Though many artists have chosen to adopt the relentless-barrage-of-music approach to better match the breakneck speed of the times, Kendrick Lamar has chosen to move at his own pace. For some, that has led to frustration; last we heard from Kenny, he was putting forth his Pulitzer Prize-winning album DAMN in April of 2017 and riding off into the sunset. That changed when tidings emerged of a new Kendrick Lamar album that’s currently in the works — though details have remained impressively under wraps.

Kendrick Lamar MixedByAli

Kevin Winter/Getty Images 

For that reason, even the smallest bit of news is enough to pique interest. Case in point, longtime TDE engineer and legend in his own right Derek “MixedByAli” Ali recently chopped it up with Kevin Durant on The ETCs podcast, where he proceeded to share a bit of insight into their history working together. A history that has been most fruitful, as it happens, as Kendrick Lamar’s unreleased vault runs much deeper than we might have expected. Though perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised, given how notorious a perfectionist he is. 

“For Kendrick alone, let me say I think we could put together like six albums,” says Ali, reflecting on their run as collaborators. “Everyone’s the same way, it’s all about just understanding that you could always do something better. It’s having that mindset to just strive for the best possible version of you. That’s Kendrick’s whole mind state, always striving to do better. Whether it’s recording a new verse, you know he would record a whole song and get one ad-lib back a month later because he don’t like how he breathed the ad-lib, you know?”

Sounds like another Aftermath alumni we know and love. For more from MixedByAli, be sure to check out his entire appearance on The ETCs with Kevin Durant below. Are you excited to hear the album Kendrick deems worthy of his discography? And if so, which type of Kendrick Lamar are you hoping to see?