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Terrace Martin Goes Behind The Boards With Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa And Problem

Kendrick Lamar

I’m like his utility man. You know when you rent an apartment and [there’s] one guy that can do everything? He’s gonna fix the gas oven. You know, all these things. He’s gonna paint and fix the door. I’m that guy. Not only a producer, but whatever he needs from me. “T, I need you to replay that.” I’m gonna replay that. “T, let’s do that.” “Hey Terrace, for my line, I want to do this, do this, do that.” I’m just here as his utility guy. My thing is, whatever makes him go further, that’s my job with him. Whatever makes his brain go [fast], that’s my job. My job is just to support Kendrick Lamar in that situation. I’ve known him since we were 16. We’ve been doing the same music too. Now, it’s just sold a million records. We’ve been doing the same shit for ten years.

I grew up under Kurupt as a kid, a tiny kid. I think Kurupt is one of our greatest MCs in the world. Ain’t nobody give him credit. Actually, that’s Kendrick’s favorite rapper too. The art of rhyme is very important. “What did you say? Why did you say that?” That’s why it is shocking me, to touch on a little bit, that people are so upset with [the “Control” verse]. But if you really listen to the rhyme, to the art of it, before he mentions New York—in a sense, he’s paying homage. But you know, people got “New York, New York” confused also too. That was a song giving it up for New York, but people took offense [because of] the video shoot. And then the buildings got kicked down. I don’t think the buildings are going to get kicked down this go around. It’s just beef, being friendly. I mean, this is hip-hop. But, the art of rhyme—when it comes to hip-hop—it’s very important. The art of rhyme is important in song in general.

Kendrick is confident. He’s from Compton. He went to Centennial High School, just going to school and going home. Being from Compton, L.A., there’s already a tag from you that you are from Compton. They already think you are rude. They already think you are this. Just to fight that all of your life is a motherfucker. Parents from Chicago. That’s a whole other beast. They [are] Chicago people. He got Chicago parents in Compton. They never converted. That’s a whole other thing. What you hearing is everything in him come out.

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