Kendrick Lamar, artist extraordinaire, is many things. Apparently, one of those things is a beat hoarder.
In a new Red Bull Music Academy roundtable interview featuring Tae Beast, MixedByAli, and Sounwave, Kendrick’s closest collaborators revealed that Kenny is sitting on thousands of beats.
“If you make something and somebody [in TDE] hears it’s, its a wrap. Kendrick’s like a beat hoarder, too,” Tae Beast said. “He has like 97,000 gigs of beats from everybody. If it gets to Kendrick’s hands it’s probably never going to leave.”
“You can give him a beat for good kid, mA.A.d city and it’ll end up on DAMN.,” Sounwave added. “He’s a beat hoarder like that.” To which MixedByAli replied: “But his Rolodex is always working. He can hear some shit now and go back to emails from 2010 and pull [up the beat] like ‘Okay found it.’”
So, what’s the lesson here? Firstly, Kendrick Lamar has an impressive memory. Secondly, Kendrick Lamar is an expert curator. He has a clear creative vision for each of his records and knows how to accomplish that vision, and if that means sitting on a beat until the time is right, so be it.
Of course, not all artists should start sitting on packs of beats because not all artists are Kendrick Lamar—and doing so won’t exactly please your producer collaborators. But what all artists should do, is be as discerning as Kendrick and pick production that amplifies the story they are telling with their raps.