Kendrick Lamar says everything is premeditated when it comes to recording his style of music. And this style of music is what has the world in universal praise.
Last week, Kendrick Lamar released DAMN. to rave reviews and a wave of conspiracy theories. Now in his first interview since the release, the Compton native joined Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 show today (April 21) to discuss the key elements behind the themes in his latest narrative.
"Everything is 80 percent premeditated," Lamar said of the album's concept and production. "Everything for me is about execution. I can go out with 1,000 ideas, but if I'm not executing it right, it doesn't feel home to me." And the intent behind this heavy construction behind the scenes is, as per K. Dot, to "live further than two weeks… I want it to live for the next 20 years. You have to listen to it over and over and over and over again to fully understand the direction and the message…I want to challenge the way you think, and the way you take in music.”
Many theories and breakdowns have surfaced since the album's arrival. When asked about specific tracks like the stark and eerie album opener "BLOOD.," K. Dot only maintained his signature reticence. "What I can I say about that, without saying about that. It is one of the most interesting pieces on the record," he said. "I don't even know if I can find the wit, the wit to tell you about it. The wit to tell you about the record without telling you about the record. There's a new life, it's a new life."
In an attempt to get a confirmation on the running reverse theory that surrounds "BLOOD.," Lowe even asked, "Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?" Remaining tight-lipped, Kendrick answered, "I can't tell you that. That's what I can’t tell you. Come on now, that's the whole thing."
As far as whether or not there is a sequel to DAMN., which kicked off the Easter Sunday watch, Kendrick essentially deferred, but said, "There's things. A lot of times people that listen to my music they're really good. Really, really, really good. I be mind-blown. I be blown away."
Although he hinted at new music during a recent album signing in Compton, K. Dot has since denied any news of a new album.
KenFolk. ThankU 4 the desire of always anticipating new music of my own. None is coming. My work will be in our future TDE dates tho. #DAMN— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) April 21, 2017
The "HUMBLE." rapper, who raps "If I quit this season, I still be the greatest," also discussed the intention behind his greatest rapper alive claim. "I'm so passionate about hip-hop," he began. "I love it to a point that I can't even describe it. When I heard these artists say they're the best, coming up, I'm not doing it to have a good song or one good rap or good hook or good bridge. I want to keep doing it every time, period. And to do it every time, you have to challenge yourself and you have to confirm to yourself — not anybody else, confirm to yourself that you're the best, period. No one can take that away from me, period. That’s my drive and that’s my hunger, I will always have. At this point right now, the years and the time and the effort and the knowledge and history I've done on the culture and the game I’ve gotten from those before me and the respect I have for them. I want to hold myself high on that same pedestal 10, 15 years from now."
DAMN. is on its way to becoming Kendrick's biggest release thus far, creating much bigger waves than his previous releases (and what anyone could have anticipated). It has already shattered streaming records and is on pace to becoming 2017's fastest selling album (so far) with projections currently over half-a-million copies.