Kendrick Lamar’s new album, DAMN., finishes with a track that shares a title with his last name: “Duckworth.” The song tells the remarkable — and apparently true — story of when TDE founder Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith met Lamar’s father, Ducky, years before he would sign his son. In a new interview with Complex, the song’s producer, 9th Wonder, reveals that Kendrick confirmed to him that the “Duckworth” tale is indeed factual. 

“He said yes, it’s a true story,” 9th Wonder recalls. “The beauty of that is, he chose to tell that story, and we’re like four albums in. Usually, people will tell that story the first time.” 

In the late ’80s, Tiffith was a powerful gang member from the Nickerson Gardens projects in Watts, L.A. Kendrick’s father worked at the drive-thru at the KFC across the street, which Tiffith would rob during the time he was employed there. 

Knowing that Tiffith had already robbed the KFC before he began working there, Ducky tried to get on his good side, giving him free chicken and extra biscuits. Perhaps this was why Ducky’s life was spared during the eventual robbery he experienced. 

Kendrick finishes the song by rapping, “Whoever thought the greatest rapper would be from coincidence? / Because if Anthony killed Ducky / Top Dawg could be servin’ life / While I grew up without a father and die in a gunfight.”

9th Wonder perfectly sums up what makes “Duckworth” so special: 

“But he told it four albums in, at the end. It’s like, ‘In summation of everything you’ve heard from me, now let me tell you how it all came about.’ And that’s his genius when it comes to when he chooses to write about something, and how he chooses to write about it.” 

Also in the interview, 9th Wonder discusses the THREE beats he used on “Duckworth.” Apparently all three had already been picked out by other well-known rappers, but none of them ever put out a song with any of the beats.

9th Wonder and Kendrick have been working together for years now. Find their previous collaborations below. 

9th Wonder

9th Wonder Confirms Kendrick Lamar's "Duckworth" Is A True Story