AUSTIN, Texas — The cat’s already out of the bag for Kendrick Lamar’s yet-to-be-released “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe” remix featuring Jay-Z, which has the Internet going nuts. But MTV’s #1 Hottest MC is still trying to keep the lid on how his much-ballyhooed collaboration with Hov came about.
“Ah, man, I can’t really speak too much on it, I just know it’s in the air right now,” Kendrick told MTV News after he wrapped up an interview with Shade 45’s “Sway in the Morning” radio show on SiriusXM. “I can’t — it’s under wraps,” he said when asked about the remix’s origins. It’s all love. That’s the big homey. It’s one of them things, you know, you live up to and one of them moments to really challenge yourself and say ’OK, that’s how I come in. Always looked up to the greats to be a great.’ So to actually be on a track with him, it’s an accomplishment.”
Jay’s dedicated DJ Young Guru spun the track during a SXSW party at the Empire Auto Space. The buzz and debates — who had the best verse? K.Dot or Jay? — may force the label’s hand when it comes to the next official single to be released for his Billboard 100-charting debut, good kid, m.A.A.d city.
“The next musical release?” Kendrick asked coyly. “Probably ’Kill My Vibe.’ ’Kill My Vibe,’ yeah. I don’t know about that [official video], I don’ t know about that. Probably get the release sooner or later.”
If the overwhelmingly positive response to his scorching-hot new single wasn’t enough to keep a smile on K.Dot’s face, the respect the “Swimming Pools” rapper is getting while tearing down South by Southwest showcase stages and shows from hip-hop legends like DJ Premier and his “big homey” from Compton, MC Eiht, should do the trick.
“First of all, before I even say anything else, congratulations to Kendrick going platinum. He deserves that bringing lyrics back to the whole hip-hop game, so that’s a big look,” said Preemo, who is collaborating with Eiht on his upcoming project, Which Way Iz West. “At the end of the day, it’s all about promoting the good music all the way across the board, and we’re bringing back good beats and rhymes, which is why I’m glad Kendrick is in the mix doing his thing from a younger generation to show that the skill level still has to exist or otherwise it’s not important to the hip-hop culture.”
For his part, Kendrick is still awed by the success of his certified platinum major-label LP, but reveals that the project’s attention to lyrical detail was all a part of the plan.
“I always think lyrics should always just stay in hip-hop, that’s the start of the culture, so me to be part of the new generation, and have some type of attention on me, I feel like, it’s up to me, it’s up to my whole generation to continue that,” Kendrick said. “I wanna make my first album and have a concept in it, I don’t want it to be just here today and gone tomorrow, I wanted to stand against time, I wanted to carry on the tradition of the albums I listened to. If they say this is gonna be an album that spark a new generation of talent, I wanna do it the right way and continue to put the lyrics in it so, I was real conscious of that.”
Despite having a full schedule of appearances, the West Coast spitter made it a point to come to Austin’s biggest music festival to interact with fans and rub shoulders with like-minded artists like Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, Schoolboy Q.
“That’s the beautiful thing about South By…music moves people, so there’s really no boundaries to what you might run into, you might run into some indie rock, might run into some rock, might run into some hip-hop, some jazz, blues, R&B, whatever…here go this dude,” Kendrick said as his TDE cohort, Schoolboy Q, interrupted to plug his upcoming album, Oxymoron. “That’s it.”