Kendrick Lamar Explains Meaning Behind ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ Artwork

Kendrick Lamar has perhaps one of this year’s most creative Hip Hop album covers. The image features many of Compton’s own, including K. Dot, hovering over the body of a lifeless judge on the White House lawn. What stuck out most about the image was the children photoed.

Kendrick sat down with Mass Appeal to explain the meaning behind what could potentially be one of Hip Hop’s most iconic artworks.

“It’s me and my homeboys in front of the White House,” he said. “It’s really taking people from my neighborhood and taking them around the world and letting them see things I experienced. …It’s one of the homies’ kids. The people I grew up with since elementary all the way up to now. A lot of individuals I talk about in ‘Good Kid, Maad City’ is on this cover.”

Kendrick went on to reveal his hatred for a judge.

“That’s a judge laid out on the ground,” he explained. “You look at these individuals and you look at em as bad people… menace to society, but they actually good people. Just a product of their environment. And the one that represents their not life’s negatively is the judge. Only G-d can judge these individuals right here. Not no one with a gavel handing out football number of years and not giving these kids a chance at life. Every n*gga’s a star.”

K. Dot says the artwork represents the mindset he had when he first signed to Interscope.

“It represents the album. It represents how I felt when I first got signed,” he said. “Overall in general, it represents those without money of my color that’s rich in spirit. You don’t need dollars to feel like you have a place in the world.”

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