Kendrick Lamar Explains Concept Behind Album Cover

good kid, m.A.A.d city

A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in Kendrick Lamar’s case. The hip-hop prodigy reveals the deeper concept behind the cover for his debut album good kid, m.A.A.d city.

On the left of the photo are his two uncles, while his grandfather is seated on the right. A young Kendrick sits in his uncle’s lap. Behind him on the wall is a photo of Kendrick and his father. On the table sits a 40-ounce and a baby bottle, while his uncle throws up a gang sign.

“It’s not just music to me. This is a story about the youth and the people that they call delinquents in my city,” Kendrick told Fuse.

The eyes of his relatives are blacked out for “personal reasons,” which he will explain on the album.

“That photo says so much about my life and how I was raised in Compton, and the things I’ve seen just through them innocent eyes,” he said. “You don’t see nobody else’s eyes, but you see my eyes of innocence and trying to figure out what is going on.”

In the interview, Kendrick also speaks about Dr. Dre’s influence, the personal story behind his single “Swimming Pools (Drank),” and the reason his album was delayed until October 22.

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  1. The-Truth

    So basically he’s celebrating growing up in the hood and being raised by uneducated black men, which is why he’s a rapper and not a college graduate? #FAIL



    @The-Truth, Now he’s celebrating the struggle of his bringing’s up. The alcohol around him, the gangs, the things he’s seen.

    Kendrick is one of a few rappers who was actually good kid, and that’s a hard being when your raised around a city like that. Hence the album title.

    I respect him alot, just because he isn’t a college graduate doesn’t mean he’s a fail. He’s making something out of his life, would you rather see him gang bang, dead or inspiring a new generation like me?

    Not inspiring me not to go to college or rap, just to make something out of nothing.


    MinajQueenofAmericanIdol Reply:

    @The-Truth, what would you want him to talk about? pussy and how much money he doesn’t have? listen to 2chainz or wayne.


    Dro Reply:

    @The-Truth, You completely miss the point. Because every university wants a young black guy from the hood right? You miss the systematic mental abuse black men go thru. White people equally idolize and demonizes the idea of the young black thug. They equate every young black man with that of a thug. Hated/Loved before even being known. JUDGED. You fail. I dont have the time or the patience to correct you. Read educate yourself and Question why things are the way they are. If you think its all about being “lazy” or “uneducated” you’re clueless and I pity you. Don’t speak about what you don’t know and couldn’t fathom. Everybody’s journey isn’t the same. Kendrick has substance and message. Or are you basing your opinion of Swimming Pools? -_-


  2. Jay-Z

    there is no concept behind that ghetto ass picture


  3. DrakeTakeCare

    KENDRICK!!!! can’t wait for the album


  4. Rhett

    I had to stop when I heard his comments on voting, because so many young people listen to his music and look up to him and may think it’s “ok” to sit back while the GOP attempts to disenfranchise minority communities. But, at some point, people have to use their own common sense. Either get out and take advantage of the basic privilege so many before you fought and died for or allow the prejudiced to win again.

    Lyrically, dude is nice.


  5. Shae

    That is why I respect him the way I do. Can’t wait until Oct. 22nd! HiiiPoWeR


  6. White & pinkie/diamondz h 9-30-2013

    nice Cover of the album


  7. Benji Joven

    I want to know if those are real voicemails of his family and friends on Good Kid, M.A.A.D City.

    Regardless this is an album, along with Wiz’s O.N.F.I.C that I literally listen to every day, especially when I’m working out. I’m in San Diego-all types of cultures out here-but everybody from esĂ©, skater, blacks and asians-they ALL dig M.A.A.D city because the sh!t he talks to kids can relate to super easy. Drinking, trying to get laid and dealing with the concept of trying to be a man.



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