Kendrick Lamar has kept relatively quiet in 2020, but in an conversation with rising rapper Baby Keem, he’s revealed what’s taking him so long to make a new album. In the interview the two conducted for i-D, Kung-Fu Kenny indicated he tries to do something entirely new with each of his full-length releases. Keem, meanwhile, suggested both he and K-Dot had their respective projects pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I get it, that’s what will take me so long to do albums,” Kendrick said in response to Keem explaining how he had a chance to “play” with his sound on Die for My Bitch. “I spend the whole year just thinking about how I’m gonna execute a new sound, I can’t do the same thing over and over. I need something to get me excited.”
Keem echoed his sentiments, and Kendrick added it’s why he’s never thought about doing a sequel to one of his records. “I remember the sophomore jinx of Good Kid, M.A.A.D City; it was for that year and for that time,” Dot added. “I was in a different space in my life. I already knew off the top I can’t make Good Kid, M.A.A.D City Part Two. The second I’m making that, it’s corny bro. That takes the feeling away from the first. I need that muhfucka to live in its own world. Then boom, To Pimp a Butterfly. Some people love it to death, some people hate it.”
When asked by Keem if he intends to “surprise” himself with each subsequent project, Lamar confirmed he does. “I had an idea in my head of how I wanted it to sound, built with jazz and blues and hip-hop,” he said. Kendrick added that a DJ Dahi-produced beat originally intended for Damn was given to Keem for his new project, even though it was his “favorite” beat.
Later in the interview, Keem seemed to suggest he and Kendrick both planned to have released something more substantial by now. “I did the mini tour before all this going on, seeing how many people actually care about the music,” Keem said, adding that he’s had more time to think through his next steps this year. “I’m just grateful I got to experience that, because without that I don’t know where I would be right now. You were supposed to be out, I was supposed to be out. I’ve had a year to sit down and just think about the next experience.”
Keem is rumored to be Kendrick’s cousin, and the interview briefly touches upon that as well as K Dot and Dave Free’s new project, pgLang. “On the music side, you’ve been at the forefront of pgLang. What is your own personal opinion of what this company represents now that you know are in the mix?” asked Kendrick, to which Keem replied, “I’ve seen pgLang before it was even an idea that came to fruition. It’s sticking to and believing in something, even when you don’t know how it will be created, and it starts out as just a small idea. I believed in it, and I stuck to it and now everything is paying off. So I’ve seen it from when there was no idea, to now. So to me, pgLang represents loyalty and trust.”
Shortly after the interview was published, pgLang revealed another video directed by Dave Free and starring Keem. The clip appears to showcase a preview of new music from Keem, with clips of him recording in the studio. He is later joined by Kendrick, with similiar imagery to that of the article itself.
Read the full i-D interview here.