“LOVE.” finds Kendrick Lamar musing on the woman in his life; presumably his fiancé Whitney Alford, whom he has been in a relationship with since his high school days. Kendrick uses this ballad to ask the essential questions to his partner to solidify the most important aspect of their relationship: love.
Kendrick has kept his relationship with Alford under wraps for a majority of his career. It wasn’t until very recently that word got out that he was engaged.
The title, theme, and smooth mood of “LOVE” completely juxtaposes the preceding song, “LUST” which is more abrasive. The titles themselves are complete contrasts, as the concept of “love” is the deep intimate emotion one feels for another, while “lust” encompasses all the physical and sexual desires. “Lust” is also one of the seven deadly sins.
It’s always different. Like with “Love,” it’ll usually start with one phrase and I’ll build from there, and then sometimes I’ll write on paper, but most of the time I’ll get a beat, I’ll put it on, and I’m usually recording myself so I’ll start freestyling. Usually I’ll come up with a hook and a first verse pretty fast, and then I’ll take my time writing second verses and bridges. Second verses are always the hardest part for me. It’s all over the place, though, it all depends on the song and what direction I wanna go with it and how deep I wanna get with it.
That was the situation where I was in the studio alone, and the beat was actually an older beat that I sung the hook to, and I just did the same thing. I turned on the mic, started with that phrase and started going all crazy with the melodies, and it finally pieced itself together like that. Freestyling the hook on the mic. A lot of times I’ll mumble the melodies, get those right, then fill in the words with those melodies.
Although Greg Kurstin and Sounwave are listed in the writing credits, on April 12, 2017, Zacari confirmed on his Twitter that they were additional producers for the track and Teddy Walton was actually the main producer.
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