The imaginary meeting that closes To Pimp A Butterfly was built from samples of a radio interview with Tupac in 1994.
Last night many of us all over the world experienced Kendrick Lamar’s new album To Pimp A Butterfly together. After navigating the album’s massive and dense arc, there’s one final surprise waiting in the album’s closing moments: a candid conversation between Kendrick Lamar and Tupac Shakur. It’s a testament to To Pimp A Butterfly‘s scope and ambition that this moment feels natural and earned, and almost believable. After hearing Lamar weave decades’ worth of influences and history together for 75 minutes, it doesn’t feel surprising that he could bend space and time just to shoot the shit with his long dead hero.
The dialogue is actually cut together from a rare interview between Shakur and journalist Mats Nileskär in 1994 broadcast by P3, a Swedish radio station. On the album responses from it are cut together with Lamar’s questions, but now you can listen to the entire unedited interview.
The placement of the sample and even the surprise release of the album feel appropriate coming almost exactly on the 20 year anniversary of Shakur’s 1995 album Me Against The World.
Listen to the full hour long interview below.