Guru has a bulletproof reputation within the hip-hop community. Not only has he produced for icons like Jay-Z and Kanye West, but he's dedicated time to teaching the next generation of artists. He knows the history of the genre, and is able to contextualize it with a clarity that few are capable of. This pedigree is what makes Guru's comments on the new Kendrick Lamar diss "Euphoria" so significant. There are plenty of insulting flourishes that resonated with listeners, but Guru pointed out two he felt have been overlooked.

Young Guru shed light on these two aspects via Instagram Stories. The first post addressed the audio that opens the song. The words are played in reverse, but Genius confirmed that they say "Everything about me is true" when played forward. Guru confirmed the line to be taken from the 1978 film The Wiz, and explained the larger statement that Lamar was making about his opponent: Drake. "The dance scene in Oz is incredible but it points out that pop culture is fake," he noted. "The Wiz changes the colors and people just go along with it. Richard Pryor later admits that he is a fake and a phony."

Young Guru Broke Down Dot's Cultural References

Guru does not say he explicitly agrees with Lamar. He does, however, assert that the rapper is making parallels between Drake and Pryor's character. Drake has been able to stay relevant for a decade and a half by embracing different sounds and trends, and K. Dot posits that he is changing the colors like the Wiz. The second part of Young Guru's analysis had to do with the "Euphoria" beat. The song samples the Teddy Pendergrass classic "You're My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration."

It might not scan as a big deal on the surface, but the producer notes that Pendergrass suffered a debilitating injury late in his career. "Teddy Pendagrass [sic] got into a car accident," he wrote. "And had to live the rest of his life paralyzed in a wheelchair." Guru interprets this historical context as yet another dig at Drake, who rose to fame playing a wheelchair-bound character on Degrassi. The Toronto rapper also referenced Pendergrass on his 2016 single "Child's Play." The layers of meaning in "Euphoria" are seemingly endless, and Guru wants to remind listeners to keep digging.

About The Author
Danilo is a writer based out of San Diego. He graduated from the Art Institute of Tucson with a B.A. in digital media, and has since forged a career as a pop culture journalist. He covered hip-hop for Heavy.com, Rhyme Junkies and PopMatters prior to joining HotNewHipHop.com. Danilo's top five is constantly changing, but Biggie and Slug from Atmosphere remain permanent fixtures. His favorite rap album of all time is "Late Registration" by Kanye West, and that stays the same.