Kendrick Lamar made an appearance on Apple Music Beats 1 radio show where he gave his first interview since releasing his blockbuster fourth album DAMN. Starting from the top, Lowe asked Kendrick about three of his biggest influences, Tupac, Eminem and Jay Z. Naturally, it’s the Death Row MC that Lamar still reveres most.
“This dude’s impact on me and the culture is something I can never forget. It’s just something that I hold dear,” he said. “No matter how many times, I come into my own as Kendrick Lamar…I will always have that sense of reaching a certain standard of empathy and compassion to a record that Pac put into his music. That’s why his memory and legacy in my music will never leave.”
He also talked about the drive he still has to really be the greatest rapper alive. “I’m so passionate about hip-hop, I love it to a point that I can’t even describe it,” he said. “You have to confirm to yourself that you’re the best. Period. No one can take that away from me. At this point, the years and the time and the knowledge and history…I want to hold myself high on that same pedestal ten, fifteen years from now.”
When asked more specifically if the rumors about a second album are true, Kendrick essentially deferred, but said, “There’s things. A lot of times people that listen to my music they’re really good. Really, really, really good. I be mind-blown. I be blown away.”
He also revealed that the U2 featured song “XXX” originally had six verses, and that the story about his Father and label boss Top Dawg in the album closing track “Duckworth” is completely true. “Top himself didn’t know I was going to do it or even execute it in that fashion, to be the last song or to be anywhere,” he said. “Just making it make sense. I remember playing it for him, he flipped because further than the song, when you really can hear your life in words that is so true to you and that effected your life one hundred percent through one decision, it really makes you sit back and cherish the moment. I think that’s something we all did playing that record. Like, man, look where we at. We’re recording music for the world to hear and we’re taking care of our families. We’re blessed.”
DAMN. has made bigger waves than anyone could have anticipated. It’s currently on pace to sell over half-a-million copies, which is more in it’s first week than any other album released in 2017 so far, besting Drake’s monster project More Life.