U2 Teams Up with Kendrick Lamar on New Song from Songs of Experience

With U2 ramping up for the release of Songs of Experience–the companion piece to Songs of Innocence, which we all got on our iTunes whether we wanted it or not–new music continues to dribble out.

The latest sample from the album is “Get Out of Your Own Way” which features Kendrick Lamar doing some spoken word. He’s obviously returning the favour for Bono’s appearance on “XXX,” which is on Lamar’s DAMN album. And yes, this is the second single.

Going back to the Joshua Tree 30 tour, the box office numbers are in. Through the more than 50 shows on the tour, the band grossed $230 million USD by selling 2.7 million tickets. Their last stand in Sao Paulo grossed $24 million alone, which is some kind of record for a solo headliner.

Back to “Get Out of Your Own Way”: Read Aaron offers this analysis.

Hi Alan —

There’s more to the Kendrick Lamar contribution on the new U2 album.  At the end of the song you heard, the album goes into “American Soul” and that song also continues with Kendrick Lamar at the start of the song.

Kendrick on that song goes: “Blessed are the bullies / For one day they will have to stand up to themselves / Blessed are the liars / For the truth can be awkward” it’s a direct continuation from what he does at the end of “Get Out Of Your Own Way”.

But then Bono comes in with “It’s not a place / This country is to me a sound / Of drum and bass / You close your eyes to look around.” which are the same lyrics he contributed to XXX in April for Kendrick Lamar. Later verses play on that as well, “It’s not a place / This country is to me a thought / That all takes place / For every welcome that is sought.” and “It’s not a place / This is a dream the whole world owns / The pilgrim’s face / It had your heart to call her home”.

Not only does the song “American Soul” use those lines from “XXX” it borrows heavily from U2’s own “Volcano” using the “You are. / Rock and roll / You and I are… / Rock and roll. / You are. / Rock and roll. / Came here looking for American soul” chorus from “Volcano” as well as heavily borrowing from the music of that song.  That’s not the only place where this is done. The song “Lights of Home” borrows some lyrics from “Iris” and we hear “13 (There is a Light)” is a reworking of “Song for Someone”.

“American Soul” was accidentally released through U2.Com yesterday. If you preordered the deluxe CD or box set you were supposed to get three downloads, “The Blackout”, “Get Out of Your Own WaY” and “You’re the Best Thing” but early purchasers also got a fourth, “American Soul” before the mistake was realized and pulled from the shop.

Hope that helps.




Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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