Kendrick Lamar has the distinction of currently being at work on one of the most highly anticipated hip hop albums of the year — his own major label debut with Aftermath/Interscope, Good Kid in a Mad City. Speaking with Fuse at SXSW in Austin, the 25-year-old rapper from Compton said he was making good progress.
"I don't wanna say it's finished just yet," he said. "But it's on the way."
Lamar, who performed at the BET Music Matters showcase at SXSW, said he has been recording for the project with Dr. Dre, and that the good doc's presence has been encouraging.
"I Love it. Every time we're in the studio — energy," he said. "I wasn't in the studio back in the day when he was rocking with Snoop on The Chronic, but I can tell he had that same energy and that same vibe. And what it do, it just elevates me and motivates me to go even harder."
Aside from Dre, Lamar said that he was focusing on working with his own trusted roster of producers for now.
"I've really just been keeping it in-house — the people I came up with on Section.80 and O.D. I want to lock in with them first, because these are people that know my sound, and I know their niches... so it meshes properly." Other producers rumored to have worked on the project include the Neptunes, Just Blaze and Hit-Boy.
Lamar and his Top Dawg Entertainment crew, which includes Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock, officially announced their merger with Aftermath/Interscope just last week. Speaking on the deal, Kendrick said that what sold him was the ability to retain his creative independence.
"This was the best move because it allows me to be the [best] artist that I can be," he said. "As long as everybody sees the vision at the end of the day it's gonna work."
Good Kid in a Mad City is expected later this year.
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