There’s good news for all fans of Top Dawg Entertainment and it’s the kind that will make you want to fast forward through the months just to get there.
Billboard’s latest issue features the label’s two biggest names, Kendrick and ScHoolboy Q, on the cover and includes an in-depth profile with the two plus Top Dawg’s top dog, Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith. In one big reveal, “Top Dawg” and TDE co-president Dave Free share that Kendrick’s next album could release in September 2014 and there’s a lot more where that came from. More as in finally giving fans a full project from the Black Hippy collective.
“In 2014, TDE hopes to lock and load its most ambitious slate of releases: Rashad and the label’s first nonrap signing, New Jersey-based female singer-songwriter SZA, will be coming with albums, as will original team members Jay Rock and Ab-Soul. Meanwhile, Free thinks the long-awaited debut from Black Hippy – the supergroup featuring Lamar, Q, Rock and Ab-Soul – is likely to appear in 2014; Tiffith indicates that TDE is planning to release a new Lamar album this coming September, too.”
All of the talk falls in line with what Tiffith has been stating publicly for months now. We expected projects from Ab-Soul and SZA and maybe another, larger release from Rashad. But now that there’s a Hippy project and another K.Dot solo coming, it’s the kind of news that perks the ears up. The Black Hippy project is especially good news since fans always ask for it but there’s always been “misconfusion” over whether it would actually take place.
And why September for Kendrick? The cutoff date for the Grammys, of course.
The full story covers a lot of ground, including the relationships between the roster’s artists, TDE’s origins as a label plus the execs connection to Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Interscope as well as revisiting the thorny comparison to Death Row that had “Top Dawg” pissed off at GQ months ago.
“‘We don’t sound nothing like them; we didn’t do it like them, didn’t come up like them,’ says Q – though the Interscope connection of both labels hardly is a coincidence. ‘Top Dawg’s direction is based on a lot of stuff Interscope has been a part of for the last 20 years,” says Jimmy Iovine, chairman and CEO of Interscope. ‘Top has been a great student of what Dre has done with classic labels like Death Row and Aftermath, and now he’s taking that game plan with modern music and approaches.’”
The latest issue of Billboard is available on newstands and as well as an iPad version on iTunes. Below, bonus video footage with BTS footage from the photo shoot plus Kendrick talking about the “brotherhood” shared between the artists.
Edit: Also forgot to mention that Kendrick also addressed Macklemore’s Grammy text by congratulating the Seattle star and commenting on how Mack tapped into an emotional connection with listeners.
“That text surprised me, but Macklemore is a genuine dude. However it panned out, I wish him much success. He touched people’s souls, and no one can take that away. Really, the whole Grammy moment was incredible. Not everyone gets that shot.”