Kendrick Lamar has a new album coming out and the hype surrounding the Compton rapper is beginning to grow again. It started this week when he released the single ‘i’ off his forthcoming album.
The artwork for the album pictured two men, one dressed in blue and one dressed in red, making a heart sign with their hands. Many assumed hits was a reference to the notorious urban gangs, the Bloods and the Crips.
Lamar confirmed that the reference was intentional and a message of peace.
“Where I’m from, there’s a lot of gang culture and things like that, so instead of throwing on up gang signs, which we used to, I put a Blood and I put a Crip together and we’re throwing up hearts,” he said, according to HipHop DX.
Lamar continued saying it’s about “sparking the idea of some type of change through music or through me because I go back to the city now and people give me the honor and respect that, you know, this kid can change a little bit something different that’s been going on in the community.”
The single samples the Isley Brothers and could be viewed as a pop song, but Lamar also addressed that notion.
“When I go into creating an album or any type of song, I usually cut off everything from the radio because you can easily be influenced from songs that you like, songs that you may not like. So I said, ‘I’m gonna go in the studio and I’m going to do what I feel organically without being confined to industry standards or what people assume that I should do. Because at the end of the day, man, I’m an artist and I would hate to be stagnant.”