Top Dawg Entertainment producers Tae Beast and Sounwave, along with engineer MixedByAli, sat down for a Red Bull Music Academy interview recently, and understandably, a bulk of the conversation focused on Kendrick Lamar, the label’s most esteemed export. During the chat, Beast revealed that Kendrick has a gigantic archive of beats that have been sent to him over the years
He said, “If you make something, and somebody [in TDE] hears it, it’s a wrap. Kendrick’s like the beat hoarder, too. He has 97,000 gigs of beats from everybody. [If] it get to Kendrick’s hands, it probably ain’t never gonna leave.” MixedByAli added, “He could hear some sh*t right now, and be like, ‘You know, I got something,’ and go back to his emails from like 2010 and pull [up the beat] like, ‘Okay, I found it.'”
Mathematically speaking, that 97,000 GB number is surely an exaggeration. Let’s get too literal for a minute: Assuming that each beat Kendrick has is a 3-minute MP3 file encoded at 192 kbps, each file would be about 4.5 MB. In that scenario, assuming “97,000 gigs” (which is equal to 97 terabytes) is truly how much space Kendrick has devoted to beat storage, he would have over 21 million beats sitting on hard drives somewhere.
Again, Tae Beast was surely exaggerating, but it was fun to do the math, and the anecdote still gets the point across: If Kendrick has heard a beat before, he probably still has it somewhere.