LOVE.

Album: DAMN. (2017)
Charted: 39 12

Songfacts®:

  • Lamar croons here to his fiancée, his high school sweetheart Whitney Alford. He asks her on the refrain:

    If I didn't ride blade on curb, would you still love me?
    If I made up my mind at work would you still love me?


    The lines are an ode to the classic 50 Cent and Nate Dogg collaboration "21 Questions," employing the same rhetorical technique that was used by 50 Cent on the track.
  • Later on Lamar nods to the ring he put on Whitney's finger.

    I had to do it, I want your body, your music
    I bought the big one to prove it.


    Kendrick Lamar announced his engagement to Whitney Alford on April 3, 2015 during an interview with Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club.
  • Lamar is assisted with his radio-ready seduction by Zacari, who previously contributed to other projects on TDE from Isaiah Rashad and Ab-Soul. He recalled to Genius just after the release of DAMN.:

    "I think it was late last year, like toward the end of the year. When I played [the song] for Kendrick, he asked me to send it to him, and then we sent it to him. The very next day he was asking for stems to record. After he took the stems, he kind of just took off with it and killed it."

    Lamar previously worked with Zacari when both were featured on Isaiah Rashad's 2016 song, "Wat's Wrong."
  • That's Kid Capri who interjects "another world premiere!" during the first chorus. The legendary DJ and producer, who defined New York mixtapes in the early Nineties, contributes vocals on a total of five songs throughout the album.
  • The radio-friendly appeal of this track is no accident: It was co-produced by Greg Kurstin, whose other credits include Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" and Adele's "Hello".

    Lamar has worked with Greg Kurstin on one previous occasion. On Sia's "The Greatest," the Compton MC contributed a guest verse to the song while Kurstin is credited as its co-producer.
  • The comment was made during an interview with Rolling Stone that this is "the poppiest thing" that Lamar has ever done. Asked where he draws the line on being too soft, the Compton MC replied:

    "We call it ear candy. There's ear candy, and then there's corny. You have to have an incredible ear to recognize it and an incredible team to recognize it, to know the differences. It takes years of experience. Years of making wack s--t [laughs], and knowing what works for you, and also knowing when to step out of your box and try things that feel good and still can remain you."
  • Zachari told Genius about the meaning of his hook:

    "The whole thing about that was, a lot of times when I write songs, I try to think of just phrases that people use, so it really started with the phrase, 'Just give me a run for my money' and I built off of that. But then it actually turned into a song.

    It's really about confidence, like give me a run for my money, and it's about loving yourself in that way. And when I say things like, 'Just love me, just love me,' it just had to do with people who used to be my friends who started acting different for stupid reasons, and it's just me telling them, 'Just love me. Love yourself. I love myself. I love you. Just love me.'"
  • The original beat was created by producer Teddy Walton, whose previously worked with Bryson Tiller ("In Check" and "Set It Off"), A$AP Rocky ("Electric Body"), and GoldLink ("Crew"). Walton told Genius that he was introduced to Kendrick through Zacari and the Compton MC picked out the song himself, after asking the producer to show him tracks he was working on.

    "It was just him being curious of what I'm listening to or what everybody else listening to," Walton said. "I was just playing this low-key just showing off what I got. He just said it was a great song. He didn't really react until the next day really, until I found out that he liked the record and he wanted me to come back."

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