This song is about all the vain and showy things in rap culture, telling rappers to be more humble. Kendrick Lamar looks at the world through a pained eye and illustrates a desire for a collective humility and a yearning for a society that can get its values in order. He exudes self-confidence and truly understands who he is and is not afraid to call out those around him that he thinks are fake, dishonest and not as “real” as he is. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Lamar talked about the inspiration behind his song, he said: “All I could think of was ‘The Symphony’ and the earliest moments of hip-hop, where it’s complex simplicity, but it’s also somebody making moves. That beat feels like my generation, right now. The first thing that came to my head was, ‘Be humble.'” Lamar challenges other rappers to sit down, be humble and respect him a great rapper.
The song was developed by Mike Will and was intended to be recorded by Gucci Mane, Mike then played for Lamar and the latter ended up recording it, Mike Will said: “I knew that beat was going to capture a moment. It just felt real urgent,” the producer told NPR. “I made that beat in 2016 when Gucci Mane was getting out of jail; I made it with him in mind. I was just thinking, damn, Gucci’s about to come home; it’s got to be something urgent that’s just going to take over the radio. And I felt like that beat was that. I ended up not doing it with Gucci and I let Kendrick hear it. I was thinking, ‘If Dot gets on this it’ll be his first time being heard on something like this.’ At the same time, it kind of has an NWA/Dr. Dre feel, an Eminem kind of feel. So I thought, let me see if Dot fucks with it. And he heard the beat and he liked it. But he was about to give me ‘Humble’ for “my album” Ransom 2. I love that song so I was like, ‘Man, hell yeah.’ Then he told me that his team was saying he should keep it. And I told him, ‘Bruh, you definitely should keep it, and you should use it as your single.”
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Songwriter/s: Kendrick Duckworth – Michael Williams II
Label: Top Dawg – Aftermath – Interscope.
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100, the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and the US Rhythmic charts. In the UK, it reached number 6 on the Official charts Company and peaked at number 3 on the UK R&B Charts. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified Silver for sales over 200, 000 copies. ‘Humble’ topped the charts in Australia and New Zealand. It reached the top 10 charts in several countries around the world including Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia and Swede. It was certified Double Platinum in New Zealand, and Platinum in Australia, Belgium, and Sweden.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Kendrick Lamar Duckwroth was 30 years old when he released this song.
Cover Versions: Ne-Yo (remix) – Devvon Terell – William Singe – other amateur artists covered this song in Youtube.