Spearhead-Home Start
         

        Welcome to the Archives

    big collection of articles, interviews ...

FAQ Log in
Search Profile
Memberlist Usergroups
Log in to check your private messages
Register
2020-09-23 RS - Kendrick Lamar's Hip-Hop Game Changer ...
 

Post new topic   Reply to topic    spearhead-home.com Forum Index -> Articles
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
joerg
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Apr 2005
Posts: 3166
Location: Berlin/DE/EU

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:53    Post subject: 2020-09-23 RS - Kendrick Lamar's Hip-Hop Game Changer ...

Taken from Rolling Stone (Sep 23, 2020)

Rolling Stone 500: Kendrick Lamar's Hip-Hop Game Changer 'To Pimp a Butterfly'

How a trip to South Africa and a crew of jazz, soul, and funk all-stars played into the MC's landmark 2015 LP

by Elias Leight


Kendrick Lamar. Josh Brasted/WireImage/Getty Images
Read how a trip to South Africa inspired Kendrick Lamar's momentous third LP 'To Pimp a Butterfly'. Josh Brasted/WireImage/Getty Images


As part of our newly updated survey of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, we're publishing a series of pieces on the making of key albums from the list. Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly came in at number 19.


The first time the Parliament-Funkadelic legend George Clinton heard the rising Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar, he was underwhelmed. "I knew 'Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe' and thought it sounded silly as hell," the funkateer recalled.


But Clinton agreed to meet with Lamar while the rapper was working on his second major-label album, and the veteran's opinion changed immediately. "The conversations we had reminded me of myself in '68 and '69; he had that same kind of enthusiasm about social issues and the world," Clinton explained. "He captured my mind right away. ... I said, 'If you writing songs about that shit, and you're already popular, you're gonna be the one!'"


Clinton wasn't wrong: Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, which came out in 2015, is a music-industry unicorn - not only one of the most critically acclaimed releases of the last decade, but a million-seller, an album that earned the admiration of President Barack Obama, while also offering an anthem to protesters in the street.


"That record changed music, and we're still seeing the effects of it," declared Kamasi Washington, who contributed saxophone and string arrangements. "It meant that intellectually stimulating music doesn't have to be underground. It can be mainstream."


The initial jolt of inspiration for To Pimp a Butterfly came while Lamar was visiting South Africa, a trip that included a visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was in prison for 18 years. "I felt like I belonged in Africa," Lamar said. "I saw all the things that I wasn't taught. Probably one of the hardest things to do is put [together] a concept on how beautiful a place can be, and tell a person this while they're still in the ghettos of Compton. I wanted to put that experience in the music." Lamar had already recorded some material for a second album, but he scrapped it.


Accomplishing his new vision required a murderers' row of collaborators, not just Lamar's regular accomplices - including the producers and instrumentalists Terrace Martin and Sounwave - but luminaries from soul (Ron Isley, Lalah Hathaway), funk (Clinton), and hip-hop (Dr. Dre, Pharrell Williams, Pete Rock, Snoop Dogg). In addition, Lamar leaned on a crew of musical polymaths who move easily between genres, including Washington on saxophone, Robert Glasper on keyboards, Thundercat on bass, and Bilal on backing vocals.


Lamar sparked, shaped, and synthesized songs all at once. "He can instantly write a song that's dope as hell," Washington explained, "but then spend the time to meticulously work it out and make it perfect." "King Kunta" started as "the jazziest thing ever with pretty flutes," according to Sounwave, until Lamar instructed the producer to "make it nasty." Lamar caught Thundercat playing an unreleased track from the L.A. underground hip-hop act Sa-Ra; the rapper liked it so much he called up Sa-Ra's Taz Arnold, who went on to help produce three To Pimp a Butterfly tracks.


Time was no object - Lamar sat with Pharrell's beat for "Alright" for six months before transforming it into a mantra of persistence that the men and women protesting police brutality turned into an anthem in 2015. Lamar also nursed the beat to "The Blacker the Berry"; when Mike Brown was murdered, the rapper pivoted to address the killing in his lyrics.


When To Pimp a Butterfly finally came out, "it went beyond everything else ... harmonically, instrumentation-wise, structurally, lyrically," Washington said. "I feel like people's expectations of themselves changed, too. It just didn't change the music. It changed the audience."




_________________
... any % of U is as good as the whole pie ...
Joerg
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Post new topic   Reply to topic    spearhead-home.com Forum Index -> Articles All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Protected by Anti-Spam ACP


Home News Blogs Favorites Playlists Archives Links Guestbook Contact

www.spearhead-home.com
www.jtrumpfheller.com

   © 2011 - SpacePower Productions freecounterstat