Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly has been out for almost a month-and-a-half now, and we're still as excited as ever to hear new info about the project. Last month, K. Dot sat down with MTV News shortly after the project dropped for a revealing four-part interview, where he discussed his inspirations, specific tracks and more.
More tidbits came this week, when Revolt caught up with some of the integral behind-the-music guys from the album, chatting with producers Terrace Martin, Sounwave and Tae Beast as well as engineer Mixed by Ali.
Here's what we learned.
Kendrick started thinking about this album before his last one dropped -- and he did the same thing this timeInterscope
"good kid, m.A.A.d city's not even printed up, and he's doing brainstorming for the next album... Same with this album." --Sounwave
The recording started while good kid was still fresh in stores
"We probably started recording a week after good kid dropped." --Sounwave
But the process went to a new level when Kendrick returned from Africa
"When he went to Africa, he came back a whole different person... And I think that's kind of when we all kicked it into full gear, 'cause his eyes got a little wider to life, and what's going on over there." --Terrace Martin
It was an in-person collaboration
"The whole process of this album is you literally had to be in the studio with us to get the sound we're trying to portray." --Sounwave
Kendrick looked at this completely differently than his last albumAndres Tardio/MTV
"He knew what he wanted to hear. You couldn't bring a good kid, m.A.A.d city record to this album. It was something completely different -- a whole 360 from the last project to this one." --Tae Beast
The iPhone was crucialGetty Images
"Most of the songs I write or ideas I get, I would play a melody into the voice recorder [on the iPhone], that I was able to forward that to Kendrick. It would be no drums on most of the songs. No drums, no bass, just me humming our little melodies like that." --Terrace Martin
It took a while to get the drums perfect on "Wesley's Theory"
"I literally spent five or six days mixing that song, and two days on drums alone... That song alone had over 216 tracks." --Mixed by Ali
Kendrick changed the original sound of "King Kunta"
"The first 'King Kunta' version was extremely overly jazzy. Kendrick was so hands on with everything, when he heard it, he kind of heard something in it. Ke was like, Strip away this, strip away that. Basically, strip away the whole beat, and had us loop a part that we had in there -- so it's basically kind of like he got co-production without getting the credit." --Sounwave
The "u" recording session was intense for Kendrick
"He just walked in, he turned all the lights off, and he walked into the booth. Literally didn't come out for three hours." --Mixed by Ali
And it was intense for everyone else involved, too
"Everybody who walked in that session had tears in their eyes." --Sounwave
The third verse of "Alright" was created quickly
"Probably 15 minutes, just walking back and forth. No pen, no tablet to jot in. Just all mental. Went in the booth, knocked it out." -Tae Beast
"Mortal Man" flowed naturally
"He had that song done in probably about an hour. It was just flowing out of him. He probably had it held in from Africa. It came out so naturally, that it felt like he was just waiting for this track, so I can express this." --Sounwave