I spent a good chunk of last week really diving into the history of Kendrick and TDE and I found A TON of dope stuff - one thing leads to another, and before you know it I've spent an hour trying to track down his high school yearbook photo. Not all of the great K. Dot stuff I found related to Last Real N*gga Alive, though, and it was all simply too amazing to let go by the wayside.
How amazing? I don't know, how interested are you in seeing a (maybe) wasted Kendrick Lamar? Yeah, I thought so. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the TDE Ustream and YouTube archive
When researching some of the info for my last article I ended up going all the way back to Kendrick's Twitter circa 2008. I didn't find any of the real gems I was looking for, but what I did find was a link to the TDE Ustream where they have hours and hours of archived streams. It's a holy grail. Well, sort of. A good chunk of it is Kendrick trying to figure out if Ustream is working and asking Ali what the login in is (which is pretty funny in and of itself) but once they get past that, the real rap nerdery begins.
Kendrick During the Release of Section.80
I was pretty fascinated by this one. Watching and listening to them figure out if the album was on iTunes (and which version was on iTunes) was kind of eye opening. I never really think about that side of a release. No crazy partyies, no listening sessions, just Kendrick asking Ali which version of “Spiteful Chant” is on the album. Also, can we hear the other version please? Also-also, ScHoolboy is hilarious. (Skip ahead to about the :15 minute mark, when it gets good.)
Kendrick & E-40 Playing Pool
Holy shit, that’s one amazing studio. How would you ever get any work done? Pool table? TV? Arcade games? A fucking shower? I struggle on a daily basis with wanting to play FIFA. If you gave me a pool table and Pac-man I would never work. I also love how casual they are about shit; talking about working with Krizz Kaliko and listening to his CD on the tour bus like it’s not big thang. I’m also legitimately mad at E-40. That’s the Nationals' W - it doesn’t represent the “West Coast.”
Kendrick Singing "I Do This"
If you want to take this full circle, relating back to our "Last Real N*gga Living" investigation, right around the 12:45 minute mark, Kendrick starts talking about Training Day and Hub City. Pretty amazing. It’s funny to hear Kendrick reciting “she looking at my car like she want to fuck it” over and over, he even raps towards the end. They must have been dead in the middle of recording “I Do This.” Also, at the end they are rockin out to “Catch A Fade,” but I thought that wasn’t released until a few years later? Was that song really sitting in the vault for like three years?
Schoolboy Q & Ali Mixing “I’m Thuggin”
ScHoolboy is funny as shit. Also, at this point Ab-Soul still had a normal job. Also-also, it sounds like they are playing Jay Rock’s “I’m Thugging” in the background. I got super excited because I felt like I was hearing some super secretive shit and then I remembered it’s all been out for years. It’s still cool to retroactively hear it though. It’s crazy, at the end, to hear ScHoolboy talking about his future. He says, “We only gonna keep getting bigger as the music gets better." Dramatic irony for the win. He has no idea.
A Real Life Recording Session
This is what I wanted all along. To see them in action, to see what it looks like when they are recording. WHAT SONG IS THIS?!
Jay Rock Recording "Elbows"
Same premise as before. Just amazing to see the process.
This is just the tip of the iceberg of the stuff under the tip of the iceberg. There’s hundreds of hours of recordings here but I’m determined to watch it all. I need to see Kendrick in the booth in the worst way. But as that wise philosopher Diddy once said, I can't stop, won't stop. At some point in my investigative journey I also stumbled across an old YouTube channel with some AMAZING content. I think it may be Dave Free’s YouTube, but that’s just a somewhat edumacated guess.
Is This the First Kendrick Recording Ever?
I watched this a few times before it hit me. This might be the first ever recording of one Mr. Kendrick Lamar. I’d love to be proven wrong, but as far as I can tell, nothing predates this video - can anyone do earlier than 2007? I love the slideshow and MySpace link at the end. Remember MySpace?
Jay Rock Gets Arrested
Kind of self-explanatory but still interesting to see. In the context of Ferguson and so many more, this could have gone so much worse.
Alternate Video for “We Run This”
You can find the offical one here, but here is a much more low budget one. Again, it’s just insane to see how far the have come. I really can't say it enough.
Kendrick, Jay Rock & Wayne
I touched on this in the previous piece, but this was during the recoding of “All My Life.” Kendrick is so fucking young. While we're on the subject of "All My Life," here is a video of the premiere on BET. It's been a long time since I've seen something like this. And my god, Kendrick looks like he's 12-years-old.
Is Kendrick Wasted?
We all know kendrick doesn’t drink or smoke much, but I don’t care who you are, when you are in Vegas all bets are off. Kendrick seems white girl wasted here. Also, that story about Ab-Soul being kicked out for handing his ID back to someobody else is so fucking funny; that’s the shit I used to do. This one really shows me what a family they are. These dudes really grew up together and they are such a tight knit group. Before the days of Coachella, GRAMMYs and butterflies it was a bunch of drunk dudes piling into a van. Amazing.
So yeah, there's really not much more to this article than "HEY LOOK!!!" but it was too amazing to keep to myself. Nostalgia game on fleek. I wonder when the last time they saw this shit was?
We all come from somewhere. Even the biggest rapper on the planet.
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth]