Kendrick Lamar speaks.
Although he’s shied away from interviews lately, Kung Fu Kenny made an exception for Los Angeles’ Real 92.3. Speaking with “Big Boy’s Neighborhood,” the Compton MC opened up about DAMN. and the album title that could have been.
According to K-Dot, the critically-acclaimed LP almost had a different title: What Happens On Earth Stays On Earth. That changed, but the initial title can still be heard throughout the project, by way of Kid Capri’s additional vocals.
King Kendrick landed on his final title, DAMN., for several reasons. “There were so many ways you could put it in my head,” he said. “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 about these records, it just felt like that.”
Speaking of the album, Kendrick said he hoped it would connect to people in “all arenas,” including cars and clubs, while making a statement. “At the same time, we wanted to have some lyrical content where it connects, where it’s not just lyrics, but it’s something you can feel, stories you can feel, emotions you can relate to,” he added.
Today, he views DAMN. as his greatest album yet, followed in order by good kid, m.A.A.d. city, To Pimp a Butterfly, and Section.80. “I think DAMN. is a hybrid of all these projects,” he said. “It was me finally being able to take elements form good kid and To Pimp a Butterfly. The message behind To Pimp a Butterfly and the sonics, the beats slappin’ on good kid, and the rawness of being able to do what I want, like I did on Section.80. I didn’t have no rules when I was creating this. I was just having fun. When I take all three of these, it makes a hybrid of DAMN. for me.”
Watch Dot break down his career and discography below.