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"The Recipe" is a song by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on April 3, 2012, as his commercial debut single and the first single from his major label second studio album Good Kid, M.A.A.D City (2012). The song, produced by West Coast record producer Scoop DeVille, features a guest appearance from Lamar's mentor, renowned record producer and fellow rapper Dr. Dre, who also mixed the record alongside TDE's engineer MixedByAli.[1][2]

"The Recipe"
Kendrick Lamar ft. Dr. Dre - The Recipe.jpg
Single by Kendrick Lamar featuring Dr. Dre
from the album good kid, m.A.A.d city
Released April 3, 2012 (2012-04-03)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2012
Genre West Coast hip hop
Length 5:53
Producer(s) Scoop DeVille
Kendrick Lamar singles chronology
"Hood Gone Love It"
"The Recipe"
"Swimming Pools (Drank)"

"Hood Gone Love It"
"The Recipe"
"Swimming Pools (Drank)"
Dr. Dre singles chronology
"I Need a Doctor"
(2011) I Need a Doctor2011
"The Recipe"
(2012) The Recipe2012
"New Day"
(2012) New Day2012
Music video
"The Recipe" on YouTube



On March 30, 2012, after speaking on his newly signed joint venture deal, which brought Top Dawg Entertainment under Interscope Records, Lamar announced on Big Boy's Neighborhood that he would premier his debut single "The Recipe", to the morning radio show on April 2.[2][3] The song heavily samples "Meet the Frownies" as performed by Twin Sister.[4]


The song's production was handled by Scoop DeVille, who has produced a number of songs for West Coast rappers, including Snoop Dogg's "I Wanna Rock"; a slow, West Coast hip hop inspired tune with heavy vocal samples. "The Recipe" features a constant, looping sample from the song "Meet the Frownies" by Twin Sister. The sample is backed up by various drums – most of them are very heavy and follow a medium-tempo pattern. The other drums are more miscellaneous and less apparent. The first verse is performed by Dr. Dre, with Lamar following him by singing the chorus (with minor aid by Dre) and rapping the second verse. After his verse, Lamar performs the chorus once more and Dr. Dre returns, with another verse. This time, Lamar picks up rapping immediately after Dre finishes his verse, without a chorus. The vocal portion of the song finishes with the last chorus and then proceeds into an instrumental section with minor scratching and a switch in the drum pattern.


The song has been well received by fans and critics alike, Carrie Battan of Pitchfork Media summarized the song as an "anthemic Californian pride cut".[4] Nick Catucci of Rolling Stone jokingly wrote "You might get a contact high from this" and went on to write "Lamar’s wafting number has rolling boulders for a beat, lines about sunlight slanting through shades and Dre explaining, 'How many ways am I killin' 'em? Shit, right around a billion.'"[5]

Music videoEdit

On May 30, 2012, Schoolboy Q released the behind-the-scenes photos of the song's music video, via his Instagram.[6] However, the music video was never released. Another music video was released showing the duo performing the song at Coachella.


The song was later remixed, featuring verses from Lamar's Black Hippy cohorts – Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Schoolboy Q. The remix was included as a bonus track on the Spotify deluxe edition of the album. Chicago rapper Twista also made his own remix.[7]

Track listingEdit

Digital single
1."The Recipe" (feat. Dr. Dre)
  • K. Duckworth
  • A. Young
  • E. Molina
  • G. D'Amico
  • E. Cardona
  • A. Estella
  • D. Gupta
  • B. Ujueta



Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[12] Platinum 1,000,000 

 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release historyEdit

Country Date Format Label
United States April 3, 2012[13] Digital download
May 8, 2012[14] Radio airplay


  1. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – "The Recipe" (Feat. Dr. Dre)". Stereogum. April 2, 2012. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Kendrick Lamar Readies Debut Single The Recipe". 2DopeBoyz. March 30, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  3. ^ Steven J. Horowitz (March 30, 2012). "Kendrick Lamar To Debut New Single "The Recipe" On Monday". HipHopDX. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Carrie Battan (April 2, 2012). "Kendrick Lamar: "The Recipe"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ Nick Catucci (April 17, 2012). "The Recipe – Song Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Kendrick Lamar – The Recipe f. Dr. Dre (BTS Pics)". 2DopeBoyz. 2012-05-30. Retrieved 2012-06-01. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  9. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  10. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Hot Rap Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  11. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved January 4, 2015.
  12. ^ "American single certifications – Kendrick Lamar – The Recipe". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved June 13, 2018.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  13. ^ [1]. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  14. ^

External linksEdit