(CNN)Kendrick Lamar's highly anticipated caller medium includes a personal, if problematic, opus astir his transgender relatives.
In the song "Auntie Diaries," off his caller record "Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers," Lamar raps astir his uncle and relative -- depicted arsenic 2 important, beloved figures successful his beingness -- who are some trans.
The effect to the way has been powerfully divisive: Though Lamar's being praised for acknowledging trans radical successful a affirmative way, he's being sharply criticized, too. Some listeners took contented with Lamar misgendering his relatives -- Lamar uses some "he/him" and "she/her" pronouns interchangeably for some household members. Other criticisms constituent to his usage of his cousin's erstwhile sanction and repeated usage of an anti-LGBTQ slur.
"My auntie became a antheral and I took pridefulness successful it," Lamar says connected the caller track, saying helium "grew accustomed" to his uncle's modulation arsenic a young person.
He aboriginal says successful the opus that his uncle was the "first idiosyncratic (he) seen constitute a rap," introducing him to the creation signifier helium would yet dominate.
Lamar besides mentions his "favorite cousin" and their modulation and however helium "still loved" them, though the narration betwixt the 2 was strained for a play due to the fact that his relative "wasn't comfortable" astir him.
When Lamar addresses his past usage of homophobic language, helium uses the f-slur repeatedly throughout.
"I said them f-bombs, I ain't cognize immoderate better," helium says astatine 1 point, aboriginal referencing an incidental astatine a performance erstwhile a White instrumentality utilized a radical slur onstage portion rapping to 1 of Lamar's songs.
Variety euphony professional Jem Aswad praised "Auntie Diaries" arsenic a "powerful, genre-shifting connection connected transphobia" and the improvement of Lamar's views.
But the opus was not uniformly praised among listeners. Some called it "transphobic" and "selfish" of Lamar to halfway himself successful a communicative astir his trans relatives portion repeatedly utilizing incorrect pronouns and a slur, portion others defended it arsenic Lamar's reflection connected his past and emotion for his family. Still others said that, flawed arsenic the opus is, it was meaningful to perceive a rapper of Lamar's caliber -- he's the only rapper who's won a Pulitzer for their enactment -- to accidental they enactment trans people.
Preston Mitchum, manager of advocacy and governmental affairs astatine the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that works to forestall termination among LGBTQ young people, discussed his mixed absorption to the song.
"I'm thankful helium spoke successful favour of emotion & acceptance of trans sibs -- adjacent aft admitting what nine did to them first," helium tweeted. "The [slur] threw maine disconnected due to the fact that it isn't his connection to use. But that's his constituent astatine the end."
The opus was released astatine a contentious clip for trans people's rights: According to 1 study arsenic of March, states had introduced more than 200 bills aimed astatine LGBTQ people, peculiarly trans young people.
Reviews for the long-awaited "Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers" are inactive rolling in, but "Auntie Diaries" is already 1 of its astir talked astir songs. Lamar conscionable announced a satellite circuit to enactment the album, beginning successful July.