Actually, Kendrick Lamar's 'DAMN.' Had a Totally Different Name

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Rapper Kendrick Lamar performs during the 2016 Austin City Limits Music Festival at Zilker Park on October 1, 2016 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by C Flanigan/Getty Images)

Actually, Kendrick Lamar's 'DAMN.' Had a Totally Different Name

And no, it wasn’t "Kung-Fu Kenny."

Published June 29, 2017

Have you stopped hitting play on the 14 tracks of Kendrick Lamar’s groundbreaking opus DAMN.?

We haven’t either, and the Compton rap prophet stopped by Real 92.3 on his West Coast stomping grounds with even more surprises that will keep it blasting through fans’ stereos.

Discussing the album’s obscure title, K-Dot revealed that DAMN. was originally titled What Happens on Earth Stays on Earth. The name may ring a bell if you’re familiar with the fourth track on the album, “ELEMENT.,” where the song’s intro features the saying, courtesy of Kid Capri. Aside from being too long of a name for the album, the original title didn’t stick because Kendrick felt that DAMN. was a bit more versatile in regard to the different textures and elements of the project.

“There were so many ways you could put it in my head,” he explained of the title. “From the concept 'damned if I do, damned if I don’t,' the loudness of the record, it just screamed that in my face. When I think of 'DNA.,' when I think of 'HUMBLE.,' when I think about these records, it just felt like that.”

Of the single-word titles occupying the album’s tracklist, Kendrick also explained earlier that each word captured the emotion associated with its respective song. He explained this construct came about as he was penning lyrics. When he looked them over, he’d find certain words that stood out as emotions.  

Another point of interest and much curiosity for fans during the interview arrived during the discussion about the fresh Toyota Camry he gifted his 16-year-old sister for her high school graduation. If you haven’t figured it out by now, K. Dot isn’t much of a social media person. For him, it’s all about perspective, which social media trolls don’t have much of.  

“Yeah, it is a trip,” he replied. “Like I said: perspective. People’s perspective of me, and the money I have, and the stages and places I’ve gone to, they probably expect me to not have the same morals and values that I have [and] want to carry on to my family [and] to my little sister. She’s younger than me, so she didn’t have to go through the same struggles that me and mom had to. So, you know, I want to continue that thing to appreciate something. And take baby steps.”

There you have it, everyone. King Kendrick hath spoken.

Catch the full interview below. 

Written by Diamond Alexis

(Photo: C Flanigan/Getty Images)

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