Produced By: DJ Dahi
Kendrick Lamar: “That’s about temptation. After the ride of going on ‘The Art of Peer Pressure,’ you listen to that, and that was the mind state of thinking everything is about a dollar. That’s where we were at at the time. Everything was about money. We didn't care about nothing else truthfully.
“I’m very hands-on [with producers] and that’s why my projects come out so cohesive. I don’t just go out there and just find a bunch of instrumentals and rap over them. I have a specific sound in my head I want to convey. I really sit down with producers, I come up with ideas, and give them ideas. Truthfully, I should get some co-production on these tracks. [Laughs.]”
I’m very hands on [with producers] and that’s why my projects come out so cohesive. I don’t just go out there and just find a bunch of instrumentals and rap over them. I really sit down with producers, I come up with ideas, and give them ideas. Truthfully, I should get some co-production on these tracks. [Laughs.]
Jay Rock: “Honestly, he was like already done with the album [before I got on it]. When I heard it that was one of my favorite records. Every time he played it, I’m like, ‘Run it back.’ He was keeping the album real personal, he didn’t want that many features. Not even from us. When bro get in his zone, he gets in his zone. He’s so into his craft. He don’t do it intentionally.
“He just so happened to hit me, like, ‘I want you to do a verse for ‘Money Trees.’ I was honored so I took my time with it, wrote it down, and finished it up. When he heard it he was like ‘Man, you took it to the next level.’"
Punch: “We were going to use ‘Money Trees’ as a remix with Jay Rock on it. But Jay Rock’s verse was so crazy and fit the story so well, we had to use that as the original."
Jay Rock: “I’ve always known Kendrick from being around the city. I’m from Watts, he’s from Compton. He went to Centennial High School; a lot of my homeboys and family members went there too. I used to ditch school to go up there to hang out and I used to see him around. He was rapping like a madman. It’s ironic we ended up at the same [label].
“We been together since day one, grinding. It’s good to see the world finally [recognizing] who we are and respecting our music. I’m like the big brother of TDE. Everybody knows about my past situation with Warner Brothers Records. Sometimes in business you live and you learn. My team was not happy with the situation and how things were running but I thank Warner Brothers for giving me the opportunity.
“My team went in and got me up off of Warner Brothers. But all in all, whatever I was doing, you always seen Kendrick, Schoolboy Q, and Ab-Soul with me. That’s how it is, we family. We always looking out for each other.”
When Jay Rock was going through his whole situation with Warner, that was Kendrick going through college. —Punch
Punch: “When Jay Rock was going through his whole situation with Warner, that was Kendrick going through college. He was experiencing everything Jay Rock was experiencing. We had a different mindset going into the Warner situation, we thought Jay Rock was signed so this is it, we good now. But that wasn’t the case. Once we got Jay Rock released, our whole goal was to never depend on anybody ever again. We were going to do everything ourselves going into Kendrick’s [career].
“Jay Rock was our baby, so we put all our efforts into that and everything he was going through, we went through. So we learned the dos and don’ts based off Jay Rock’s situation. That’s why Jay Rock is so important to the TDE story. The oldest child is the experiment. It’s your first time going through everything this child goes through. Your second and third child is easier. That’s why I view Rock as the oldest child."