The pen is mightier than the sword on the latest issue of Mass Appeal magazine. Kendrick Lamar bites a blade for the publication’s latest cover issue, and inside talks about To Pimp A Butterfly’s title, a dream Tupac collaboration, and why his album isn’t just for Black people.
If Pac were alive, Lamar would want the late MC on the album's second single. “You know when the beat switches on 'The Blacker The Berry'? I’d have him go off over that, and tone it all the way down, but in his aggressive tone.”
As a full body of work, TPAB pulls some conceptual influence from Ice-T’s words on record labels pimping artists in the documentary, Pimps Up Ho’s Down. “I’d be wrong for saying that Ice-T wasn’t an influence on what I’m talking about because [older rap artists], they’ve been there, done that,” Lamar explained. “Especially him, [with] his longevity in the game. I thank him for giving me that game because it’s something that has been goin’ on for a long time, y’know? You take this raw talent and put a price on it, and you’re not rewarded as much as you should be rewarded. This is a God-given talent. The reward should be infinite [for] our ability to think of what we think of, and even more so, how we make people happy. Ain’t no feeling better than that.”
Lamar goes on to note that TPAB isn’t “only for blacks,” but anyone who resonates with it. The album went gold less than a month after it's release, and it's not just one group of fans snatching up copies. “I have just as equal people outside of my culture understanding the album,” said the TDE rapper. “This album is more about deciding what you’re gonna do with your fame and your fortune. [Is it] for negative or for positive reasons? When you look at the first half of the album, it’s really me trying to figure it out, y’know? [I’m being] flamboyant, boastin’, being vengeful in certain places. Then going down that line of saying, ‘OK, I can do something better with it.’ So I don’t think it only resonates with blacks, but with people all around the world, man, that can respect the idea of going through a journey or a rebellion, and figuring it out.”
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(Photo: Mass Appeal Magazine)