ATLANTA (AP) — When Kendrick Lamar submitted the initial version of his new album, "good kid, m.A.A.d city," the rapper planned on heading back to the studio to record more songs for it.
Dr. Dre thought otherwise for his protege.
"When I brought it back to him, he said, 'You know what, you're done,'" Lamar recalled in a phone interview Wednesday night. "'This is a classic for your generation and time, and we're going to put this out now.'"
It seems Dr. Dre made the right call.
Lamar made a splash with his major label release, debuting at No. 2 on Billboard's Top 200 albums chart this week behind Taylor Swift's million-seller "Red." Lamar's album sold 241,000 units and topped both the R&B/Hip-Hop and rap albums charts. The album also generated 2.8 million streams through Spotify, the second highest first-week output so far this year behind Mumford & Son's "Babel."
Not bad for the 25-year-old Lamar, a relatively new rapper who didn't have a big hit heading into his major label debut. His single, "Swimming Pools (Drank)," peaked at No. 14 on the R&B/Hip-Hop songs chart, and he scored major buzz with the release of last year's critically lauded independent album, "Section.80."
The Los Angeles-based rapper said he felt confident his album would produce solid numbers because of the strong fan base built through grass-roots efforts. He said his label, Top Dawg Entertainment, led the way, marketing his music through "word of mouth" and the Internet before Interscope Records stepped in.
"It was really just everybody catching up," he said. "I'm sure half of the industry probably thought an underground artist or a person with content and substance would probably not see numbers like that." He said his mentor, Dr. Dre, gave him the freedom to breathe artistically while recording the new album. He said his intent was to put together a cohesive record that maintained a flow from track to track instead of trying to produce hit singles.
Critics certainly felt he displayed that on the album, which earned raved reviews. On the songs, Lamar tells several stories that were intertwined through skits about his upbringing in Compton, the gritty city southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
"Songs are going to come, regardless," Lamar said. "Whether it's a radio joint or a hit record, it's going to come regardless. … My initial goal is to make an album the same way Tupac (Shakur) did, the same way Jay-Z did, the same way Big (Notorious B.I.G.) did. I'm taking it back to the essence of that."
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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