Often called the best rapper of his generation, Kendrick Lamar discussed his beginnings, what drives him, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
Rolling Stone caught up with the rapper and they sat with him to talk about his music.
Asked about what his vices as a rapper are, he answers:
My biggest vice is being addicted to the chase of what I’m doing. It turns into a vice when I shut off people that actually care for me, because I’m so indulged spreading this word. Being on that stage, knowing that you’re changing people’s lives, that’s a high. Sometimes, when you’re pressing so much to get something across to a stranger, you forget people that are closer to you. That’s a vice.
Kendrick Lamar who has an anti-drinking song “Swimming Pools (Drank)” also talked about drinking and what he does for fun. He said:
Everybody’s fun is different. Mine is not drinking. I drink casually, from time to time. I like to get people from my neighborhood, someone that’s fresh out of prison for five years, and see their faces when they go to New York, when they go out of the country. Shit, that’s fun for me. You see it through their eyes and you see ’em light up.
The rapper revealed that his nickname as a child was “Man Man,” saying his family called him so because, “I carried myself as a man.”
He also discussed what having his father around meant for him, and how that helped him compared to his friends who didn’t. He said:
It taught me how to deal with [pauses] … emotions. Better than a lot of my peers. When you see kids doing things that the world calls harmful or a threat, it’s because they don’t know how to deal with their emotions. When you have a father in your life, you do something, he’ll look at you and say, “What the fuck is you doing?” Putting you in your place. Making you feel this small.
The rapper said he is angered by people who are not driven the same way he is. “Energy suckers,” he calls them.
Another topic of discussion was Donald Trump, who he said he has purposely refused to mention in his album “DAMN.” “Are we gonna keep talking about it or are we gonna take action?” he said. “On the record, I made an action to not speak about what’s going on in the world or the places they put us in.”
Kendrick Lamar discussed his trip to South Africa. He said:
It just felt like a place where I belonged. It was as simple as that. […] We all said the same thing, like, “Damn, we gonna go back to the city. This is home, for real.”
Asked if he was aware Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” was a diss song aimed at Katy Perrybefore jumping on it, he said:
No, I wasn’t aware of that, bro. That’s a great question. No! On the record, no. Which makes it even more funny now, for sure. That’s far beyond my concern. I have to stay away from that, for sure. That’s some real beef.
And about what he learned from working with Beyoncé, he said:
How particular to be about your music. She’s a perfectionist. Think about the BET performance. She was very particular – the lighting, the camera blocking, the transition from the music to the dancing. It was confirmation of something I already knew.