While out at the second weekend of Coachella 2017, Kendrick has linked up with Zane Lowe for a new Beats 1 interview. Of course, much of the conversation centered around KDot’s new DAMN. album, in addition to his admiration for Jay Z, Eminem and Tupac, To Pimp A Butterfly, being the greatest rapper alive, and more.
For some highlights from the chat, see below, then you can steam the conversation in its entirety underneath.
On people’s reaction to the record as a body of music:
“As soon as I hit mastering, I just turn that thing in and try not to listen to it or even see the actual response for a while. I’ve been attached to this piece of art for the last year and some change, I’ve indulged so much I don’t even want to hear it. I just want to give it to the people and let them take it and live with it and breathe it. Then when I come back on that stage, that’s when I want to feel it. That’s when I want to see it, that’s when I want to see your reaction. I can’t get that same reaction on internet, through some comments. When I go out there and I see people just really taking these songs to heart, that’s the reaction.”
On if his camp keeps him in the loop of what the internet is saying:
“You have people who want to send it to you, I got to curve everything. The internet is a tricky place and the way our minds work in a psychological matter, we’re only going to see the good things anyway. We’re going to block out the negative things. Everybody’s not going appreciate and I know how it works. I don’t even want to gravitate towards it. I want to go out there and see if you’re sitting out in the crowd looking at me with the mummy face or are you enjoying yourself?”
On making music that lends itself to conspiracy effectively:
“I’m definitely aware of that because prior to me going and recording a record, everything is probably eighty percent premeditated first before I actually put the words over the reference track or go studio and lay down vocals. Everything for me is about execution. I can go in with a thousand ideas but if I’m not executing it right it doesn’t feel home to me. I like to put a lot of different things and word play and messages in my music. I want it to live further than two weeks, further than the attention span of how we all were as kids. We take it and listen to it and move on, but I want it to live for the next 20 years. So you have to listen to it over and over and over again to fully understand the direction and the message I put in there and the execution of it. I want you to do. I want to challenge the way you think and challenge the way you take in music. That’s what excites me. When I listened to Jay-Z coming up is kid, when I listened to Eminem, Pac, those things that I couldn’t understand but as years progressed and I went back and listened again and I’ve learned and I’ve grown and I’ve matured, these things blew me away when I found out what they was talking about and how certain things connected to other albums and stories that they told growing up in a communities and their whole perspective of it. So in doing that I’d love to have that same type impact on my listener.”
On Jay Z, Eminem and Tupac:
“Definitely, a whole lot of influence. My boy Dave will tell you I was in his garage and you all my ad-libs sounded like JAY Z. My words, my flow. Him, Eminem, and I grew up off Pac, being from Compton. But Jay-Z, I wanted to have the conversational type of word play and aspect of things. Whether I’m engaging in a story or I’m just having fun, it just felt like he was natural and he was fluent with it. I didn’t that too. It all worked for me years down the line when I can go in and just do the craziest verse just off all emotion and off my own experiences, where I don’t feel like I need to actually put the thoughts down on paper. At first I was doing it because I just wanted to be like JAY Z. Timing became a became a practice and by the time I got back to writing my rhymes I knew the full potential in that, I knew the creative process in that, what worked and I also knew how to go in there and just spill out my feelings and show how I really feel.”
On being the greatest rapper alive:
“I’m so passionate about hip-hop. I don’t know what era everybody else comes from but I listened. We play house parties, bro, every night. I love it to a point that I can’t even describe it. When I heard these artists say they’re the best, coming up, I’m not doing it to have a good song or one good wrap or good hook or good bridge. I want to keep doing it every time, period. And to do it every time, you have to challenge yourself and you have to confirm to yourself, not anybody else, confirm to yourself that you’re the best, period. No one can take that away from me, period. That’s my drive and that’s my hunger, I will always have. At this point right now, the years and the time and the effort and the knowledge and history I’ve done on the culture and the game I’ve gotten from those before me and the respect I have for them. I want to hold myself high on that same pedestal 10, 15 years from now.”