Terrace Martin Details How Kendrick Lamar & Rihanna’s “Loyalty” Came Together

blame it on Patrick Glynn April 19, 2017

One of the most fun parts of having an acclaimed album like Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. come out is the talk of how the whole album came together. (Kind of like our oral history of To Pimp A Butterfly.)

Terrace Martin — a longtime collaborator of Kendrick’s — recently spoke to The FADER about how the song he helped produce, “LOYALTY.” with Rihanna, came to fruition.

It started with Martin finding a sample from Khrysis, a producer of 9th Wonder’s, while working with Rapsody. From there, he, DJ Dahi and Sounwave curated everything else.

“Right there, on my mama, Kendrick said: ‘Imma get Rihanna on this,'” Marin said. “That day. Right when the drums started, he looked at me saying, ‘Aye, I’m gonna get Rihanna on this record.'”

He then discusses his history of working with Dahi and Sounwave, who both have worked for Kendrick endlessly in the past.

“Collaborating with Dahi and Sounwave was beautiful. ‘Cause I don’t believe music should ever be done alone. I don’t believe music is a selfish thing; I don’t believe in none of that. I love doing music for other people. So I was welcoming that ‘cause I love new ideas, and Dahi comes from a whole different direction, and Sounwave — that’s my creative brotha. We been creating together since this shit started. That’s my personal homeboy. Like, that’s my real friend. You know what I’m saying? We’ve done 12 records together, Grammys together, everything together. Been through the paint together with TDE.

But Dahi was a different thing. He comes from a different approach; like, this motherfucker is the fastest guy with ideas and drums. I’ve never worked with anybody in my life that was as fast and perfect as Dahi. I’m talking about every idea — experimental. Every idea — new. I’m talking about every six minutes he’s like, “Hear this, hear this. Hear that. Hear that.” I’m on the bridge of my song. I’m tryna figure out the bridge [laughs]. And I’m tryna figure out the bridge on week three of the song! And there Dahi is, feeding me all these drums. Then Sounwave listens to it, and Sounwave knows how to make songs out of everything, you know, so he’s like the cherry on top. It was beautiful. Kendrick came with the melodies, man. We was just having a ball in the studio. It felt fun.

We went back to Section.80 and started there. We went back to the essence, man. Samples, drums, just a little vibe, and just Kendrick rapping and writing. And he’s rapping his ass off. He’s writing some of the most prolific beautiful songs in the world today. You know, he’s writing songs that are gonna be in history books that are touching people but still with a high skill level being an MC over his power of music. That’s the real shit. ‘Cause he ain’t and we ain’t giving up no time soon.”

This trio is perfect for Kung Fu Kenny.