Back when Kendrick Lamar was making To Pimp a Butterfly, there were whispers that a certain Prince Rogers Nelson might appear on the album. That didn’t happen, but in the months after the album’s release, details emerged slowly about the collaboration — the idea, apparently, was for Prince to sing the hook on “Complexion (A Zulu Love)”, and sadly it didn’t happen because, as Lamar explained later, “We just ran out of time, it’s as simple as that.”
What the world didn’t know, however, was that the two jammed together at Prince’s Paisley Park studio, and that — like pretty much everything at Paisley Park — the session was recorded. And, even better, it was filmed (by Yahoo!, it seems)! Some of the footage emerged overnight on Facebook, and while many all-star collaborations are less than the sum of their parts, this is the sum of its parts and then some. Watch it below — it’s another reminder of Prince’s sublime talents, this time as bandleader and accompanist to Lamar’s characteristically riveting freestyle.