It’s been three years since Kendrick Lamar released his last studio album, the 2017 effort Damn. While label heads at Top Dawg Entertainment have many times hinted at impending releases from the rapper, 2020 is nearing an end and Kendrick has yet to offer any insight regarding his upcoming music. But in a recent conversation with Baby Keem, the rapper explained why exactly it takes him “so long” to finish albums compared to some of his more prolific cohorts.
Speaking to Keem in an interview for i-D, Keem noted his Die For My B*tch mixtape offered him “a chance to play with my sounds and open up the lane to grow in confidence.” Saying he understood the approach, Kendrick added: “That’s what will take me so long to do albums. I spend the whole year just thinking about how I’m gonna execute a new sound, I can’t do the same thing over and over,” he said. “I need something to get me excited. I see you get frustrated sometimes because you want some new sh*t.”
Kendrick went on to say that’s why he’ll never make a direct Good Kid M.A.A.D City sequel:
“It’s all about finding that balance. I remember the sophomore jinx of Good Kid M.A.A.D City; it was for that year and for that time. I was in a different space in my life. I already knew off the top I can’t make Good Kid M.A.A.D City part two. The second I’m making that, it’s corny, bro. That takes the feeling away from the first. I need that muhf*cka to live in its own world. Then boom, To Pimp A Butterfly. Some people love it to death, some people hate it.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Kendrick advised Keem that some fan interactions, while healing, can also be “emotionally drainin,” saying, “Because of all this sh*t going on, you’ve not been able to experience a fan walking over to you, telling you, ‘You stopped me from killing myself.’ It can be emotionally draining as well as rewarding, that’s part of the game. You’re a voice for a lot of young people, a lot of older people too.”
Read the full conversation between Lamar and Keem here.