Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly leads the upcoming 58th Grammy Awards with a staggering 11 nominations, including Album of the Year. To kick off this milestone, the awards show interviewed the Compton rapper about the history and inspiration behind his album. It’s an introspective look behind the soul of his album, one that took root during a life-changing trip to South Africa and consequently converted the artist into a “conscious rapper.”
The title grasped the entire concept of the record. [I wanted to] break down the idea of being pimped in the industry, in the community and out of all the knowledge that you thought you had known, then discovering new life and wanting to share it.
I felt like I belonged in Africa. I saw all the things that I wasn’t taught. Probably one of the hardest things to do is put [together] a concept on how beautiful a place can be, and tell a person this while they’re still in the ghettos of Compton. I wanted to put that experience in the music.”
Read the full interview here and catch Kendrick’s Grammy Awards performance on February 15.