Kendrick Lamar will make his long awaited debut on PBS’ music series Austin City Limits on Jan. 9, and in his hour long appearance, which airs at 9 p.m. on the station, Lamar will perform some of his most coveted tracks from both of his latest albums, 2012’s good kid, m.A.A.d city and 2015’s stellar To Pimp A Butterfly.
In addition to his performance, he sat down for an interview and revealed where some of his inspiration came from. He recalled a time in the first grade when his teacher took notice of his natural ability with words.
“As kids we used to log in journals,” he remembers. “I was just fascinated by telling them how my day started…It was one particular word that I said in first grade, it was the word Audacity— and my teacher she pulled me to the corner and she told me ‘you know what that word means?’ And I told her the definition. And she was like ‘you’re a wordsmith you may not know it, but you’re in love with words.’ And ever since that moment I just love to write. It’s always been my favorite course in school English and Literature. I excelled to that and made that transform to poetry.”
The Compton native also discussed his inspiration for making TPAB, stating that he traveled the world and found a new way to appreciate other people’s cultures while simultaneously crafting something everyone can relate to.
“To Pimp A Butterfly is the most important album of 2015, and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone to disagree,” said ACL executive producer Terry Lickona, in a press release. “Beyond making a powerful statement about the America we live in today, it’s a radical reinvention of modern hip-hop fused with improv jazz and classic R&B. This is the only full-length television performance of a contemporary masterpiece – it deserves to be seen and heard.”
Take a look at the full interview below.