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Image via New York Times / John Francis Peters

Image via New York Times / John Francis Peters

Now that Kendrick Lamar’s long-awaited To Pimp A Butterfly album is officially out, listeners have been able to get a deeper look into his mind. In a recent interview with New York Times, Lamar opened up even further about his past, his album and the image he is trying to uphold.

 On being saved as a teenager:
Kendrick Lamar explained that the grandmother of a friend approached him after one of his friends had been killed, asking if he had accepted God. “She had seen that we weren’t right in the head. That was her being an angel for us.”

 On the To Pimp A Butterfly cover:
“…taking the same things that people call bad and bringing them with me to the next level, whether it’s around the world or to the Grammys or the White House. You can’t change where I come from or who I care about.”

 On the importance of his words to his fans:
“I’m the closest thing to a preacher that they have.” He added, “My word will never be as strong as God’s word. All I am is just a vessel, doing his work.”

 On remaining relatable:
“I know every artist feels this way, but in order for it to come across on record for your average 9-to-5-er is the tricky part,” said Lamar. “I have to make it where you truly understand: This is me pouring out my soul on the record. You’re gonna feel it because you too have pain. It might not be like mine, but you’re gonna feel it.”

Read the full in-depth interview here and listen to a mix of all the samples featured on To Pimp A Butterfly put together by Gianni Lee and Mike Blud below.

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