Kendrick Lamar Speaks On illmatic Comparisons & Studio Time w/ Andre 3000 (Video)

blame it on Shake October 22, 2012

Shot by Tnel Moniq, ChristianFGY & Shake. Edited by Tnel Moniq.

After Kendrick took the Hard Rock Cafe stage in Las Vegas by storm, we ventured to a local studio (where them TDE boys recorded “The Heart pt.3“). In between takes, Compton’s “human sacrifice” sat down with yours truly and Andreas Hale of TheWellVersed to speak on a wide variety of topics. But before we release the full sitdown, here goes a brief clip where Kendrick responds to the talk of good kid, m.A.A.d city being dubbed this generation’s illmatic and speaks on the time he let Andre 3000 hear the album..

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  • Grimzz

    hope he keeps the circle tight and the head on right…being compared to illmatic isn’t fair for him lol

  • cap

    def not comparible to illmatic. way different, just an easy stupid comparision whoever made that comparision is stupid. below the heavens is much more compariable to illmatic.

    also accoridng to most of the bloggers reviews…..Apparantly its ok to have shitty songs on your album as long as you talk about it at the end of the previous song in the context of a story?

  • cap

    ps. imagine id andre 300 was on poetic justice instead of drake…..ya imagine that. album would be much better

  • Mike Diesel

    LMFAO …….. now this is getting crazy.

    Food and Liquor > GKMC tbh

  • adolfmayne

    who the fuck is comparing GKMC to ILLMATIC?

  • marty mcfly

    @cap, yeah but Below the Heavens didnt have a million dollar hype machine behind it. GKMC sounds alot more like Atliens just with west coast subject matter and loose storytelling imo. Illmatic had storytelling but it was also a little bit of every different type of element of wordplay as well and it was done perfectly within just 9 songs. So many people think Illmatic is the greatest hip hop album of all time idk if comparing GKMC to such a classic even makes sense. GKMC gets the Illmatic comparison before the album even comes out… COMEONSON, hyping much I see.

  • j

    not like andre 3000 was gonna turn round after hearing it and say nah that’s shit son.. try again

  • that truth

    this is disgusting, he didnt even really dispute it. ppl are calling it classic because they made that decision before they heard a song from it, not because they went into it unbiased and decided its a great album for themselves. and section 80 was his debut album smh

  • Rick O Shea

    I’m a fan but it looks like out of 2bz last 40 post 15 were feat. stop riding his dick so hard

  • 1

    Section 80 was an independent, this is his major label debut and its great>>>

  • Kendrick and Lupe should have switched album titles. This is the great american rap album. For what it is, it’s perfect. No comparisons necessary.

    P.S. I feel the comparison isn’t so much based on comparing which album had the best collection of songs. It is more about the ability of the two albums to artistically, skillfully, and uniquely capture the cord of an era with its heartbeat on the now. The kind of albums that feel like, “Whatever kind of Hip Hop you like right now, you gone like this. If you don’t, well ok, but you must be incredibly particular.”

    I didn’t wait for Love Below, Southerplayalistic…, Aquemini, Midnight Marauders, Ready to Die, 2pacalypsenow, or Illmatic to blow up before I felt they were classic. Same goes for GKMC. As a fan of music, a strand in the fabric of Hip Hop, and as an emcee, the album is completely inspirational, right on the ground ,but loud as fuck; so to speak, and incredible body of creative output that’s dope as fuck!

  • G

    I don’t understand how you can justify calling somebody a “dick rider.” I guess it’s just another case of people feeling the need to “go against the grain” by discrediting something they obviously don’t understand. Bottom line, bar-for-bar, beat-for-beat, there aren’t too many albums in recent memory that can stand against #GKMC. That’s why the illmatic comparisons are justified. They’re not saying it’s better or even as good as illmatic. People are saying that it’s as much a standout project today as illmatic was in 94. But it’s cool…10 years from now, the naysayers will look back at this album and feel differently.

  • marty mcfly

    @G, Illmatic came out like 18 years ago, you know how many dope albums have come out since 94? COMEONSON. If loose storytelling for a whole album makes it classic then I think albums with individual songs that are not connected but still make statements should be just as worthy of the classic label then. Its one thing to say that an album is an excellent piece of work but why people would compare an album to an album that came out 18 years ago is doing a bit much. Its really nothing wrong with doing that but in between 94 and 2012 there is really alot more albums that could have been used as a comparison. People going right for the Illmatic comparison cause they want so bad to able to say GKMC is the greatest hip hop album of all time and thats putting alot on it.

  • kevski

    Name a stronger debut from any artist since ’94. The only one that comes to mind is maybe Kanye, for his production, but definitely not for his raps.

  • marty mcfly

    Slim Shady LP
    The Documentary
    Get Rich Or Die Tryin
    Below The Heavens
    Soul On Ice
    Doe Or Die
    Reasonable Doubt
    Its Dark and Hell Is Hot
    Capitol Punishment
    Black On Both Sides
    etc etc..

    I mean I could name several more but you get the point.

  • marty mcfly

    Im not trying to take nothing away from Kendricks debut and the fact that it is indeed great but what im saying is this, and I said this mite be the case a while back before I even heard the album. I dont think you could compare GKMC to any album thats already come out. That only gives more credit to Kendrick just incase your mad at that statement but honestly I cant think of or remember any album that could be compared to GKMC musically. All the other debut albums in hip hop had a different sound so imo GKMC is its own thing. Its not really like this or comparable to that or anything else. Now if people are comparing him to Nas because they see a similarity in their perspectives, thats one thing but musically Illmatic and GKMC are just two different type of albums.

  • marty mcfly

    Train Of Thought
    Back For The First Time
    Internal Affairs
    Thug Motivation 101
    F&L 1

  • Turtle

    Anybody realize that, after the album drop, ridiculous amount of bonus songs/remixes, Kendrick has blessed us with 100+ minutes of fucking awesome music. This is incredible. I am overwhelmed by this… Too much.

  • marty mcfly

    GKMC is closer to a mix between Cold World the Sideline Story and Take Care then it is to Illmatic.

  • G

    @Marty You’re right…there were a lot of great albums in between 94 and now. What I said was that GKMC is a STANDOUT the way illmatic was in 94. Just think about the times. In 94, the majority of rap was hardcore (biggie, wutang, onyx, mobb deep etc) and then illmatic came with a balance of hardcore and consciousness. In 2012, mainstream hip-hop is more about “swag” and trap beats. GKMC is balanced. And with that said…you still haven’t given me a current album that can go bar-for-bar, beat-for-beat with GKMC. I’m waiting.

  • kevski


    “No Doubt” is arguably in the discussion but outside of that you’ve listed albums by artist that would become great, after a full body of work. I would argue their debut albums were not as mature or complete as GKMC. This release sounds like an artist who is 2-3 major releases in. For instance, Eminem didn’t really reveal his greatness until the Marshall Mathers LP. I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. But to even have this conversation in Hip Hop’s current state is great.

  • adolfmayne

    ^^^haha kendrick must have a long dick the way its down all these dudes throat Capitol punishment and slim shady lp would have been a good enough examples what about the documentary?

  • yaaaa

    @G How bout Ab-Soul’s “Control System”… I personally feel that album is better than good kid

  • Enlite

    wow u whylin bro ^

  • marty mcfly

    @G, loose storytelling is not the superior style in hip hop and that was overall what Kendrick did on GKMC according to what most his fans have been saying. @kevski Now you implied earlier that Kanye West didnt have good raps on College Dropout but imo he was rapping very well on that album and all those other albums I listed had dope lyrics also and sounded complete and mature as well. @G, Now if you wanna go recently, Greatest Story Never Told had dope lyrics and that was last year but even more recently F&L2 had good lyrics and both could definitely go bar for bar with GKMC. Brother Ali just put out an album full of dope lyrics as well as Skyzoo with a Dream Deferred as well as Apollo & OC with Trophies and Xzibit with Napalm, all for which could go bar for bar. Now I will say that as far as “debut” album goes, Kendrick did a great job and I would say its probably gonna be the best debut album this year but I would say its the best bar for bar vs every other album this year.

  • marty mcfly

    I wouldn’t say… That is

  • Hiphop fan since 89

    I notice the first track on GKMC sound like Drake The Resistance but lyrically I compare Kendrick to Eminem, Andre 3000 and Nas.
    Eminem – Flow
    Andre 3000 – Voice Creativity
    Nas – Story teller

  • Trooph

    I hate that people complain about how much people love kendrick’s music, it’s just dumb

  • Thinker

    I agree with Marty 100%
    W/e the fuck u just said bro, sounds like you actually listened to the albums u listed and judged them fairly. Unlike these other faggots making such outrageous comparisons. GKMC was overhyped as fuck. It’s good, but not best album of the year, if anything, best debut is all hell get

  • @Trooph

    Ppl complain about the ppl enjoying Kendrick’s music obnoxiously. Making comparisons and putting down other artists in the process. Those ppl are complete faggots

  • $$$

    Came to cosign marty. Below the Heavens is better.

  • Bran

    ok @G, im gonna give an album debut album that way better than this overrated shit…Skyzoo – The Salvation (2009) please go listen…oh and A Dream Deferred is shitting on this too, but Salvation was his first official album.

  • Bran

    and honestly Skyzoo – A Dream Deferred is the album of the year, hands down. lyrically, production, artistically. its way better than GKMC. thats the album everybody should be talking about right now! Classic!

  • marty mcfly

    I forgot Killer Mike said some thoughtful shit on R.A.P music also but anyway… @Trooph, I’ll just end it like this, when some people dont agree with some comments based on the greatest of Kendrick on 2DBZ it’s like you think that somehow that person must hate Kendrick. I’ll just say that its not hate at all, were talking about music not life and death or hate and love, its simply just about music. At the same time I said GKMC is not comparable to Illmatic, I also said its indeed still a great album. Again, Kendrick will probably have the best debut album this year and what he did on the album was still very creative and I was never trying to act like I didnt hear that. He had substance on the album and he had perspective on the album and he had integrity on the album but its no need to compare GKMC to Illmatic, an album from 18 years ago that truthfully nobody should be aiming to duplicate in 2012.

  • thatrealshit

    GKMC reminds me so much more of Aquemini with the vocals, wide ranging production, story telling, and blend of different hip hop influences. i understand that the state of hip hop was very comparable when GKMC and illmatic dropped and that each was a breath of fresh air to the genre, but sonically i think outkast when i hear this album

  • realtalk

    this is another reason why i love hiphop. conversation of the people

  • assFACt

    Below the Heavens is probably in the top 5 albums of all time, too bad Blu fell the fuck off. Food and Liquor, is still up there in my opinion, and although GKMC is really dope, it’s not in these two categories of greatness.

  • azmatic

    @realtalk exactly, the conversation is the best part. a lot of good points are being said.the only stupid part is that “dickrider” are saying some crazy shit with no real explanation and the people who are supposed “haters” calling people dickrider are saying some crazy shit too. Flesh out your opinion don’t just say Kendricks album sucks or its the greatest for no reason both sides look dumb. lol We can at least agree that Kendricks album is a solid debut especially compared to his other peers that the rap world has deemed potential savior of hip hop. Its weird that like one month ago people were all for a kendrick album with artistic integrity to hit the mainstream now its out and theirs a surge of new fans who like it and a surge of people calling then dickriders lol shit happened too fast

  • Fucking idiot

    Good Kid Maad City is closer to a mix of COLE WORLD AND TAKE CARE?

    lol im done. lol i never started but im done.

    this marty kid knows nothing about hip hop, either that or you didnt listen to the album all the way thru.

    GKMC isnt illmatic, but its miles better than any of the garbage these rappers put out these days.

  • 1

    Dopest debuts of all-time: illmatic, reasonable doubt, ready to die, gkmc, below the heavens, boy meets world (underrated). In that order. My opinion

  • Lampz

    Deltron 3030, The Cold Vein, Liquid Swords, Livestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous, Revolutionary Volume 2, Violent by Design, Will Rap for Food, The Undisputed Truth, The Fix, The Cool and Food & Liqour. Even F&L2 is better than this album in my opinion.

    Nice stroytelling, but nothing special. Undun has better storytelling. A Long Hot Summer has better storytelling. Black Trash has better storytelling. The Cool has way better and deeper stroytelling. And there are more albums with better storytelling. Kendrick’s flow is nice, but I don’t like his voice that much. Some beats are great, some aren’t. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice album. But I can name many albums that are better, also just from this year.

  • marty mcfly

    @Fucking Idiot, yeah I do think sonically as far as just the sound and vibe of the beats on most of the album that it is “closer” in sound to those two albums then it is to Illmatic.

  • Quickstrike

    You idiots! They are not comparing the sound or content to Illmatic! That is not why they are comparing it or debut albums. Whoever you just mentioned on those list are UNDERGROUND artists with creative freedom. GKMC is similar to Illmatic in that is a game changer on a mainstream level! This album just changed hat people’s perception of what can be a succesful formula for a cross over album. He brought the mainstream underground on this and successfully made it work. NO other album any of you named can say that. Below the heavens stayed underground, Skyzoo stayed underground. GKMC is a underground album with MASS appeal. Kendrick/GKMC is the FIRST artist/album to do so in this internet generation. The comparison doesn’t being made to the sound or sonically. It’s being compared for what it means to the game at it’s respected points in time. Get your head out of your asses! TY

  • Quickstrike


  • marty mcfly

    That point can also be debated especially with Lupe, also with J Cole just last year in the opinions of many and you can add Currensy to that list and Skyzoo and Saigon cause they have all also put an underground aesthetic in the mainstream. GKMC is alot more hyped up in the mainstream then those artists but their albums did indeed also reach the commercial masses. Now you are correct about the initial context of the comparison but the comments about the musicality are still valid points if in fact comparisons between albums are being made.

  • marty mcfly

    Oh and you talk about the peoples perception of what a successful formula for crossing over can be? Well that would be the difference between having Dr Dre in that formula vs not having him involved.

  • Quickstrike

    Lupe is never was an underground internet artist and his album while it might have underground type concepts and lyrics the sound is commercial so is Curren$y. And Curren$y selling 40k first week isn’t exactly commercial success and in terms of Quality not even in the same league as GKMC. Now for Skyzoo the music is still geared towards underground. What I’m saying is Kendrick has come up with a formula to appeal to both worlds simultaneously. For ex. I can hand this album to my girl or sister who are casual rap listeners and get it; enjoy the music and would probably get the album for themselves and still appeal with die hard hip hop fans without sacrificing any musical integrity. If I gave a Skyzoo cd to one of these radio listeners it won’t have the same effect it would be categorized as a real rap album but not anything they can become a true fan of. And In that case is where I think GKMC really pushes the boundaries and makes it unique for this time period. J. Cole somewhat followed usual mainstream formula by grabbing Trey Songz for what was targeted mainstream song, no meaning just straight radio spin purposes. While you might compare that to the Drake Ft. here it is cleverly placed into the context of a bigger story which Drake is apt to assist on. “It’s just different”

  • marty mcfly

    And what you just said is also correct as far as Kendrick walking that tight rope between underground and commercial music but the people I named did also do that. You may not think so but with Lupe’s first album and his 2nd he did do that. Currensy also played on both sides of the coin and so did Skyzoo. You can say Currensy didn’t sale much and thats also true but he did still carry that underground flag into the mainstream with his music and just with what kind of artist he represents himself as period. Kendrick is doing it on a way bigger scale but that makes sense. Alot has changed between Section 80 and GKMC as far as who he deals with in the industry. Not taking anything away from him talent wise but its the truth.

  • VoiceOfReason

    I’ll be honest I don’t know who made these comparisons and have not watched any of these vids where Kendrick is address them but I will say this, i have heard this album and i have heard Illmatic, the comparison could surely not be on a lyric, concept, production or even sound engineering level.

    Furthermore, Hip hop was way different back then than it is now…so is the case for listeners…what hip hop fans appreciated back then is not necessarily what today’s youngings appreciate and the opposite is also true…but this is perhaps one of the better hybrid albums (between mainstream and underground) in recent years and as some mentioned so was the case for Food and Liquour. The edge with this album is that the “marketing machine” behind it is (seemingly) way bigger than what was behind Lupe and what makes Kendrick shine even more is the fact that virtually everything commercial seems to be sounding the same in 2012. This was not necessarily the case back in 2006; also the proliferation of social networks and its users has had a ubiquitous influence on Kendrick and his work. So to say this is the best crossover since Illmatic is borderline myopic IMHO.

  • VoiceOfReason