Terrace Martin breaks down how Kendrick Lamar's "LOYALTY" came together with Rihanna.
In case you missed it earlier today, we at HNHH broke down Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN., analyzing all 14 records track-by-track, but luckily for fans there’s more DAMN details surfacing this evening. Thanks to producer Terrace Martin, who contributed to the Rihanna-assisted record “LOYALTY,” along with producers DJ Dahi, and Sounwave, he decided to sit down with The Fader recently and talk about how the collab came together. Terrace had the following to say...
“LOYALTY.” came about because I was working with Rapsody and 9th Wonder. 9th Wonder has a producer under him named Khrysis, who sent me a record to play on. It was a Bruno Mars sample off 24K Magic. I was like, “Whoa, that sounds crazy.” I said, “I wanna replay it, reverse it, change the key, add a third harmony — do all these things to it. But still make it sound just like the sample, but with a different edge.” I turned the sample around, set it up, and then hit Sounwave. From there, me, Sounwave, and DJ Dahi got in the studio and started to put drums on that motherfucker. Right there, on my mama, Kendrick said: “Imma get Rihanna on this.” That day. Right when the drums started, he looked at me saying, “Aye, I’m gonna get Rihanna on this record.”
Martin would later go on to say that they would work on “LOYALTY” for only a few days, but he had the idea to sample Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" for a long time. "I spent a long time on that sample. That particular sample has been through the ringer: from TopBox, to VoCoder — we was really loving that sample way before we finally said let's do something with that. “LOYALTY.,” which we recorded over a few days, was done with a different impulse than the last couple of records. DAMN. feels like now — it gets into your heart, but it feels like the future, man. You know?"
“When 'LOYALTY' was done, I looked at Dahi and Sounwave, and told them that I was happy that we were all a part of a composition. I was just happy that we all saw that seed grow. The best feeling is when you’re next to your brothers and you listen to a record, and everybody got they eyes closed, and everybody kind of look at each other on their own time, and everybody’s in the zone. The vibe in the studio was serious but fun. We tryna change shit. Like, let’s not do nothing we did. Let’s just go back to the essence. Let's go back to the first point of direction, which was drum machines, boom-bap samples, and 808s. Let’s go back to the point of direction and find a new way,” Terrace says.