This cut finds Lamar examining the different motives of performers and label insiders within the music industry. He explained to Complex magazine: "That's really one big subliminal at everybody getting mixed in a situation where everyone wants to have creative control. That's the vibe I wanted to kill. That's why I threw that record out. If you listen to some of the words, it's real intricate, but it makes sense."
Lady GaGa was supposed to supply vocals, but she couldn't supply them in time. Lamar told Complex: "We had a date, but we had to meet the deadline for the pre-order date. That's just the business side coming through and messing things up. But you know it's God's plan. I'm not really too tight about it because I know we have something special."
Gaga later released the original demo with her vocals with the moniker of "The LG Mix." She said, before unveiling the tune: "We feel bad about killing your vibe, so here's the demo you never got to hear."
The song contains a sample of "Tiden Flyver" by Boom Clap Bachelors. Producer Sounwave told Complex: "Me and Kendrick found this crazy record from this foreign group and we didn't know where to go with it. So we looped that, I took it to my spot, and did the drums. I added everything I needed, the extra guitars, strings, all that. That inspired Kendrick to bring it to another level."
The remix featuring Jay-Z, has some new verses "That's the big homey," Lamar told MTV News of the Hova collab. "It's one of them things, you know, you live up to and one of them moments to really challenge yourself and say 'OK, that's how I come in. Always looked up to the greats to be a great.' So to actually be on a track with him, it's an accomplishment."
The clean radio-friendly version is titled "Trick Don't Kill My Vibe."
Jay laid his verse first for the remix and sent it to Kendrick's camp. Lamar started working on his rhymes immediately after hearing Hov's contribution. "When I heard that thing he sent back I said to myself, 'I can't be no floozy on this mother---er for sure'," he told MTV News. "All them years of being in the studio, all them years of writing, all them years of freestyling and just being a student of the game don't mean sh-- if I can't live up to this track, at least by a little bit being beside a legend in it."
He added: "I was so excited it took me a day."
The music video, directed by The Lil Homie and OG Mike Mihail, features shots from a solemn funeral service, where rappers Juicy J and Schoolboy Q are amongst the mourners. There are also images of Lamar and friends popping champagnes bottles in a limo, as well as the rapper performing the song. Actor/comedian Mike Epps also has a cameo in the clip.
The video closes on the words "Death to Molly," in reference to the street drug MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, which the hip-hop community refer to as "Molly."
Lamar explained to MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway the inspiration for the video. "It's a few different hidden messages over there but the most obvious showing that even a grieving situation, your vibe can't be killed," he said. "There's other little intricate things in there, I like to leave it up to the viewers and the listeners."
He added regarding the hilarious Mike Epps cameo, where the comedian baptizes Lamar in a pool full of liquor: "That was just being funny. That was him being crazy. I've always been a fan of him and that was just something right on the spot just because we were there."
Andre 3000 was supposed to spit a guest verse on this track but it never happened. According to a tweet by Top Dawg Entertainment president Terrence "Punch" Henderson, 3 Stacks "couldn't catch the vibe" as he was busy shooting the Jimi Hendrix movie All Is by My Side.
He added: "Can't help but to think what he would've sounded like on that joint."