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There maybe no hotter and simultaneously well respected MC in the game right now than Kendrick Lamar. The Compton rapper was recently featured in Interview magazine, where he gets asked questions by none other than Erykah Badu.

Apparently the two artists caught up via phone while Badu was at home in Dallas and the former K. Dot was in Denver airport having just missed a flight. The two artists’ conversation elicited a number of interesting insights.

On social media:

BADU: … You know, when you’re on Twitter or Facebook and there’s all of this praise—it’s easy to get caught up in all that. 

LAMAR: That’s why I try my best to stay away from social media as much as possible. [laughs] When you go on your Twitter or look down your Timeline and it’s all great positivity—I love that. But at the same time, it can really divert you from what your purpose is or what you’re trying to do. And I’ve seen artists get caught up in that. I’ve seen some of my friends get caught in that. Whether you’re a small celebrity or a grand celebrity, it really triggers something in your brain, seeing all that stuff . . . So I’m real aware of it. 

On his rhyme influence:

BADU: The first time I saw you was on BET’s Cypher. I didn’t know who you were at that time, but you stood out. What do you think your secret weapon is as a lyricist? What do you think that “thing” is that makes you stand out? 

LAMAR: Oh, man . . . That’s a good question. You know, I studied people I looked up to: Jay-Z, Nas, B.I.G., Pac . . . But early on, I didn’t really have my own sound. I had a passion for it, but me actually rapping the way they rapped is what got me into doing my own thing. I think me being that intricate and studying songs line for line—I probably spent more time listening to albums than writing songs. But I think that gave me all the tricks in terms of wordplay, from how I pronounced my words to the actual delivery. I’m very intricate about that stuff when I go into the studio—it has to sound the way I heard it in my head. So that’s probably one of the biggest things that separates me when I’m working in the studio—just how I hear certain things.

Check out the pics of Interview‘s photo shoot in the gallery. Read the full story here.

Photo: Robbie Fimmano/Interview

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