Kendrick Lamar, Kendrick Lamar EP (2009)
Label: Top Dawg Entertainment
Casey Veggies: “His hunger on that project was evident. He felt he was slept-on. With his new ideas and music, he came with an honesty and it was next-level, over-the-top honesty, and over-the-top storytelling. That record was amazing.
“That mixtape was polished and the music was full songs. It’s still raw compared to how he sounds now, and if anything, that’s better. I like that more than how he sounds now, it’s more listenable, daily-riding music.
“As you make albums and get big, you become more attached to how stuff sounds sonically, instead of the smooth feel of how that project was. I go for the bigger and brighter sound than the more vintage. You go for that sometimes. You’re a bigger artist, and you have bigger goals. That’s just how it goes, but I fuck with that project.
“I remember downloading the [first] Kendrick tape when a lot of people didn’t know [him]. I knew he gonna be straight once I heard it. I downloaded that tape when it dropped. I’m sure a lot of people didn’t download [that EP] the first day it came out. I saw a lot of shit come up."