Kendrick Lamar grooves with Rick Rubin

 Written By: Matthew Harron

Written By: Matthew Harron

In a recent interview with Kendrick Lamar and Rick Rubin, the two discuss Lamar's relation to jazz music.

Lamar's and Rubin's personalities complement one another in this interactive interview—the conversation between the two is smooth and intriguing. Rubin highlights and reveals Lamar's passion to the sound and creativity jazz music offers.

I recommend watching the full video, but this is the clip that magnifies Lamar's relation to the sound of jazz.

I find what Lamar says about liking Jazz before he knew what it was very interesting. He finds the sound, the dissonance, in particular, to his liking. These sounds can be heard most profoundly on his latest album, To Pimp a Butterfly.

The type of sound was noticed by Terrance Martin, Lamar's saxophone player. Lamar was deciding on the instrumentation used and how the rhythms flowed from player-to-player when Martin pointed out the Jazz influence.  The chord structure complimented those of Jazz music.

Some of the most influential Jazz artists for Lamar were Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock.


Lamar also took interest in the work of Prince; Lamar's father introduced Prince to Lamar when he was a child—his father lived and breathed Princes' music. Lamar speaks about how influential Prince was to his career. His range of voice inspired Kendrick to alter his voice and make it more apparent in his music.

Hopefully what we can gain from Lamar's next album is a soul feel. It is clear that Lamar's vibe towards music is being influenced by the greats of past generations.