Kendrick Lamar Discusses Industry Ills, Wisdom From Lauryn Hill + More In Revealing Self-Written XXL Cover Story
Kendrick Lamar has never been one to shy away from discussing the ills of fame, fortune and the music industry at large. Recently, he took his sermon to the pages of XXL in an earnest and revealing self-penned cover story that brings all of the industry ills and his coping mechanisms to light. We won’t bore you with a surface skimming summary, but it should be noted that there’s a particularly interesting section on the time he met Miss Lauryn Hill and how she insisted he diminish his ego to nill. These aren’t the rantings of an A-list talent, rather the extensive entry bears the pains of all-too-sudden successes and how being painted as a hip-hop hero can wage war on all of your internal processes. You can read a few of the more compelling snippets from the piece below, just be sure to hit the link for the full script.
On the time he met Lauryn Hill:
“I had a talk with Lauryn Hill and she said, “Try to completely throw away your ego.” How many times can you throw away an ego, you know? It’s tough. It’s something we all battle with. I battle with it all the time and the idea of being in all these places—the big spots, all the events, the lights—it’s all for your ego. It’s all for your own confirmation to be like, okay, I’m somebody. But truthfully, you’ve always been somebody. You don’t need the lights.”
On the Grammy snub:
“I thought I was going to win Best Rap Album at the Grammys. I put a lot of work in on my album and the biggest thing for me is knowing that it was basically an underground album. It didn’t have big No. 1 records on it and there wasn’t really any commercial hits. It was great songs and I think the message behind it reached as many listeners and believers as a super mainstream album. So for me, when you’re saying, “rap,” that would be my definition of something that deserved an accolade. Yep.”
Getting some inspirational words from Pharrell:
“I was nervous because I didn’t think the people would understand it. And I get a call from Pharrell. He said he had a copy of the album and it’s amazing. And I was like, that call was right on time because that was when I was feeling super insecure about it. Pharrell said, “Never feel that way again. When that little negative man come behind your head, always follow your first heart, and that was your first heart, to put the album out like this.” This is his words verbatim, he said, “Watch what’s gonna happen.””