Kendrick Lamar: Vulnerability is tough
Kendrick Lamar wanted to connect with people through his new record To Pimp a Butterfly.
The 27-year-old released his fourth record, To Pimp a Butterfly earlier this year, with it topping the Billboard 200 list for two consecutive weeks and reaching the top ten in several countries around the globe.
Kendrick trod new ground for this album and hopes the younger generation will be able to relate to his new sound.
"I didn’t have to write anything. I’d just go in the booth and pull it out. Getting the thoughts there and being vulnerable enough to say these things, that’s the tough part," he explained to Ebony magazine in a series of unpublished outtakes. "Because you don’t want people questioning you, your feelings and stuff like that. But in the end, those are the records that connect with people. It’s not for me anymore, I can get out my own way. It’s for the kid that’s really on the edge [who] can feel like they have nothing to lose."
Spirituality is a big theme in his new music and he puts this factor down to his grandmother, who planted the "foundation" for him.
Growing up Kendrick was surrounded by music, with those in close proximity being a constant source of inspiration for him.
"My pops, he never learnt to sing, but he’d have his little drink on the side, and he’d put on the best of his hits - gangster rap or oldies - and he’d sing all day on his mic plugged up to the wall set-up. It’s a trip. I’ve just seen that my whole life, so I’ve always just had a love for music," he recalled.
He "jumped" into studio recording at 13 and was won over as soon as he heard his own voice being played back as he was surprised by how good he sounded.
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