Published Oct 19, 2012Although good kid, m.A.A.d. city has seen its share of push-backs, Kendrick Lamar can't wait for fans to finally hear his first proper studio album. As the rapper explains in a new Exclaim! interview, he's proud of his new body of work, which is executive-produced by Dr. Dre and features contributions from the likes of Drake, Hit-Boy, Pharrell Williams, Mary J. Blige, Just Blaze and Compton hero MC Eiht.
Although Lamar has drawn critical acclaim for his conceptual writing and willingness to tackle real-life troubles, good kid, m.A.A.d. city aims to showcase the variety of his delivery, not just his content.
"I love have different flows, different rhythms and different cadences on different records," Lamar tells Exclaim! "It makes it interesting, makes it even more fun to listen to. I used to love listening to Bone Thugs back in the day, used to love listening to Biggie when I sat down and was a student of the game. I wondered why they called him the greatest, so I had to double back. His flows was crazy. I take pride in that because that's part of the art. It's not just about lyrics; it's how you deliver it, the swing you put on it — all that is hip-hop to me."
And nothing is more hip-hop than being brought under the wing of super-producer Dr. Dre, a legend in Compton before Lamar was old enough to go to school. But that doesn't mean Lamar was just a younger outlet for Dre's hit-making mastery; Kendrick says he was involved in the creative process equally, and it was Lamar who wrote Dre's verses on the single "The Recipe."
"Dre's an incredible thinker, an incredible writer and producer, so he respects my level of work just as much as I respect his, so we just bounce off ideas, try to be as creative as possible with no restraints," Lamar says. "I'm not out here competing just because they put me on the new artist list. I'm not competing with new artists, no. I'm competing with Kanye, Jay-Z, Eminem, whoever else consider himself to be the best."
And even though City has yet to officially arrive, Lamar has set his designs on a future project – one that falls well left of Dre's super-polished THX blast — Lamar wants to record an entire rap album on two-inch tape.
"The same way everybody was doing in the '70s and '60s," he explains. "I like the warm feeling of it. It's so warm, you can feel the depths of the tones in the music. And it feels great. I want to try it. That's a secret. I'm probably giving out too much. I don't want no rap artist doing that."
As previously reported, good kid, m.A.A.d. city arrives Monday (October 22) via Aftermath/Interscope.