Kendrick Lamar: New album won't necessarily sound like 'i'

Rapper says singles aren't always indicative of albums

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The Independent Culture

Kendrick Lamar has cautioned that people shouldn't expect his imminent new album to sound like the recent single 'i', a track that polarised fans' opinion with its more upbeat sound.

Talking about his creative process in a great piece he wrote for XXL magazine, Kendrick said: "I’m not an artist that’s gonna give you a single and say, 'This is what my album’s gonna sound like, go sell it.' That’s not me."

Despite its positivity, Kendrick explained that 'i' was written from a "dark place" and inspired by the kids he met while touring the world who had told him they were going to kill themselves but that his music saved their lives.

It was certainly laced with the darker aspects of life, particularly evident in the music video for the track, but for many it still wasn't the big comeback track they were hoping for – a Maad City banger or an introspective Sing About Me, I'm Dying Of Thirst-style introspective epic (though he redressed this somewhat with some free jazz craziness on The Colbert Report recently).

But Kendrick says he intends to steer clear of expectations and focus on what inspires him.

"Everybody has their own niche," he said. "With mine, I just own it, and I know that’s exactly what that is. And I wanna keep that lane.

"I don’t want to jump in somebody else’s lane and try to do their moves because it may not work for me like it worked for them. So I stay where I feel like I’m inspired."

He said he is aware of the immense anticipation for the follow up to Good Kid Maad City, and that he is trying to channel this into making the new record as good as it can be.

"What’s crazy to me is that I feel the same energy now that I felt before my first album," he explained. "I know there’s lot of pressure for me on this new album but it don’t necessarily scare me.

"It’s almost confirmation, like, go in there and challenge yourself just the same way you challenged yourself the first time."

Kendrick's new album was originally touted for the end of 2014, but he's still finishing it off with a view to an early 2015 release.

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