David Bowie’s new album Blackstar was influenced by Kendrick Lamar

He admired the rapper's experimental new album, To Pimp A Butterfly

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The Independent Culture

David Bowie is known for his wide-ranging influences, but his latest muse comes as a particularly surprise - Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar.

For his new album ★, “we were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar,” his long-serving producer Tony Visconti told Rolling Stone.

“We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved that Kendrick was so open-minded and that he didn’t do a straight-up hip-hop record [To Pimp A Butterfly].

“He threw everything on there, and that’s exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock & roll.”

As Visconti suggests, we probably shouldn’t take this to mean Bowie will be spitting bars on ★ (‘Blackstar’, for those looking to say the title out loud), but the influence is indicative of the album’s expected experimental nature - something Kendrick's last album certainly was.

Bowie’s follow-up to last year’s The Next Day came as something of a surprise to his collaborators.

"He's got a little setup [at his house],” Visconti explained. "And there was no clear communication from him until December. That's when he told me he was ready to make the album."

Blackstar will be released on 8 January, 2016, which also happens to be Bowie’s 69th birthday.