Kendrick Lamar is for the people.
Fresh off a compelling sit-down at Forbes’ Under 30 Summit, where he spoke on “conscious capitalism” and the efforts of Colin Kaepernick, Kendrick continues the discussion on the cover story of i-D Magazine’s Sounding Off issues.
During a one-on-one with Toure, Lamar talks Trump’s presidency, the difference between him and Obama, the dedication he has for his craft, the power of coming together, and more.
Check out a some images from the shoot and a few choice quotes below. The full story can be read here.
Comparing Obama and Trump.
“The key differences [between Obama and Trump] are morals, dignity, principles, common sense. How can you follow someone who doesn’t know how to approach someone or speak to them kindly and with compassion and sensitivity? It’s just building up the fire in me. It builds the fire for me to keep pushing as hard as I want to push.”
What is Hip Hop?
“Hip-hop plays two ways in my head. It plays as a contact sport, and also as something that you connect to – songwriting. Growing up and listening to battles between Nas and Jay-Z, that’s the sport for me. That’s where it can get funky, that’s where I can say whatever I want, however I want, whenever I want. Then there’s the other side, which is showing something that people can actually relate to, and connect with. I have that competitive nature, and I also have the compassion to talk about something that’s real.”
Never stop working on your craft.
“Discipline, I love that word, because it shows who you really are. There are so many vices in the world, especially being in the entertainment business. You’re exposed to so much at any given time. Whatever you need is right there in your face. But how much discipline do you have when the camera’s off, when the light’s off? That inspires me. How to restrain that. And that shows who you really are. To control yourself, that is the ultimate power.”
“Everything you write is not dope,” he continues. “Even if you’re a great writer, a bunch of the stuff you write is wack. But most people don’t have somebody around to be like, ‘That’s wack.’ I’ve been in that studio writing terrible verses, writing terrible hooks, with homeboys and friends and people that you trust telling you, ‘That’s garbage.’ I grew thick skin and got back in there and did it all over again. And then you eventually grow an ability to know when something is too far. I learned how to challenge myself to take it to the next level.”
Holding himself responsible.
“I’m still a human being, I’m still a person, I still have family, I still have my own personal problems. But I have to give to the world. I think that’s my responsibility, [to learn] from my mistakes [and to spread] the knowledge that I have, the wisdom that I have. It’s not just a job or entertainment for me, this is what I have to offer to the world.”
Photography by Craig McDean.