With his moment of truth at the GRAMMYs a few short days away, Kendrick Lamar sat down with our good friend Andreas Hale for a lengthy conversation. And by “lengthy”, we really mean lengthy: Hale connected with Lamar, MixedByAli, Sounwave, Thundercat, Terrace Martin and Rapsody among many others, but gave the GRAMMY website a small portion of the entire thing.
In their piece, they all speak on how Kendrick found George Clinton to do “Wesley’s Theory,” how a classic Mausberg song was the inspiration for “King Kunta,” how Lalah Hathaway and J Dilla played a role in “Complexion (A Zulu Love)”, and a host more. Some choice quotes:
Waldo George Clinton?
Lamar: “I had to find George Clinton in the woods, man. He was somewhere in the South and I had to fly out to him. We got in the studio and just clicked. Rocking with him took my craft to another level and that pushed me to make more records like that for the album.”
The original version of “Complexion” didn’t have Kendrick on it…
Rapsody: “He said he wanted to talk about the beauty of black people. I told him to say no more. What tripped me out is Kendrick originally said that he didn’t want to do a verse on there. He wanted me to do two verses and Prince to do the hook.”
The difficulty of recording “u”
Lamar: “It was real uncomfortable because I was dealing with my own issues. I was making a transition from the lifestyle that I lived before to the one I have now. When you’re onstage rapping and all these people are cheering for you, you actually feel like you’re saving lives. But you aren’t saving lives back home. It made me question if I am in the right place spreading my voice. “Should I be back home sending this message or be on the road?” It put me in this space where I was in a little bit of a dilemma.”
Keep it locked at the DopeHouse for more, exclusive content from the article.