Kendrick Lamar Explains Why He Doesn’t Listen to His Albums After Turning Them In

By | 2 months ago
"As soon as I hit mastering I just turn that thing in and I try not to listen to it..."
2017-04-21-kendrick-lamar-album-turn-in-explanation
Photo Credit: Apple Music

In his first interview following the release of his highly-acclaimed new album DAMN., Kendrick Lamar sat down with Apple Music host Zane Lowe during Coachella weekend for an in-depth discussion about his latest LP.

Despite Lowe's refusal to lob anything but softball questions at his guests, the entire 45-minute sit-down is an engaging, entertaining viewing. For those Kendrick Lamar fans short on time, however, the most interesting nugget is uncovered within the very first minute of the interview. 

After setting the scene, Lowe asks Lamar if he indulges in the fan reaction to his music, to which he replies:

"As soon as I hit mastering I just turn that thing in and I try not to listen to it or even see the actual response, you know, for awhile. Because I've been attached to this piece of art for the last year and some change. I've indulged so much, I don't even want to hear it." 

While plenty of artists love to listen to their own material after it's been released to the public—Kendrick's TDE labelmate ScHoolboy loves bumping his own music—it makes sense that, after conceptualizing it, writing it, recording it and sitting with it for 12-plus months, the last thing Kendrick would want to do after turning in the final version of the album to the label for mixing and mastering is press play again.

Kendrick's conscious decision to sidestep his work after putting it out into the world for the listening populace to enjoy is similar to the behavior of countless Hollywood actors, like Meryl Streep and Johnny Deep, who don't watch their own movies.

"I just want to give it to the people and let them take it and live with it and breathe it," Kendrick told Lowe. Amen.

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