Taylor Swift may be one of the biggest music stars in the world, but Kendrick Lamar didn’t jump into a collaboration with her without some contemplation.

In an interview with Howard Stern on Tuesday, the rapper revealed that he puts a lot of thought into who he’ll lend his voice to, even if it’s for what turned out to be a major hit: “Bad Blood” off Swift’s 1989 album.

“You gotta have a great business mind, integrity and a great team, and the No. 1 thing we talk about is how does the music sound?” Lamar, 30, explained.

He added, “I’m a hip-hop artist, so how far in the pop world is the sound? So the first thing is, let’s hear the music, ’cause the music is gonna dictate the concept on where can we take this.”

Swift sent the song over, and Lamar noted that he was able to join her in the studio and immediately record his part on the song.

“With this particular record, it was me just vibing and catching her lyrics,” Lamar added. “I didn’t want to get into her head too crazy. I just wanted to have my own inspiration and see where it took it… Fortunately, the vibe was right and it didn’t take too many takes, and we was really locked in on the chemistry and we really felt what was going on when I was in the booth.”

But Swift isn’t the only megastar whose caught Lamar’s ear — the rapper revealed he almost did a collaboration with Prince.

According to Lamar, the late singer was interested in “Complexion (A Zulu Love),” which later appeared on To Pimp a Butterfly

However, the partnership slipped the rapper’s mind amid the chaos of visiting Prince’s estate and Lamar unexpectedly joining the icon onstage that night at an event. 


“It’s one of those things where, it’s so much going on in the moment, man,” Lamar said. “I did a show that day with him, I didn’t even know I was coming out on stage. The studio was next door where I just played him the song. We were running back and forth.”

He added, “I totally forgot about the song after that.”

The Stern interview comes fresh off Lamar’s seven 2018 Grammy nominations, including categories like album of the year for Damn and record of the year for “Humble.”

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