Kendrick Lamar sat down with Beats 1 Radio’s Zane Lowe to give the first interview on his new album DAMN., which was released last week. The two met up at Coachella and chatted for nearly an hour about Kendrick’s creative process and the meaning behind specific songs on the album. He also talked about what it was like to collaborate with Rihanna, U2, Mike WiLL Made-It, Kid Capri, and Zacari, and revealed that he has a bunch of unreleased tracks from the album sessions. Check out a partial transcript (via Pitchfork) and watch the video in full below.
On the internet reacting to his music:
As soon as I hit mastering, I just turn that thing in and try not to listen to it or even see the actual response for a while. I’ve been attached to this piece of art for the last year and some change, I’ve indulged so much I don’t even want to hear it. I just want to give it to the people and let them take it and live with it and breathe it. Then when I come back on that stage, that’s when I want to feel it. That’s when I want to see it, that’s when I want to see your reaction. I can’t get that same reaction on internet, through some comments. When I go out there and I see people just really taking these songs to heart, that’s the reaction.
The internet is a tricky place and the way our minds work in a psychological matter, we’re only going to see the good things anyway. We’re going to block out the negative things. Everybody’s not going appreciate and I know how it works. I don’t even want to gravitate towards it. I want to go out there and see if you’re sitting out in the crowd looking at me with the mummy face or are you enjoying yourself?
Lowe: When did you when did you realize that that story had happened? When did that story get shared with you?
About a year after I met Top Dawg. I met him when I was 16. My Pops came to the studio after I’d been locked in with him for a minute and we got a relationship now, bring my Pops through. He heard I was dealing with Top Dawg but my Pops personally don’t know him as Top Dawg, the industry know him as Top Dawg… So when he walked in that room and he seen that Top Dawg was this guy, he flipped. Still ’til this day they laugh and they laugh and they trip out and they tell the same story over and over to each other.
Lowe: Have you been waiting to tell that story?
Have I been waiting? It was just the right time. Top himself didn’t know I was going to do it or even execute it in that fashion, to be the last song or to be anywhere. Just making it make sense. I remember playing it for him, he flipped because further than the song, when you really can hear your life in words that is so true to you and that effected your life one hundred percent through one decision, it really makes you sit back and cherish the moment.
I think that’s something we all did playing that record. Like man, look where we at. We’re recording music for the world to hear and we’re taking care of our families. We’re blessed. But listen to these words, like this is what happened.
This is real life. It’s amazing and since a kid I’ve aways said to myself ‘anything is possible and it always comes around 10 fold, confirmation.’ And that story is confirmation.
On calling out Fox News:
I thought it was a trip, that it was clickbait, because anybody that know me they know that you know I represent my people you know and the culture the right way so to try and attack my character you know and make it an actual stunt. I wasn’t for it.