Writer(s): Kendrick Duckworth, Michael Williams II, Asheton Hogan (see lyrics here)
Released: March 30, 2017
First Charted: April 22, 2017
Peak: 11 US, 11 RB, 6 UK, 2 CN, 2 AU (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, 1.2 UK, 9.82 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 869.3 video, 1900.23 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
“Humble,” the lead single from Kendrick Lamar’s fourth album, was his first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist. He’d previously hit #1 as a guest on Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” It debuted at #2, the highest starting point for a hip-hop song since Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie” duet with Rihanna in 2010.
Mike Will Made It created the “Lean and piano-laced trap beat for the strong-arming” AMG song with the intention of recording it with Gucci Mane. Lamar heard the beat and like it. Originally the song was going to appear on Mike’s Ransom 2, but Lamar’s team said he needed to keep it. Mike told him, “Bruh, you definitely should keep it, and you should use it as your single.” SF
NPR’s Andrew Flanagan said the song shows how “the best rapper alive might explore the theme of God, religion, and personal growth.” WK Harriet Gibson wrote in The Guardian that “it is a showcase for his authoritative lyricism and preacher-like message.” WK Entertainment Weekly named it the best song of the year. WK
The song won Grammys for Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song, and Best Music Video and was nominated for Record of the Year. Most significantly, Lamar won the Pulitzer Prize for Music for the album Damn, the first non-jazz or classical artist to win the award. The organizers describe the album as “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.” SF
First posted 2/9/2021; last updated 6/20/2023.