The album: Kendrick Lamar: Section.80 (Top Dawg, 2011)
To talk about Kendrick Lamar’s studio LP debut, we wanted to find someone of K-Dot’s generation, another L.A. young gun, and who better than pianist and composer, Kris Bowers? Like Kendrick, Kris grew up in L.A. and just as Kendrick has ascended the hip-hop ladder, so has Kris in jazz, as he won the prestigious Theolonious . But more than that, the web of Los Angeles musical ties was bound to bring the two into orbit in different ways – something we discuss in the episode – not the least of which is the fact that Kris covered one of the biggest tracks in Kendrick’s early career: “Rigamortis.”
In our conversation with Kris, we got deep into how he put together both the song and video for his version of “Rigamortis,” whether or not Kendrick has a jazz sensibility in his style, and what it’s like to see a hometown kid become the Greatest Rapper Alive.
More on Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80
- Kendrick talking about Section.80 in an interview with Complex.com.
- Ditto but in an interview with Billboard.
- Ogden Payne’s revisit of the album in 2016 for Forbes.
More on Kris Bowers
- Kris on NPR’s “Piano Jazz: Rising Stars.”
- NY Times on Kris winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Prize.
- Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook
Show Tracklisting (all songs from Section.80 unless indicated otherwise):
- Kris Bowers: “Rigamortis (Kendrick Lamar Cover)”
- Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid M.A.A.D. City “m.A.A.D. city”
- MURS: Captain California “GBKW”
- Dr. Dre: The Chronic “Dre Day”
- A Tribe Called Quest: The Low End Theory “Jazz (We’ve Got This)”
- “High Power”
- “Keisha’s Song”
- Kendrick Lamar: “Sing About Me”
- “Ab-Souls Outro”
- “Kush & Corinthians”
- Willie Jones III: The Next Phase “The Thorn”
- Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly “If These Walls Could Talk”
- Chapter Six
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In this episode...
- Kris Bowers
About the show
Hosted by Oliver Wang and Morgan Rhodes, every episode of Heat Rocks invites a special guest to talk about a heat rock – a hot album, a scorching record. These are in-depth conversations about the albums that shape our lives.
Our guests include musicians, writers, and scholars and though we don’t exclusively focus on any one genre, expect to hear about albums from the worlds of soul, hip-hop, funk, jazz, Latin, and more.
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