“It’s funny how Zulu and Xhosa might go to war,” Kendrick Lamar raps on “The Blacker the Berry,” the second single off his most recent masterpiece, To Pimp A Butterfly. “Two tribal armies that want to build and destroy / Remind me of these Compton Crip gangs that live next door/ Beefin’ with Pirus, only death settle the score.”
Such thought-provoking lines have made K-Dot’s pen one of the most feared weapons in hip hop. The Compton emcee has done a handful of mag covers to promote his second album, but nothing that actually allowed him to delve into the music itself. Normal magazines operate according to the rules of record-label promotion: you do the interview before the album drops and get it out in time to boost first-week sales. But this is Mass Appeal. We do our thing differently. And so, a couple of weeks after the album’s release, we dispatched O.G. rap scribe Gabriel Alvarez to chop it up with Mr. Lamar for his first in-depth discussion of TPAB. The result should be required reading for all self-respecting rap fans, if we do say so ourselves.
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