Kendrick Lamar doesn’t speak much. Or, better yet, he would rather let his music speak for him.
So when he dropped DAMN., his third major label studio release, we kind of figured that he wouldn’t say much publicly about the project. And he hasn’t…with the exception of one interview.
Earlier today, Zane Lowe released his interview with Kendrick Lamar. The two talked about a wide spectrum of things, from his claim of being the greatest rapper alive to his feud with Geraldo Rivera and Fox News to the political nature of To Pimp a Butterfly.
He also talked about DAMN., breaking down, coyly, the crucial songs on the album. One of the songs he talked about is the 9th Wonder–produced “DUCKWORTH.,” the stunning outro that tells the true story of how Top Dawg, TDE’s founder and CEO, almost stuck up and killed Kendrick’s father.
When asked about the first time hearing the story that would eventually turn into “DUCKWORTH.,” Kendrick said:
“About a year after I met Top Dawg. I met him when I was 16. My Pops came to the studio after I’d been locked in with him for a minute and we got a relationship now, bring my Pops through. He heard I was dealing with Top Dawg but my Pops personally don’t know him as Top Dawg, the industry know him as Top Dawg… So when he walked in that room and he seen that Top Dawg was this guy, he flipped. Still ’til this day they laugh and they laugh and they trip out and they tell the same story over and over to each other.”
Lamar also talked about playing “DUCKWORTH.” for Top Dawg himself:
“It was just the right time. Top himself didn’t know I was going to do it or even execute it in that fashion, to be the last song or to be anywhere. Just making it make sense. I remember playing it for him, he flipped because further than the song, when you really can hear your life in words that is so true to you and that effected your life one hundred percent through one decision, it really makes you sit back and cherish the moment.I think that’s something we all did playing that record. Like man, look where we at. We’re recording music for the world to hear and we’re taking care of our families. We’re blessed. But listen to these words, like this is what happened.This is real life. It’s amazing and since a kid I’ve aways said to myself ‘anything is possible and it always comes around 10 fold, confirmation.’ And that story is confirmation.”
There’s a ton more to unpack from this interview. Do yourself a favor, take 40 minutes to listen to it for yourself.