Kendrick Lamar Predicts A Biblical Rapture In New Extended Interview
In what’s surely his most searching, enlightening interview since The New York Times weighed his clarity with their grey scale, Kendrick Lamar has opened in a Mass Appeal cover story about the nascent glory To Pimp A Butterfly, his work ethic, and which song he would have loved to get a Tupac feature on, if it had only been possible.
“You know when the beat switches on “The Blacker The Berry”? I’d have [Pac] go off over that, and tone it all the way down, but in his aggressive tone, man,” Lamar told MA, admitting that Tupac’s ability to rap jarring truths in a warm, inviting tone was one of his greatest artistic assets. In a series of answers, the Compton MC assured fans that every part of TPAB–every last bit of symbolism, narrative shift and reference–was carefully planned out over a span of years. “Nothing is a coincidence,” K dot smirks when asked about his lines in “Hood Politics,” his interviewer suggesting that we might someday see a candidate Kendrick run for office.
The extended piece only grows the scope of TPAB, revealing more of Kendrick’s intentions behind the sprawling record. “[W]hen you really break down the album, it’s not only for blacks. I have just as equal people outside of my culture understanding the album,” Lamar said. “This album is more about deciding what you’re gonna do with your fame and your fortune. [Is it] for negative or for positive reasons?”
But what’s certainly the most startling portion of the interview comes about once the subject of rebellion is broached:
Do you think a violent rebellion like Pac was suggesting in the interview soundbites at the end of TPAB could happen?
Once the true rebellion happens, there’s no going back. It’s like war with two enemy ’hoods; it basically never ends. And I think it’s enough frustration in the world now if something crack off on a major, major, major scale, it’s gonna be destruction. I’m talkin’ ’bout through the whole world. This is the Rapture. This is God comin’ back and you’re hearin’ the horns and the skies crackin’ open. You dig what I’m sayin’? They puttin’ chips in people’s bodies now, y’know? So with that being said, hopefully it’s more about us as people sayin’, “Enough is enough,” and educating the next man with some wisdom that I have or that you have, and makin’ it a collabo thing where we can all benefit from it in a positive way. Rather than takin’ it out in full rage, like we want to — like I want to, like he want to, like she want to. If we can deal with it like that, then that’ll be a plus on our end. But, if we decide we don’t, then you know what drama that brings.
The Christian prayers of repentance that run through Good Kid, m.A.A.d. City are as clear as day, and earlier this year Lamar told Billboard in plain terms: “We’re in the last days, man — I truly in my heart believe that.” Now, the rapper has made it plain that he’s yes, indeed, prepared for the apocalypse. Read more of the Mass Appeal interview here.