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Kendrick Lamar exploded onto the national scene with the critically acclaimed and hot-selling major label debut, good kid, m.A.A.d City in late 2012. With seven Grammy Awards nominations leading up to the big awards show this Sunday (January 26), K-Dot spoke about why he made his smash concept album, how he stays creative and much more in a recent interview.

The Hollywood Reporter met up with Kendrick Lamar and fellow Grammy Awards nominees Imagine Dragons at a rehearsal space ahead of their joint performance. With humility that seems to defy his formidable rap talents, the kid from Compton maintains a low-key persona despite the accolades.

“I’m most comfortable when I’m plain Jane in my Nike Cortez and my white tees,” says Lamar in the profile piece by The Hollywood Reporter. “That’s who I am and the era I came from. I always have to remind myself of that. I thought I wanted jewelry and cars, but as soon as I got a taste, I realized it wasn’t fulfillment. A thrill is being as creative as possible and supporting the people I love.”

Considering the massive impact good kid, M.A.A.d City had on the entire industry, Lamar explained artfully what he intended to convey on the record.

“I wanted to speak from the perspective of my block and neighborhood, but in a different manner,” Lamar shared. “Anyone can talk about bottles of champagne and getting signed, but I wanted to relate how I grew up and what I saw every day. Where I come from, it’s not always about joining or not joining a gang.”

Lamar also talks about the unavoidable chatter surrounding his “Control” verse, what he intends to do next, how he stays creative and more.

Check out The Hollywood Reporter’s full piece here. Hit the jump to see THR’s video interview with Kendrick Lamar.

Photo: The Hollywood Reporter

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