Kendrick Lamar talks about the inspiration for "i" and the producers he's been working with on his new album.
Kendrick Lamar surprised fans with the fun-loving and motivational single "i" off his as-of-yet untitled sophomore album. The record wasn't the aggressive, hard West Coast banger devout fans were fiending for, but as Kendrick Lamar revealed in a new interview with Hot 97, it was meant to fill a visible gap that Kendrick saw within hip-hop music.
While talking to Ebro and Peter Rosenberg over at Hot 97 in New York, K. Dot spoke quite a bit on "i", sharing his initial idea on who exactly the song was for. In his typically humble manner, the rapper elaborated,
"My initial idea for writing this record...really it's for two people. I hit Top Dawg and say I wrote for the homies that's in the penitentiary right now. And I also wrote a record for these kids that come up to my show with these slashes on they wrists sayin' they don't wanna live no more. It's serious. People on the inside don't feel like they got nothing to live for, and people on the outside. I said okay, these are my homies in the hood, if I say something this blatant, this bold, this simple, they can take reaction from that. They can lock your body, they can't trap your mind for my homies that's in the pen. For the people that's outside you have somethin' way more to live for, it starts with yourself first, and you won't be thinking all these negative things that's going around in the world that's completely corrupting your brain."
He continued to give us insight, "We could talk slick as rappers, that's easy to do. That's like taking the easy way out. But what're you saying though? What're you saying to grab some type of inspiration? It's more people hurtin' than eatin' in this world, than anything."
"We went in and just did a few records," Kendrick said of working with Pharrell, as the conversation turned to his sophomore album. "Everything's really in-house. Of course, Dre. I really stick with four producers I been working with since day one, Sounwave, Thundercat, Rahki, Taebeast."
Some more Kendrick wisdom before we close this out:
"It gotta have the balance...I could sit up here and talk slick all day on record. But who's gunna relate to it at the end of the day, when they gotta go back to this crazy world and feel like they don't love themselves enough to stay humble and not commit suicide. Who gon' make them records? Nobody. I don't see it and I don't hear it."
Watch the full interview below.