Kendrick Lamar Talks Spiritual, 'Urgent' New Album

"'To Pimp a Butterfly' was addressing the problem," rapper said in new interview. "I'm in a space now where I'm not addressing the problem anymore"

Kendrick Lamar detailed the spiritual, "urgent" direction of his upcoming fourth LP in a new interview. Credit: Chelsea Lauren/Rex

Kendrick Lamar teased the spiritual, "urgent" direction of his upcoming fourth LP, the follow-up to 2015's acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly, in an interview with The New York Times style magazine T.

"I think now, how wayward things have gone within the past few months, my focus is ultimately going back to my community and the other communities around the world where they're doing the groundwork," he said. "To Pimp a Butterfly was addressing the problem. I'm in a space now where I'm not addressing the problem anymore. We're in a time where we exclude one major component out of this whole thing called life: God. Nobody speaks on it because it's almost in conflict with what's going on in the world when you talk about politics and government and the system."

The publication visited Lamar during a studio session in Santa Monica, California. While the inventive Compton rapper was hesitant to detail his latest musical direction, he spoke in cryptic analogies about his lyrical mindset. In particular, he focused on the idea of being a father one day and how he would handle watching his daughter mature over the years.

"One day, I may have a little girl," he said. "She's gonna grow up. She's gonna be a child I adore – I'm gonna always love her, but she's gonna reach that one point where she's gonna start experiencing things. And she's gonna say things or do things that you may not condone, but it's the reality of it, and you know she was always gonna get to that place. And it's disturbing. But you have to accept it. You have to accept it, and you have to have your own solutions to figure out how to handle the action and take action for it.

"When I say 'the little girl,' it’s the analogy of accepting the moment when she grows up," he continued. "We love women; we enjoy their company. At one point in time, I may have a little girl who grows up and tells me about her engagements with a male figure – things that most men don't want to hear. Learning to accept it, and not run away from it, that’s how I want this album to feel."

Last year, Lamar issued the compilation untitled unmastered, featuring eight unfinished demos from the Butterfly sessions. Despite its work-in-progress billing, the LP debuted at Number One on the Billboard charts.