Check out some of what he had to say on that track and on working with Drake below.
XXLMag.com: What was your first meeting with Drake like? You speak about it some in the verse.
Kendrick Lamar: I did a show in Toronto [on June 16]. My first show in Toronto. I think it was the same night, we was going back to the hotel, and he hit my phone. I guess he had got the word that I was in town. He was there for the night working for the album, and he just said [he wanted to] meet up. We met up, chilled out, got to vibe, see where each other was at and shit. Sometimes you like a person’s music but you definitely don’t like the actual artist when you sit down and you talk to them. That’s a real good dude. He got a real genuine soul. We clicked immediately. We had spoken probably one time before that.
XXLMag.com: So when did he hit you to ask if you’d be on the album?
He reached out, I wanna say, after I dropped Section80. He was actually the first person to hear Section80. I gave it to him that night. He was catching a flight somewhere, and I sent it to him through e-mail, and he was just rocking out with it for a minute. Really bigging me up on the project, telling me to keep doing what I’m doing, that it’s amazing. Probably a week after [it dropped], he said, I wanna get you on the album. The first time he told me, he said he wanted to get me on a song with The Weeknd. But I don’t know if that song actually made the album. And then after that, a few more conversations, and he finally sent me an instrumental and told me to do what I want on it.
XXLMag.com: Did you know the direction of the album? Had you heard music that night you met that helped you approach the verse?
I didn’t hear no music for the album. Me being a fan of his music, following his career and listening to the prior songs he dropped, I felt like he was in a space now where vanity is everywhere, and he has his hands on every bit of it and he’s trying to escape that. But, at the same time, not being in denial of it. I wanted to speak from a standpoint of me being a new artist, and almost being in his shoes that he was a couple years ago, or last year, and expressing them feelings.
XXLMag.com: To close out the verse, you say, “I live a double life and need to let her go/The reason why, the highlight was when he said:’You belong to the people when you outside/So dig a shovel full of money, full of power, full of pussy, full of fame/And bury yourself alive’/then I died.” What’s going on there?
At the end of that verse, that’s him, in the conversation, him telling me that you have to accept this lifestyle, because all of that will come, and it’s up to you how far you’re gonna go with it, or how much you’re gonna let in. Me acknowledging that, when I say, “Then I died,” it leaves it hanging on the audience trying to figure out where would I go with it? Will I let it taint me or destroy me? Or will I know how to deal with it?
XXLMag.com: To kick off the verse, you talk about being a “suicidal terrorist.” Why?
It’s me being in denial. When I say buried alive, that means I might kill myself over everything that’s happening. The women, the money. That’s a metaphor for me basically saying, drowning yourself in that, and not being able to come back. “Lookin’ in the mirror I’m embarrassed.” I’m embarrassed with what’s going on, and I’m in denial of it. And saying I’m a suicidal terrorist, I might kill myself over it.
Read everything K. Dot had to say here