Kendrick Lamar Talks Next Album, Eminem’s Influence and More in Rick Rubin Interview
Kendrick Lamar and Rick Rubin recently met for the first time at the producer's legendary Shangri La Studios in Malibu, Calif. and sat down for a 45-minute interview for GQ. During their talk, they discussed Kenny's next album, the influence of rappers like Jay Z and Eminem, and much more. You can watch the whole thing above.
Asked whether To Pimp a Butterfly is a sign of what to expect from K. Dot in the future, the Compton rapper says, "That was me then. Not to say that it wouldn't be continued. It'll always have some type of DNA in my music, but me as a person, knowing who I am, I grow." In addition, Kendrick talks about inhabiting so many characters in his music and how that partly came from listening to so much Prince and absorbing the late, great artist's wide palette of emotions.
As to his next album, Kendrick says it's pretty early for that, but he did say he has ideas. "I have ideas and I have a certain approach. But I wanna see what it manifests," he tells Rubin. "I wanna put all the paint on the wall and see where that goes. Maybe you [Rubin] can help me with that."
Rubin also notes Kendrick's strict attention to words, and K. Dot says that came from studying Eminem as a kid. He remembers hearing The Marshall Mathers LP for the first time and thinking, "How's his words cutting through the beat like that? What is he doing that I'm not doing, now that I'm into it?"
In fact, Eminem himself even added his own commentary on the interview with Rap Genius. "When I first heard Kendrick’s debut on Aftermath, I couldn’t believe it," writes Em. "The fact that it was his first real album and he was able to make it into a story which intertwines with the skits like that was genius. That hasn’t really been done that many times, let alone on someone’s first time up. The level of wordplay, the deliveries, the beats—it’s just a masterpiece."
Towards the end of the clip, Kendrick says he's in a creative zone and heads into the studio with Rubin to work on some new music. If we ever hear the result of their studio session, it won't be the first time we hear Kendrick over Rick Rubin production; revisit Eminem's "Love Game" to hear how they work together.
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