In the wake of Kendrick Lamar’s new release, untitled unmastered., longtime collaborator and fellow LA native Terrace Martin spoke with Complex about the project’s backstory. He shared memories of eating ramen during the recording process, commented on Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys’ son/heir to the throne, Egypt, and listed those west coast albums that, in his eyes, define the new decade.
Perhaps most notably, Martin refuted claims—sparked by TDE president Punch—that Kendrick sent a subliminal diss in Jay Electronica’s direction on the song “untitled 7,” during which he raps, “I could never end a career if it never start.” The producer did voice his disappointment over the enigmatic artist’s disparaging insults, however. Head below for excerpts, and visit Complex for the full story.
On Kendrick allegedly dissing Electronica:
“Nah, nah—these records were done two, some of them three years ago. We’re not thinking about these guys in these studios. Kids are getting killed. Trump may be president. Do you think we have time to think about another fucking rapper? No! We got families. We got friends around us that are dying, murdered by folks who look just like us. We got the police tripping. Once again, Trump may be president! We are not in these studios thinking about what any of these guys say.”
On Baby Egypt:
“I’mma tell you the best producer on untitled. The best producer is Swizz Beatz’s son, Egypt. That little boy. He’s gonna be bigger than everyone.”
On the familial work environment responsible for Kendrick’s music:
“We all know each other personally. We came up from preschool to elementary school to junior high school to college to the same tours. Me, Kamasi Washington, and Thundercat have shared so much experience. We both were with Dr. Dre. We both did the Quincy Jones record. So we’re close. We know each others’ parents. We know each others’ kids. It looks like that and sounds like that because it really is that. It’s a blessing.”