Kendrick Lamar, who is in in the midst of international tour dates, recently recalled his initial meeting with Dr. Dre.
“I was very excited,” Kendrick Lamar says during an interview with i-d.vice.com. “I wasn’t nervous at all. I was more excited, ’cause I knew that this was my shot, everything that l’ve worked for, everything I’ve built up to came down to that moment.”
That moment resulted in the recording of his first song with Dr. Dre, “Compton.” The song is featured on Kendrick Lamar’s major label debut album, 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city.
“I went on his Club Paradise tour and we really built a bond, a relationship, since the first time we met,” Kendrick Lamar says. “He put me on his album, which was the interlude, red light interlude. We always said it was gonna work. It was just about finding the right song, that was the right song.”
In 2013, Kendrick Lamar and Drake engaged in what appeared to be a feud after the release of Kendrick Lamar’s verse on Big Sean’s “Control.” “I’m usually homeboys with the same niggas I’m rhymin’ with,” Kendrick Lamar says on the song. “But this is Hip Hop and them niggas should know what time it is. That goes for Jermaine Cole, Big K.R.I.T., Wale,Pusha T, Meek Mill, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron[ica], Tyler[, the Creator], Mac Miller. I got love for you all but I’m tryin’ to murder you niggas. Trying to make sure your core fans never heard of you niggas [and that] they don’t want to hear not one more noun or verb from you niggas. What is competition? I’m trying to raise the bar high.”
Vibe Magazine published an interview with Drake in December in which he addressed Kendrick Lamar’s verse on “Control” and whether or not he had responded to the song with “The Language,” a song from his 2013 album, Nothing Was The Same.
“I don’t ever want to get into responses,” Drake said when asked if Nothing Was The Same’s “The Language” is a Kendrick Lamar diss. “It’s a commitment to go there. ‘The Language’ is just energy. What it was inspired by, I’m sure that, and other things. It’s just me talking my shit. I never once felt the need to respond to that record. The sentiment he was putting forth is what he should have. Of course you wanna be the best. Where it became an issue is that I was rolling out an album while that verse was still bubbling, so my album rollout became about this thing. What am I supposed to say? ‘Nah, we’ll be buddy-buddy?’ Mind you, I never once said he’s a bad guy [or] I don’t like him. I think he’s a fucking genius in his own right, but I also stood my ground as I should.
Vibe Magazine later released outtakes of a 2013 interview with Drake in which he speaks on his approach to making music and the viability of concept albums in Hip Hop, including Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city.
“I feel like the music that I write is utilized in life,” he said. “It would be tough for me to go in conceptual storytelling. The last great concept album was good kid, m.A.A.d city—still obviously true to his life but very conceptual. Very specific stories that need to be told. I always say hats off to that album. That album’s incredible, what an undertaking.”