Kendrick Lamar's earth-shattering 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly may have earned him 11 Grammy nominations, but here's another accolade of which the rapper can boast: President Obama named one of Lamar's songs as his favorite of 2015.
In an interview with People, the president identified “How Much a Dollar Cost” as his most beloved track.
The Bible-inspired opus comes toward the end of Butterfly and tells the story of a homeless man—whom Lamar assumes is high on crack—begging for a single dollar bill at a roadside stop.
“Beat it,” the rapper initially tells the man, expressing resentment at being hassled for his hard-earned money. But when the homeless man invokes Exodus 14—the biblical passage about Moses parting the Red Sea—an introspective Lamar feels guilty. Rapping over a somber piano riff and snapping snares, he attributes his wicked ways to his own success and inflated ego.
And then the man reveals himself to be God, telling Lamar that his selfishness has cost him a place in Heaven.
In the outro, sung by Ron Isley of the Isley Brothers, Lamar begs for forgiveness and says his grace.
It's a truly dark song, perhaps reflective of the conflicted times we live in—and the difficulties Obama may face as an imperfect human tasked with leading the free world.