Kendrick Lamar’s Producer Sounwave Discusses The Struggles Of Making ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’

Earlier this year, Kendrick Lamar dropped Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers, the follow-up to his critically-acclaimed Damn. The album was polarizing, with some thinking it was his greatest work yet, while others were not into it at all. The rapper, though, has stayed quiet since the release.

Today, GQ shared an in-depth interview with the album’s producer, Mark “Sounwave” Spears, in which he discusses the way he and Lamar “knew this album was going to be a tough listen.” “It was beyond rough,” he told the interviewer about working on the LP during the pandemic. When asked about if they had to work remotely, he said, “This was the toughest and longest creative process for me. We didn’t necessarily have everyone come to us; we traveled.”

When asked about creating the sonic palette, he explained, “It’s always going to be different with every artist, but Kendrick, he’s very specific. He knows what he wants and even when he don’t know what he wants, he knows what he wants, if that makes sense. Comparing him to anybody else is night and day. We lock in and for weeks just create ideas. And maybe nothing comes from it or maybe a whole album comes from it.”

He continued, “Like I said, this is probably one of the toughest creative processes imaginable creating this album. We went through so much: starting in early 2019 we lost Nipsey, and then less than a year later we lost Kobe. For me, creatively, that hurts. It took a lot out of me. And then a few months later, what happens? We get locked down. Pandemic.”

Read the full interview here.