Kendrick Lamar influenced David Bowie...for real

Kudos to David Bowie for looking to an unlikely and unexpected source of inspiration for his new album Blackstar, which is also stylized as an actual black star. Bowie has been a rock 'n' roll shapeshifter throughout his long and illustrious career, so it's not dangerously out of left field for his longtime producer Tony Visconti to reveal that he and Bowie listened to Kendrick Lamar's critically acclaimed sophomore smash To Pimp a Butterfly while recording.

Visconti admitted, "We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar." That means he and Bowie have good taste, as Lamar is universally considered one of the new wunderkinds of rap, a distinction that both his voice and his lyrics have earned.

However, don't expect Bowie to be spitting any rhymes on his new platter, which is out January 8. The influence is much less obvious and the fact that Lamar was able to erase parameters within his own genre was what inspired Bowie.

Visconti continued:

"We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn't do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock 'n' roll."

So there you have it. Lamar's fearlessness and decision to avoid a straight-ahead rap album reminded Bowie, who is a legend in his genre, that he, too, could step away from the norm and switch things up.

It's pretty amazing that two different genres and generations can connect on that sort of cosmic level. Blackstar is Bowie's 25th (!!!) album and he is still finding new ways to express himself. And that is precisely what makes him a legend and so many of his fellow rockers are lesser by comparison.

[Source: Rolling Stone]