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Kendrick Lamar’s ‘good kid, M.A.A.D. city’ Five Years Later

Andre 3000 Was Tapped For Kendrick’s Sophomore Album

Five years fly by so fast. Kendrick Lamar’s chart-topping major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d. city was released on Oct. 22, 2012, and yet, there is much more we are learning about the production of the Compton rapper’s sophomore album.

In a recent series of tweets, to celebrate the occasion, Punch TDE, president of Lamar’s label Top Dawg Entertainment, spilled the beans. Apparently, André 3000 of Outkast was originally planned to appear on the track “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” but had a prior commitment to film the Jimi Hendrix biopic All Is By My Side.

But instead of sitting and wondering what could’ve been, let’s acknowledge the fact that when Kendrick heard the remix from Jay-Z he was just overwhelmed to have the opportunity to share a track with one of his idols.

In an interview with Complex back in 2013, he details how he always looked to challenge himself to be one of “the greats” and how he considers Jay-Z to be among the best.

“So to actually be on a track with him, it’s an accomplishment,” Kendrick said in the interview.

Beside from Andre Benjamin, a.k.a. “3 stacks,” a version of the track was also set to feature Lady Gaga, however, due to timing issues and creative differences did not appear in the final cut.

A month after the album dropped, Gaga released the version she was featured on. Kendrick told XXL that he was pleasantly surprised with the pop star’s decision to share the track.

Punch went on to talk about how the goal of the project was to make an album in the vein of a Tarantino film, “where the scenes are not in chronological order but it flows cohesively.” He also indicates there may have been an issue with a sample on one track, but they were greenlit at the buzzer.

For the album’s fifth anniversary, we also decided to take a second to reflect on some of the essential tracks from the album, including deluxe bonus songs like “The Recipe” featuring Dr. DreKendrick Lamar‘s first commercial single, which was originally released before the album—and “Now or Never” featuring Mary J. Blige.

kendrickgkmc“Swimming Pool (Drank)” was released as the second single and was an immediate hit, soaring to a no. 17 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Six months later, Kendrick dropped his third single, “Poetic Justice” featuring Drake, which also landed him a spot on the charts, peaking at no. 26.  Both songs were certified Gold by the RIAA.

The album is pretty incredible. There is no question, that it’s not just the singles that made this album what it is. We also cannot forget the title tracks, including his work with Pharrell Williams on “good kid,” and MC Eiht of Compton’s Most Wanted on “m.A.A.d. city.”

Probably one of the most noteworthy tracks featured on the album, “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” is a twelve-minute, two-part sequence that has is so artistic, it has since gone on to be covered by modern jazz musicians Armen Nalbandian and Robert Glasper. 

“Real” features singer-songwriter Anna Wise and jazz musician/producer Terrace Martin on a track that is certainly deserving of a lot more attention, for its overall sound and style. Of course, you can’t have an artist representing a community like Compton without paying homage to the ones who started it all. That’s why Dr. Dre returns for one more, the aptly named outro track, “Compton,” produced by Just Blaze.

STREAM: KENDRICK LAMAR – GOOD KID, MAAD CITY 

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