Kendrick, Pharrell, Just Blaze, and others speak about putting together one of the year's best alb..." /> Kendrick, Pharrell, Just Blaze, and others speak about putting together one of the year's best alb..."/> Kendrick, Pharrell, Just Blaze, and others speak about putting together one of the year's best alb...">
The Making of Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city"

"Backseat Freestyle"

Produced By: Hit-Boy

Kendrick Lamar: “That’s really the start of ‘The Art of Peer Pressure.’ It flows into the album. It’s about me and my homeboys really getting in the backseat and starting our day. Sometimes we’ll rap, it takes away from everything else. That’s one of the feelings that the record produces.”

Hit-Boy: “I met Kendrick in New York at SOBs a couple years ago. He had just started getting a buzz. We chopped it up a little bit but we just kept building from there. Then he ended up signing to Interscope, and I have an in with some people over there, so they always wanted me to work with him.

“We had this other record down that we did last year. We went out to Vegas and vibed and I just thought he was going to be using that joint. He was like he couldn’t get the hook right in his mind, so that song got deaded.

 

50 Cent always said, ‘It’s hard to capture a whole story in three minutes so you need certain aids and guides to go along with that to get a bigger picture of what's going on.’ The skits aren’t just random stuff. It goes on there because like everything else, it plays a part in this short film. It’s not called ‘A short film by Kendrick Lamar’ for nothing. —Punch

 

“Later on, I was just at the crib—I work out of my crib—and Kendrick came through. As soon as that beat came on, he was like, ‘That’s the one! This is going on my album.’ He went out on the road and ended up recording out there. Kendrick [changed the beat I gave him by] looping this one part from the beginning that wasn’t that way when I first gave him the beat. So he’s hearing what he wanted to hear. He definitely had a hand in making it how he wanted it to sound. As soon as he finished it, he hit me like, ‘Yo, we got one. This shit is crazy.’

“It’s a turnt-up joint with energy. That’s what I’m getting known for with records like ‘Niggas In Paris,’ ‘Clique,’ and ‘Cold,’ having that energy and that youthfulness to my sound. My goal is always to bring the super-producer era back. I feel like I’m one of the few people who really cares about everything from my style to how I dress to my social networking. The kids really look up to what I’m doing and I got to hold up to that.

“Every so often, we get these guys who push the boundaries and bring that authentic shit. Kendrick is one of those guys. He’s not just West Coast—he means a lot to hip-hop in general. He’s showing the kids that you can rap about what you want to rap about and that you can rap about real subjects.”

MixedByAli: “Growing up, everybody wanted to be a rapper in high school so everybody was freestyling. This song takes you back to the high school days, when you was in a car hotboxing with the homies. Homie put a beat on and you start freestyling. That’s the vibe you get from this record.”

Punch: “That’s my favorite a record. That song is real reckless, that’s a young man’s song. I feel cool when I listen to that song. I got a swagger when I listen to it. There’s times when you just wanna be reckless, that’s just how you feel in a particular mind frame.

“Unless you listen to the album a few times you won’t get it. We’ve always been big on albums with skits like The Chronic. Those skits helped cement those classic records and that's something we always wanted to do.

“50 Cent always said, ‘It’s hard to capture a whole story in three minutes so you need certain aids and guides to go along with that to get a bigger picture of what's going on.’ The skits aren’t just random stuff. It goes on there because like everything else, it plays a part in this short film. It’s not called ‘A short film by Kendrick Lamar’ for nothing."

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