During a conversation with Rick Rubin for GQ, when asked about his 2015 single Alright off his album To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar revealed it took him six months and the pressure of Pharrell Williams and Sam Taylor to finish the song.
“No. You know what? I was sitting on that record for about six months. The beat’s Pharrell. And between my guy Sam Taylor and Pharrell (Williams), they would always be like, Did you do it? When you gonna do it? I knew it was a great record—I just was trying to find the space to approach it. I mean, the beat sounds fun, but there’s something else inside of them chords that Pharrell put down that feels like—it can be more of a statement rather than a tune. So with Pharrell and Sam asking me—Am I gonna rock on it? When I’m gonna rock on it?—it put the pressure on me to challenge myself. To actually think and focus on something that could be a staple in hip-hop. And eventually, I came across it. Eventually, I found the right words. You know, it was a lot going on, and still, to this day, it’s a lot going on. And I wanted to approach it as more uplifting—but aggressive. Not playing the victim, but still having that We strong, you know?” – Kendrick Lamar told GQ.