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 (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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