Kendrick Lamar Covers Mass Appeal

blame it on JES7 April 28, 2015

It’s been a great, blessed year for young K Dot. From releasing his Billboard chart topping sophomore album To Pimp A Butterfly – to receiving praises from the God MC Rakim and throwing out the first pitch at a Dodgers game, Kendrick has owned 2015.

Now, the Compton emcee is gracing the cover of Mass Appeal’s Issue #56, due to hit stands soon. Photographer Chris Buck shot the cover image, and according to them:

Chris created this arresting cover image, which pays homage to an iconic portrait of Mick Jagger in his prime. The photo seemed apropos give Lamar’s razor-sharp bars and the fact that he’s one of a handful of rappers ever to reach rock star status without dulling his blade even slightly.

Below are a few choice quotes from the interview:

Let’s talk about the meaning of the phrase “To Pimp A Butterfly.” It could mean using your talent to do good for you and your people, or it could be about the music industry pimping artists. As Ice-T said in “Pimps Up, Ho’s Down,” he knew the label was pimping him and his objective was “to get to the point where I could pimp myself.” Is that similar to what you’re saying?

That’s definitely similar. Whether I knew it or not, I’d be wrong for saying that Ice-T wasn’t an influence on what I’m talking about because [older rap artists], they’ve been there, done that. Especially him, [with] his longevity in the game. I thank him for giving me that game because it’s something that has been goin’ on for a long time, y’know? You take this raw talent and put a price on it, and you’re not rewarded as much as you should be rewarded. This is a God-given talent. The reward should be infinite [for] our ability to think of what we think of, and even more so, how we make people happy. Ain’t no feeling better than that.

When the album cover was posted up on Instagram, you had a message on there (attributed to the “Lil Homie”) that said, in part: “To Pimp A Butterfly, it’s the American dream….” How is it the American dream?

It’s the American dream because everybody wanna feel like they’re in control of their success. We’re puppets in so many different places [in our lives]. To pimp out something from a negative place and take it to a positive place, that’s what everybody wanna do. Everybody have their own story. I have mine with good kid, m.A.A.d city. You have yours. And to come out of these harsh realities and do something positive, you’re pimping the butterfly. You’re coming out this cocoon of this caterpillar and you’re making the best out of it. Everybody wanna do that.

If Pac was alive, what song would you have wanted him to kick a verse on?

You know when the beat switches on “The Blacker The Berry”? I’d have him go off over that, and tone it all the way down, but in his aggressive tone, man. And give it more of a sincere attribute to the song because the song is so aggressive. But you know when he comes on, his spirit is just so warm, he’s gonna speak nothing but the truth. So when that beat breaks down into that, and then goes into “You Ain’t Gotta Lie,” that’s all him.

Read the rest of the excerpts here, and watch a bonus video interview of Kendrick explaining the cover of the album.