The hip-hop community is currently basking in the glow of Kendrick Lamar and his acclaimed new album DAMN. As the proper follow up to his Grammy-winning epic To Pimp a Butterfly (2015), the rapper broke his stylistic mold, dug deeper into thematic territory, and, according to Time magazine, solidified his “status as one of the greatest MCs of the moment, if not of hip-hop as a genre.”
One of Lamar’s key collaborators on DAMN was Kid Capri, a rapper and DJ whose career dates back to the early 1990s. Capri (born David Anthony Love, Jr.) provides a narration of sorts between tracks, particularly on the song “ELEMENT.” where he refers to Lamar as “Kung Fu Kenny” and emotes a swaggering parody on hip-hop cliché that some have theorized to be a subliminal jab at Lamar enemies like Drake and Big Sean. According to Capri, however, not all of the songs he recorded made it onto the final tracklist.
In an interview with Mass Appeal, Capri spoke on the recording process with Lamar, saying “[TDE] reached out to me, and asked me if I could come meet up with Kendrick. So we sat down and we figured it out. I came to the studio and recorded a lot of stuff, they took what they wanted, placed it where they needed to place it. I think they’ve got some more stuff– there are some more things– coming out later, but for right now, that’s what happened.”
This news comes days after an online theory suggested that Lamar was going to release a companion album to DAMN, titled NATION on Easter Sunday. The working idea was that the two would serve as separate parts of the same musical project, and that the color coding of DAMN (red) was to be reflected in the alleged blue motif of what was to be NATION.
So while this album theory may have been fake, Capri continues to keep hope alive that more “Kung Fu Kenny” music is on the way.