Kendrick Lamar talked to Rolling Stone about "How To Pimp A Butterfly" and played them a bunch of new music for the album.
The mystery of Kendrick Lamar's long-awaited follow up to good kid, M.A.A.D City is starting to unravel, as today the rapper revealed both the politically charged artwork and cryptic title today. Rolling Stone has also chosen today to share their upcoming cover story with Lamar, who appears in a Sox jacket as a woman braids his hair on the front of the iconic mag.
A few quotes from the story have also made their way to the internet, some of them actually describing new music from the album, as Lamar apparently played the editors six new songs from the LP.
Read some excerpts below.
On the new material:
The songs range from the intensely personal to the swaggeringly aggressive — like “King Kunta,” which could be the theme song from a Seventies blaxploitation flick. When Pharrell Williams first heard the track, he praised it by calling it “unapologetically black.” “It’s just him expressing how he’s feeling at the moment,” says Lamar’s longtime producer Mark “Sounwave” Spears. “And right now, he’s mad.”
Sonically, Lamar’s new album is adventurous, incorporating elements of funk, spoken-word poetry, and free-jazz, augmented by lots of live playing. (Lamar says he was listening to a lot of Miles Davis and Parliament while making it.) “It’s a unique sound,” says Sounwave. “Every producer I’ve ever met was sending me stuff [for the album], but there was a one-in-a-million chance you could send a beat that actually fit what we were doing.” Lamar’s longtime engineer, Derek “MixedByAli” Ali, says the rapper would often talk in moods: “He would say, ‘I want it to sound eerie,’ or ‘I want it to sound like you’re driving past something.’ Or he talks in colors: ‘Make it sound purple. Make it sound light green.’”
On the album concept:
Lamar is vague about what specifically the title To Pimp a Butterfly means (“That will be taught in college courses someday,” he says). But he describes the album as “honest, fearful and unapologetic.” “You take a black kid out of Compton and put him in the limelight, and you find answers about yourself you never knew you were searching for,” he said. “There’s some stuff in there, man. It’s a roller coaster. It builds.
Read more at RS.