Following the unveiling of the album cover for his anticipated debut good kid, m.A.A.d city, TDE/Aftermath Records signed Left Coast rhymesmith Kendrick Lamar recently sat down with Fuse TV to share his reasons for choosing the photo on the artwork and the meaning behind it.
“It’s really a self portrait. I feel I need to make this album to move on with my life and not have negative vibes and demons haunt me,” he comments. “It’s that real.”
“I had to come from somewhere… It could have been negative or it could have been positive, but for the majority part of it, it was a negative place. I needed to vent and put this message in order for me to grow as a person. I’m glad I did, it was a venting process to tell these stories that I never told.”
The album cover features two of Kendrick’s uncles with his grandpa to the far right, “and a baby bottle, next to a 40 oz., next to a gang sign, holding a kid,” in front of a picture of him with his father.
“It’s not just music to me,” he emphasises. “This is a story about the youth and the people that they call delinquents in my city.
“The eyes are blanked out for my own personal reasons – you’ll probably hear about that in the album – but that photo says so much about my life and how I was raised in Compton – and the things I’ve seen, just through them innocent eyes. You don’t see nobody else’s eyes, but you see my eyes are innocent and trying to figure out what is going on,” he explains.
Before going on to discuss the differences between his album and previous mixtapes, affected by sample-clearing processes, Kendrick provides more food for thought with the meaning behind his current single “Swimming Pools.”