Read Kendrick Lamar's Heartfelt, Self-Penned Tribute To Eazy-E
Over the years, Kendrick Lamar has proven again and again that he knows precisely who to be thankful for in this rap-game. Namely, the many Compton-bred voices that set the bar for revolutionary hip-hop and continue to do so to this day. This is perhaps best emphasized at the very end of his To Pimp A Butterfly LP, where Lamar stages an interview with the late Tupac Shakur (not Compton-born himself, but is best known for his work with Death Row and the many Cali natives that sat under that umbrella that expansive, blood-red umbrella) and the “I remember you were conflicted” mantra that is repeated throughout the record. Last month, Lamar penned a more formal note to Pac that was brief, but surely touching, and today, Paper has published his extensive account of the first time he heard NWA’s Eazy-E busting out of a jail cell and through his TV screen in the video for “We Want Eazy.” Lamar paints a vivid picture of those early memories with one of Compton’s most cherished, reflecting on how his work and the work of that Compton crew made it possible for him to make the politically and socially charged records of today, and doing all of it with his community and culture on his back. You can read an excerpt from Kendrick Lamar’s piece below. Hit the link to get the full script.
“Somebody told me this early on: “You’re nothing without your own backyard.” Period. If my backyard — and my backyard being my city and my county — doesn’t believe me, then no one else will. I always remember that. I always kept that in the back of my mind and I think that’s exactly what N.W.A. did, and that’s why they said they want to make music for the community first, because to have that home love is like nothing else. You can go all the way across the world 10 times but when you come back to your city and see the pride and joy in these kids’ faces, it’s the ultimate feeling. I think that’s exactly what they were thinking and it’s exactly how I think today.”