Kendrick Lamar on new single ‘King Kunta’: ‘I studied James Brown’

Rapper reveals the roots behind the 'To Pimp A Butterfly' album track

Kendrick Lamar has spoken about the roots behind ‘King Kunta’, a recent single from his new album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’.

Speaking in a video interview with NME, the rapper said: “I always stand in the root of where I’m from.” Discussing the track’s creation, Lamar name checked various sources of inspiration. First explaining that he was “paying homage” to “the creator”, fellow Compton rapper Mausberg – who was shot in 2000, and his DJ Quik produced track ‘Get Nekkid.’

READ MORE: Kendrick Lamar’s 10 Best Lyrics


“Suga Free played a big part in my community coming up, in Compton,” Lamar continued. “I’m sure he studied James Brown to get that cadence, just the way I studied James Brown to hear it in both of them.”

Describing the track as a whole, Lamar explained that it was, “the story of struggle and standing up for what you believe in. No matter how many barriers you gotta break down, no matter how many escape routes you gotta run to tell the truth. That’s what I think we all can relate to.”

“Just being the most cofident in the things that I wrote and the ideas that I have,” he continued. “Going back to the essence of being a true lyricist at heart.”

Watch the full video interview above.

Kendrick Lamar recently invited a fan onstage to rap ‘mAAd city’ during his headlining spot at Sweetlife Festival in Maryland last weekend (30 May). “I say she killed that shit,” said Kendrick after the performance. Watch the performance here.

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