Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna are inarguably two of the biggest performers in modern music. Collectively, they have 15 Grammy Awards, hundreds of millions of record sales, and, of course, "LOYALTY," their buzzy new collab track from Lamar's fourth studio album, DAMN. But here's the question: Are Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna friends, or strictly colleagues?
Honestly, it's difficult to tell. "LOYALTY" marks their first professional team-up, and though it's hard to imagine that they haven't crossed paths somewhere within the entertainment industry, it doesn't appear that they've interacted much on social media or been photographed together hanging out. Certainly, they know each other now — they had to get up close and personal for the song's Bonnie and Clyde-esque video — and at the very least, were familiar with (if not fans of) each other's work beforehand.
In fact, Terrace Martin, who co-produced and co-wrote "LOYALTY," revealed to The Fader that Rihanna was the very first person Lamar thought of when he heard the beat for the single. As Martin told the outlet:
"Right there, on my mama, Kendrick said: 'Imma get Rihanna on this.' That day. Right when the drums started, he looked at me saying, 'Aye, I’m gonna get Rihanna on this record.'"
Outside of that, however, Lamar and Rihanna don't seem to have much history. But given the response to "LOYALTY" — it's largely considered a highlight from DAMN. — it's likely the beginning of a thriving partnership.