Kendrick Lamar Told Dave Chappelle About His ‘Oh Sh*t, I Made It’ Moment For ‘Interview’ Magazine

Deputy Music Editor
07.13.17

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Kendrick Lamar doesn’t give too many in-depth interviews, so whenever one pops up, people take notice. For his most recent extended chat, Kung Fu Kenny sat down with no-less than one of the greatest comedians of all-time, Dave Chappelle in a piece published by Interview Magazine. At one point the two men bonded over the experience of visiting Africa, with Kendrick telling Dave that “That moment changed my whole perspective on how to convey my art.”

“The best thing I did was go back to the city of Compton, to touch the people who I grew up with and tell them the stories of the people I met around the world. Making To Pimp A Butterfly was me navigating those experiences. I went to Africa and I was like, ‘This is something I can enjoy and something I can challenge myself with,'” he explained.

When Chappelle asked, “Was Africa your ‘Oh, sh*t, I made it’ moment?” Kendrick responded, saying, “I went to South Africa — Durban, Cape Town, Johannesburg — and those were definitely the ‘I’ve arrived’ shows. Outside of the money, the success, the accolades … This is a place that we, in urban communities, never dream of. We never dream of Africa. Like, ‘Damn, this is the motherland.’ You feel it as soon as you touch down.”

Of course, as many people know, Chappelle had his own, eye-opening experience in South Africa when he took off for a trip to that country back in 2005 during the filming of the third season of his wildly popular Comedy Central series Chappelle’s Show.

Near the end of the interview the comedian, who has interacted with more than his fair share of hip-hop artists through the years, lavished an immense amount of praise on Kendrick. “You’re doing beautifully, man. Your work is great, and you seem grounded and centered and focused,” he said. “The first time I heard about you was through Mos [Def], who told me years ago, ‘You’ve got to watch this kid.’ He said to me that you’re the one. Turns out he was right.” Read the entire interview here.

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