Fans of the talented Top Dawg Entertainment collective have been patiently awaiting the return of Kendrick Lamar, and their hopes of new music are coming to fruition slowly but surely. In a new cover story for i-D, K-Dot, and his buzzing protégé Baby Keem cover ground regarding their artistry and their aims in the midst of a tense election year among other fine points.
For its 40th anniversary, i-D featured the two creative minds with photos from Glen Luchford supplementing the piece. With Kendrick playing the role of interviewer, the Compton legend in the making dives into Keem’s arc as an industry insider and front-facing artist, doing so while asking thoughtful questions like a seasoned journalist.
From i-D (bolded words are Kendrick Lamar):
I can see from the outside in that people think that it’s overnight. I remember when I came out on my first album, people thought it was overnight, but it was years on top of years of doing it. And that dedication counts man, that’s the fire part about it. When I heard your music then and when I hear it now, I hear an unapologetic young nigga, the hunger of a young nigga, looking for fun, the same way we were looking for fun when I was 19. What would you say is your growth from Die for my Bitch to now?
Die for my Bitch was a breakthrough, it really gave me a chance to play with my sounds and open up the lane to grow in confidence.
I get it, that’s what will take me so long to do albums (laughs). I spend the whole year just thinking about how I’m gonna execute a new sound, I can’t do the same thing over and over. I need something to get me excited. I see you get frustrated sometimes because you want some new shit.
Because people don’t know that you on some new shit till you start doing new shit. And if you can’t do the new shit then they ain’t gonna know that you on the new shit and they’ll keep asking for old shit, but I think everybody knows now that I’m on some completely different shit.
Check out the entire interview here. The issue hits newsstands later this month.
Photo: Glen Luchford