The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Kendrick Lamar as he talks about his Grammy Nominations, his new album and more.
[On “Control”] Pusha T, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Mac Miller… The name-dropping on “Control,” a Big Sean track with verses by Lamar that boast, “I got love for you all but I’m tryna murder you” and “What is competition? I’m tryna raise the bar high,” drove LeBron James to tweet, “This is real hip-hop at its best.” Russell Simmons called it an “instant classic.” Even former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who found himself mentioned, gently chided Lamar about the need for mentorship. Rumors of bad blood surfaced between Lamar and Drake and innumerable enraged responses came from New York mixtape rappers.
“It wasn’t pre-meditated, it just came to me when I was writing that bar,” says Lamar. “The crazy part is, I didn’t think it would ever go to where diss records were coming at me. I thought people would be like… he threw some challenges out there… that was dope.”
[Learning from Mr. West] “Kanye taught me to never to downplay your ideas,” adds Lamar. “I learned to always stay as creative as possible and never have any boundaries. Those things that people called ‘rants’ on-stage are real conversations that we had behind closed doors — about business and how when you get to a certain level people won’t want to see you break through because they only see you as a rapper.”