While certainly not gospel albums, religion and faith have been undertones of sorts for both Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80 and good kid, m.A.A.d city. The latter features a prayer for eternal salvation on both “Sherane a.k.a Master Splinter’s Daughter” and “Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst.” And the former, HipHopDX’s 2011 pick for album of the year, also raised some eyebrows for its artwork. As part of a 30-minute question and answer session at the SoHo Apple Store earlier this month, Kendrick explained that he never intends to preach to listeners. But he added he does put certain topics in the air, and it’s the listener’s choice as to what they do with such topics. Apparently, such was the case with the Section.80 artwork.

“It’s taboos of the world,” Kendrick explained, in regards to including a bible, gun clip and pack of condoms on the Section.80 cover. “I had got a lot of criticism on that album cover as a matter of fact—same thing I got with [good kid, m.A.A.d city]. My whole thing about the gun clip and the condoms next to the bible is, people think if you have a bible, there’s supposed to be some holy water next to it. That’s a person that’s already saved. I’m not speaking on them; they’re good. I’m speaking on a person that’s looking at this clip he just put on the drawer, these condoms, a woman’s lipstick and this bible. It’s showing that he’s a human being, but he’s trying to find himself at the same time.”

Based on initial projections, the faith-based themes won’t keep listeners away. Section.80 vaulted to the top of the iTunes chart shortly after its digital release, and peaked as the second-best selling Hip Hop/Rap album. This year, in addition to much critical praise, HitsDailyDouble.com estimates Kendrick Lamar will move between 200,000 and 225,000 of his proper Aftermath debut.

A clip of the interview is available below, and you can also watch the full 30-minute “Meet The Musician” segment on YouTube.

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