Kendrick Lamar appreciated Taylor Swift for paying homage to his music in a recent interview. Lamar was grateful to hear about Swift knowing the words to his lyrics and putting her in a great mood. The rapper praised the country music star for speaking highly of his music, saying her admiring remarks show hip-hop shouldn't be categorized for one listener.
"Some people always try to lock it down and categorize it for one particular listener," Lamar said at the fifth annual ONE Musicfest in Atlanta on Saturday night. "But it moves all, even people from other genres." In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Swift said listening to Lamar's music helps change her mood from feeling "victimized" to "awesome." She said her "go-to" song is Lamar's "Backseat Freestyle," a record featured on his Grammy-nominated album, "Good Kid, M.A.A.D City."
"I appreciate Taylor Swift for supporting not only my music but just the hip-hop culture," he said. "There's really no gap. It's music and it feels good." Lamar spoke backstage with The Associated Press after his 90-minute performance at the Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood. He was one of the headliners with rapper Nas of the one-day festival, which also featured Jhene Aiko, Method Man & Redman and Bilal.
Taylor Swift's fifth LP, 1989, was influenced by some of the 24-year-old star's beloved acts from the Eighties, from Phil Collins to Annie Lennox to Madonna. This time, she set out to make "blatant pop music," she tells us in our new cover story. Here's five more things she told us to expect on her studio record, out October 27th:
1. A New York state of mind The leadoff track on 1989 tries to capture the excitement of someone who just moved to New York, as Swift did earlier this year. "I was so intimidated by this city for so long," she says. "It's so big, with so many people. I thought I would never be able to make it here, because I wasn't something enough — bold enough, brave enough to take on this huge city in all of its blaring honesty. And then at a certain point I just thought, 'I'm ready.'"
2. Lots of Max Martin The Swedish pop giant, with help from his protege Shellback, produced almost half the songs on 1989, and is also, along with Swift, the executive producer of the album as a whole. Swift has worked with him before, on 2012's Red, but he plays a much bigger role this time around. "I used to talk about Max Martin like he was this sorcerer who lived in a castle on a hill," says Swift. "And then one time Scott [Borchetta, the head of her label] said to me, ‘You know...you can work with him if you want to.' I was like, What?!"
3. A Fine Young Cannibals vibe Swift's pal Jack Antonoff, who co-wrote and co-produced two songs on her album, says he and Swift shared a serious bonding moment over the Eighties pop group that had their biggest hit in 1989. "The moment when we shifted from friendship into working together was when we were talking about the snare drum on Fine Young Cannibals' ‘She Drives Me Crazy,'" Antonoff says. "Taylor brought it up first, and I was like, 'Holy shit, you're not going to believe this: I just sampled that snare in a track.' I played her one second of it on my iPhone, and she was like, ‘Send me that track.' That became a song called ‘I Wish You Would.'" "I really think 'She Drives Me Crazy' could be on the radio now," says Swift. "It's that timeless."
4. Some classic T-Swift journaling One song was taken straight from the pages of Swift's journal, and another, "Out of the Woods," sounds like it could have been. "The thing I love about that song," says Antonoff, who co-wrote it, "is parts of it reads like a diary, and parts of it read like something 100,000 people should be screaming all together. It's got these very big lines that everybody can relate to, which are given weight by her being really honest about personal things."
5. A spirit of discovery Maybe the biggest influence that 1989 had on 1989 was what Swift, who was born that year, describes as a feeling of freedom. "It was a very experimental time in pop music," she says. "People realized songs didn't have to be this standard drums-guitar-bass-whatever. We can make a song with synths and a drum pad. We can do group vocals the entire song. We can do so many different things. And I think what you saw happening with music was also happening in our culture, where people were just wearing whatever crazy colors they wanted to, because why not? There just seemed to be this energy about endless opportunities, endless possibilities, endless ways you could live your life. And so with this record, I thought, 'There are no rules to this. I don't need to use the same musicians I've used, or the same band, or the same producers, or the same formula. I can make whatever record I want.'"
What did you do this weekend? Oh, that’s cool. So, like, you didn’t get a secret invitation to Taylor Swift‘s house in L.A. for a five-hour listening party for her new album, 1989? You didn’t get to hug her and hold her Grammys (and her cat, Olivia Benson), eat plates of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies she baked herself, dance with her and leave with armfuls of TSwift gear? Oh, bummer, because all these people did… and it was awesome.
Coolest thing that's ever happened to me...& I've won a car on the price is right. @taylorswift13 #1989secretseasions
I MET TAYLOR SWIFT TODAY OMG HER ALBUM IS PERFECTION #1989SECRETSESSIONS
I MET THIS AMAZING WOMAN @taylorswift13 @taylornation13 #1989secretsession #1989secretsessions
Just spent the last 5 hrs at @taylorswift13 house & listened to her new album #IsThisTheRealWorld #1989secretsessions
Met Taylor at her house in LA!! #1989SECRETSESSIONS oh my gosh! I'm on cloud 9!! @taylorswift13 @taylornation13
Taylor Swift officially made the switch from country to pop with her new album 1989 – and she has the blessing of "The Queen of Country Pop" herself. "I think that everybody should just follow their heart and do their artistic best, and just enjoy their creativity," Shania Twain told ET Canada at the recent Bliss Ball in Toronto, which supports The Dilawri Foundation.
"[Taylor]'s a singer-songwriter-performer, she does it all ... the world is her oyster. She's young and she needs to just do whatever she's having fun at and I think everybody's loving it," said the singer, whose 1997 album, Come On Over, became the best-selling studio album of all time by a female act in any genre, as well as the best-selling country album of all time.
Twain, 49, is also currently working on a new album. "I've been doing a lot of writing over the last year and I'm getting into the studio now," she said, "I'll spend this whole year making the album."
Taylor Swift has been catching flak from country fans for her pop sensibilities since she began delivering Top 40 hits in 2006. With new album 1989 coming out later this month, Swift has made it clear there will be fewer country influences than ever before in her songs. She's even branded it as "pop" (gasp!).
"What I meant by that is ... I think one thing that I've been doing throughout my career is I've always implemented different kinds of sensibilities from different genres in my music," she told CMT. "And that's been something I've been proud of. But I have never put together an album quite as sonically cohesive as this album.
"What I meant by that is ... I think one thing that I've been doing throughout my career is I've always implemented different kinds of sensibilities from different genres in my music," she told CMT. "And that's been something I've been proud of. But I have never put together an album quite as sonically cohesive as this album. "I've always wanted an album that had a very distinctive sound, and this one is very synthesizer-based and automated drums and layered vocals. I think that the most authentic thing to do, and the most authentic way to approach it was to be honest about what it was."
It’s 7am and I can’t. #MORNING PERSON #HUMAN BURRITO
Swift has been crazy busy, prepping for the release of her upcoming album "1989" later this month. After arriving in Paris, she will be on Le Grand Journal on October 6 and will then attend Capital FM's Charity Breakfast for Global's Make Some Noise Day on October 9.