Kamasi Washington Praises Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly': ‘That Record Changed Music’
Speaking with Pitchfork, Washington said To Pimp a Butterfly changed music and claimed "we're still seeing the effects of it."
"It went beyond jazz; it meant that intellectually stimulating music doesn’t have to be underground," he said. "It can be mainstream. It went beyond everything else too: harmonically, instrumentation-wise, structurally, lyrically. I feel like people’s expectations of themselves changed too. It just didn’t change the music. It changed the audience."
A contributor to the album, Washington said he wasn't involved in the early stages of recording but he immediately knew the significance the project would have.
"From day one, I knew this was a classic, world-changing record," he said. "Kendrick not only brought in the best people, but he allowed them to be at their best. That’s the rare thing. There are the people who it just comes easy to and there are people who work at it. Kendrick is both. He can instantly write a song that’s dope as hell, but then spend the time to meticulously work it out and make it perfect."
Released in 2015— three years after Kendrick dropped Good Kid. m.A.A.d. City—To Pimp a Butterfly landed on a number of lists for best albums of the year. The record featured the songs "i," "Alright" and "King Kunta."