For their #56 issue, "Mass Appeal" features Kendrick Lamar for their cover, in celebration of the legendary Hip Hop artist Easy E, which was a California native like Kendrick.
The shoot was photographed by Chris Buck who captures some amazing and rare footages of Kendrick. K Dot was interviewed by Mass Appeal who goes into details about the meaning behind Kendrick's to "Pimp A Butterfly" album and its cover, which is currently on iTunes and at your local record store.
Mass Appeal: "When the album cover was posted up on Instagram, you had a message on there (attributed to the “Lil Homie”) that said, in part: “To Pimp A Butterfly, it’s the American dream….” How is it the American dream?"
Kenrick: "It’s the American dream because everybody wanna feel like they’re in control of their success. We’re puppets in so many different places [in our lives]. To pimp out something from a negative place and take it to a positive place, that’s what everybody wanna do. Everybody have their own story. I have mine with good kid, m.A.A.d city. You have yours. And to come out of these harsh realities and do something positive, you’re pimping the butterfly. You’re coming out this cocoon of this caterpillar and you’re making the best out of it. Everybody wanna do that."
Mass Appeal: "A kid on the Internet pointed out that Section.80 is outlined like a book; good kid, m.A.A.d city like a film; and To Pimp A Butterfly like a poem. Is that how you see it and was that planned?"
Kendrick: "Yeah, definitely. [There]’s actually a sketch of braille that’s added to the title hidden inside the [CD] booklet that I don’t think nobody has caught yet. You can actually feel the bump lines. But if you can see it, which is the irony of it, you can break down the actual full title of the album."
Mass Appeal: "Considering how Uncle Sam is a character on the album, the term “American dream” combined with “To Pimp A Butterfly” has a sinister vibe to it. If the caterpillar and butterfly represent black people, it brings to mind how prisons are full of black and brown inmates who are used as a source of cheap labor, and how the media fuels fear by constantly showing black criminals on the news."
Kendrick: "Yeah, that’s the deeper meaning to it when you pull the layers back. We’re in a society where we definitely are baited to pump fear and keep the negativity going. To keep the cycle continuing, y’know? It’s a pimp situation. And me recognizing that, it’s the start of something new. To let my people—black and brown [because I grew up with] a lot of my ese potnas in Compton—recognize what’s goin’ on. It’s fortunate that I’m in a blessed situation that I ain’t have to be 40, 50 years old to tell the story. I’m 27. I’m fairly young. A lot of people that tell the story they already old and they really can’t talk to the youth because the youth don’t respect them. I got the power in my hands where the youth respect me. Not only as an artist but as a person. It’s only right for me to put that energy out there, and let ’em know what’s goin’ on in the world."
Check out the live interview of it below.
While the interview continued, Kendrick was questioned about politics and expresses the possibility of going into politics one day.
Mass Appeal: "When you say “Compton to Congress…” on “Hood Politics” is there any deeper meaning to that? You’re not thinking of maybe one day, you know…"
Kendrick: "[Smiles] Nothing is a coincidence. [Laughs] Put it to you that way. Them words are no coincidence. They were well thought out."
One can only imagine the type of political campaign Kendrick Lamar would lead. K-Dot dropped some gem about the future generation, which he envisions in a great light, that will shine and triple its worth.
Mass Appeal: "What do you think is the future of your generation?"
Kendrick: "I think the future of my generation is entrepreneurs times a hundred. We’ll probably be one of the most prosperous generations in history. Not only do we have the belief, but we have the work ethic to go out there and get it. We are very independent. We are very confident in our own identity, which is a great thing. Because what this [generation] has is more people starting their own business and not being confined to what [an existing] company has to offer [them]. But, on the other hand, our belief system is gonna play a major part in it. Our belief system is not the way how my parents were, how my grandparents were, and the more and more time goes on, we lose that thought or idea of God and energy. So what happens is we stop caring for people and we stop honoring and respecting people, you feel me? So I think once we grab that aspect back into my generation we’re gonna be alright."
Kendrick Lamar, a man with a vision and the eyes of God.
To subscibe and get a copy of the issue, click on the link below.
Kendrick Lamar: Mass Appeal Issue