September 15, 2017
Kendrick Lamar Says He Made Three or Four Versions of 'good kid, m.A.A.d city
What's up, guys? TK here for Complex News. Billboard just released the cover for its latest issue Thursday. For the first time ever, the magazine is honoring Hip-Hop Power Players. At the top of the list of heavy hitters is none other than Kendrick Lamar and TDE CEO Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith. In the cover interview, Lamar praises Tiffith's supportive approach to cultivating creativity among his artists, like making sure they're at ease in the studio. "You hear about homies going to studios and they've got to rush their verses, hurry up before somebody else comes in. I got to actually do a verse, scrap it, do it over and just perfect my whole shit. And that gave me the upper hand among other artists." Tiffith also used the interview to unleash TDE's plans to enter the film industry, noting that Lamar will be heavily involved with each step. "People really don't know that Kendrick owns a percentage of TDE. The movie, the TV shit that we're working on, Kendrick's going to be executive producer on whatever we do." Revisiting his critically acclaimed major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city, Lamar revealed the album went through several changes. "We did good kid about three, four times before the world got to it... New songs, new everything," he said. "I wanted to tell that story, but I had to execute it. My whole thing is about execution. The songs can be great, the hooks can be great, but if it’s not executed well, then it's not a great album." Maybe one of those alternates included the version of "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" that featured Lady Gaga on the hook? Lamar and Tiffith also discussed Lamar's most recent album, the double-platinum DAMN, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. When asked about the true story behind the closing track "Duckworth," Tiffith said he was surprised to hear the tale told in such great detail. "That’s a story I told [Lamar] probably 10 years ago, and we hadn’t talked about it since… But he just kept all that shit locked in his head for, like, 10 or 11 years. And when I came and he played that shit, it touched me like a motherfucker." Lamar said Tiffith was also surprised by his succinct execution. "It's a story that we both knew. But I think he was kind of blown away by the fact that it was executed within three, four minutes... And I knew these were my three favorite [9th Wonder] beats. I just wrote, wrote, wrote until the idea finally came." Along with Lamar and Tiffith, Billboard gave shine to Kanye West, Jay Z and Drake, plus industry pillars like Def Jam CEO Paul Rosenberg and 300 CEO Kevin Liles. The key figures were honored for their respective contributions to the culture. To find out more about the top dawgs in the rap game, make sure to subscribe to Complex on YouTube. For Complex News, I'm TK.
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