In the latest bit of promo for his new single “i,” Kendrick Lamar stopped by The Whoolywood Shuffle and spoke with DJ Whoo Kid about drawing inspiration from collaborations with Ronald Isley and George Clinton. During the sit down, Kendrick also addressed the state of Hip Hop more generally and fielded questions about new music.
Despite largely shrugging off questions about a perceived rift with Drake, Kendrick was quick to dismiss any possibility of working with the Toronto artist on music.
“We come from two different worlds, two different backgrounds,” he said. “I really don’t see that playing out as entertaining. Maybe to the people listening, but not for myself.”
Addressing the musical landscape of Hip Hop at large while speaking about the content contained within his own single, Kendrick hinted that the genre has lost a creative edge.
“The state of Hip Hop is wild,” he said. “It’s in a place where creativity is at a stagnant point, I feel personally. There’s a lot of records that I do enjoy, but at the same time it gets to a space where it look like we just stuck now. They ain’t giving us our respect because they feel that we ain’t out here representing the foundation of saying what you wanna say and how you feel rather than just listening to what the next man saying and what’s hot on the radio. Hip Hop was built on originality.”
During the interview Lamar also touched on working directly with Ron Isley to gain permission for an interpolation that appears on “i.”
“I went out there actually to get his permission for the record,” he said. “I had to fly [to] St. Louis, we went in the studio. You can hear him on the ad-libs on the record. But, hearing him on the mic, that dude sound just like how he [used to]. That inspired me to say, ‘Okay, it ain’t no time on this thing.’ If you got the creativity, if you got the work ethic, if you got enough mental stability to perfect yourself like that you could do it for ever.”
Opening up about his work with George Clinton as well as advice gleaned from Eminem, Kendrick explained wanting to perpetually manage expectations for his next record.
“People always ask me what to expect for the album,” he said. “Don’t expect nothing. Don’t expect anything. It’s just creativity, man. That’s life.
“I’m just in a space where I’m only doing things that I like,” he later said. “It’s very selfish. But I’ve done that with my mixtapes, I’ve done that with my debut, it’s just something I’m gonna continue to do. This is where my inspiration is drawn from.”