Kendrick Lamar is known for having poetic rhythms in his songs, but is his music really poetry? In his song Institutionalized he starts off by saying "What money got to do with it when I don't know the full definition of a rap image?"By saying this, hes expressing that he doesn't rap for the money because he doesn't even know what to do with it, or what image of himself he needs to portray by having all the fame and money. In a previous song, he said "If I'd done it for the money, I'd been a lawyer." Explaining that he didn't start music because of the money, he did it because that was his passion.
The next line says "I'm trapped inside the ghetto and I ain't proud to admit it. Institutionalized, I keep runnin' back for a visit" Meaning that his mentality is still at home where he grew up, and he feels trapped, institutionalized, committed to where he's from.
Next he says "The last remainder of real sh*t, you know the obvious. Me, scholarship? No, streets put me through college." Kendrick is saying that everything he talks about is real, and his surroundings taught him all the things he needs to know.
Through the entire song, Kendrick uses situational irony because he's in the position of a famous musician, but his mindset is still trapped in his old ways and he has no idea how to handle the reality that is his life now.
Watch Kendrick's song Institutionalized HERE