2015 has been the year of King Kendrick. Having topped pretty much every single major publication’s ‘best albums‘ lists, scoring 11 Grammy nominations (for To Pimp A Butterfly, as well as his collaborations with Taylor Swift and Flying Lotus), being recognised as a Generational Icon by the state of California, and most recently, crowned Grand Marshal of the annual Compton Christmas Parade, it’s gonna be a hard year to beat.
One of the most important players in the creation and production of To Pimp A Butterfly was the masterful Terrace Martin, a wunderkind of jazz and hip-hop, a saxophonist, a drummer, a programmer and more who has worked with everyone from Talib Kweli to Snoop Dogg to Stevie Wonder to Charlie Wilson. Additionally, he produced two tracks on Lamar’s last album, Good Kid m.A.A.d City.
The remix takes hold of the emboldened track, spreads each layer out, wooing the melody into a lush, soulful jazz instrumental. K-dot’s verses are as cutting as ever. Although the vocal layer plays against a gorgeous saxophone countermelody and jumpy, syncopated rhythms, the lyrics in fact stand out more against the softer backdrop. Martin toys with synths too, adding a kind of space-age element to the otherwise classic feel, romanticised by those beautiful, drawn-out sax phrases.
Kendrick Lamar will be visiting Australia in 2016 to perform at Bluesfest, alongside a series of headline stadium shows. Details here.