Kendrick Lamar has emerged as one of Hip-Hop’s brightest stars over the course of his steadily rising career and is enjoying packed shows in support of his latest studio album, DAMN. The Compton rhymer sat down with comedian Dave Chappelle for an exclusive chat with Interview magazine, covering a span of topics including the high price of fame.
CHAPPELLE: I have this thing when I write jokes; I call it my unseen audience. I’ll think of certain people when I’m writing certain types of jokes. For instance: “What would my mother say?” Who do you think about when you write? Are you thinking about the streets? A lot of your work is openly spiritual and contemplative.
LAMAR: I really focus on what my fans will take from it, people living their day-to-day lives. At the end of the day, the music isn’t for me; it’s for people who are going through their struggles and want to relate to someone who feels the same way they do. I’ve got to take Mom out of the equation. I’ve got to go all-in, expressing myself, right there in the moment.
CHAPPELLE: What did you think when LeBron James, after an amazing, clutch performance [in a historic, 26-point comeback win during the playoffs], was like, “I just listened to DAMN. and got amped.”
LAMAR: Moments like that … If I hadn’t expressed myself in the studio, who’s to say he would have been listening to the album? LeBron James or the little boy around the corner, we come from the same struggles, and it comes out of my mouth for them to relate to.
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