Kendrick Lamar recently released the cover art for his upcoming label debut good kid, m.A.A.d city, releasing October 22nd. During an interview with FUSE, the Compton, California rapper explained the decision to put an image from his childhood on the cover of his album, stating that it showcases his innocence as a kid trying to make sense of the world around him.

“It’s really just a self-portrait. I feel I need this album in order to move on with my life, and I had negative vibes and demons haunting me. I had to come from something, come from a place that was negative and positive but the majority of it is a negative place,” he said. “I went and put this message out in order for me to grow as a person. I’m glad I did, because it was a venting process to tell these stories I never told.”

He also went into the specifics of the cover art, explaining that it depicts his family members holding him as a child. He says that he’ll go into particulars on the LP about certain decisions that were made for the picture, but notes that it’s about his hardships in growing up.

“Two of my uncles, that’s two of them, to the far right, that’s my grandpa and a baby bottle next to a 40-ounce next to a gang sign, holding a kid,” he continued. It’s not just music to me. This is a story about the youth and the people that they call delinquents in my city. You look in the background and you see a picture on the wall of me and my pops. The eyes blanked out, that’s for my own personal reasons. You’ll probably hear about that in the album, but that photo just says so much about my life and how I was raised in Compton and the things I’ve seen through innocent eyes. You don’t see no one else’s eyes, but you see my eyes of innocence and trying to figure out what’s going on.”

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