One of the most surprising parts about Prince‘s Yahoo! livestream special last week from famed recording studio complex Paisley Park was Kendrick Lamar’s surprise appearance on “What’s My Name,” a track that appeared on Prince’s 1998 Crystal Ball box set.
According to 3rdEyeGirl drummer Hannah Ford, Prince’s band was almost as surprised to see the rapper as the audience. “This was Kendrick’s first visit to Paisley,” Ford tells Rolling Stone. “And we didn’t really get a rehearsal in. The girls [in 3rdEyeGirl] and I had sound-checked and were getting ready, and we got called back down to the stage so that Kendrick could sound-check. We get down there and Kendrick asks us what we’re going to play, and we all just look around at each other like, ‘I don’t know. Do you know?'”
During the rehearsal, Ford explained, the band played a run-through of “PretzelBodyLogic,” a Plectrumelectrum track debuted earlier this year. “The girls and I just played the groove while Kendrick rapped over it,” said Ford. “We just went over it once, but it was awesome. He jumped right in and it was almost like the verse was made while we created the song.”
Mid-performance, Ford says, she and the rest of the band wondered when Lamar would actually join them onstage, especially once a live rendition of “PretzelBodyLogic” came and went without the rapper dropping in. “We performed ‘Pretzel,’ and he didn’t even come onstage,” says Ford. “But Prince called him up on the song ‘What’s My Name’ and he jumped right in like a pro. He just knew how to work on his toes and make the song match up. It vibed really well and we were all really hyped afterward.”
The event, hosted by Yahoo’s Live Nation channel, featured three performances, including a cover of Smokey Robinson’s ‘Thankful N’ Thoughtful’.” The stream celebrated the release of two new Prince albums last Tuesday, Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum (the latter a collaboration with his all-female backing band, 3rdEyeGirl).
Both Art Official Age and Plectrumelectrum are available now.