As we previously reported, Kendrick Lamar is gracing the cover of GQ’s “Men Of The Year” issue where the men’s magazine declared him “rapper of the year” as part of their big feature.
Today, the cover story was released online and XXL has poured it over and pulled out the most interesting tidbits. Here are five things that we learned from Kendrick’s GQ cover story.
1. Kendrick Went AWOL During The Interview
The day that GQ was originally scheduled to interview Kendrick for the story, the Compton rapper went AWOL and his record companies, Interscope and Top Dawg Entertainment, could not find him. It turns out that Kendrick was holding vigil for a slain friend he calls “his little bro.” Chad Keaton, 23, was wounded in a drive-by shooting close to Kendrick’s parents’ house. Keaton was shot while Kendrick was on tour in Europe and held on for a month but ultimately died of complications from gunshot wounds.
2. Kendrick Had A Vision Of Tupac Shakur
When he was 21 years old, Kendrick says he saw a vision of slain rapper Tupac Shakur while laying on his mother’s couch after a long night in the studio making music.
“I was coming from a late studio session, sleeping on Mom’s couch.” Kendrick said. “I’m 26 now—it wasn’t that long ago. I remember being tired, tripping from the studio, lying down, and falling into a deep sleep and seeing a vision of Pac talking to me. Weirdest shit ever. I’m not huge on superstition and all that shit. That’s what made it so crazy. It can make you go nuts. Hearing somebody that you looked up to for years saying, ‘Don’t let the music die.’ Hearing it clear as day. Clear as day. Like he’s right there. Just a silhouette.”
3. Kendrick Doesn’t Think Of Drake As Mentor, Thinks Of Him As A Peer
Kendrick admits in the story that he was taken aback by Drake’s public comments seemingly voicing his disapproval toward Kendrick’s famous “Control” verse but freely admits he’s not sweating any potential beef with the rapper.
“I asked if this meant things were cool between him and Drake. He paused. “Pretty cool.” Shrugs. “And I mean, I would be okay if we weren’t.”
Kendrick also admitted to GQ that he doesn’t think of Drake as a creative influence or a mentor in his career but rather as one of his peers.
When I asked if Drake was a mentor or a role model, he replied quickly, “No—peer. If anything. We all peers.”
4. Kendrick Attended Diddy’s VMA Afterparty
GQ recalls the story of the night of the 2013 VMAs where a decadent afterparty thrown by Diddy and Ciroc Amaretto erupted into an alleged fight between a drunken Diddy and J. Cole over Kendrick’s controversial “King Of New York” claim. Kendrick explained the reasoning for his attendance at the party.
“You know me,” Kendrick explained. “I only go when there’s a point. Usually the point is just niggas drinking. But walking through the club the week after I released the ‘Control’ verse? That’s a point!”
5. Kendrick Plans To Step Back Into The Booth In January
After attending a “demonic” Fashion Week Party where the rapper ironically performed his anti-alcohol anthem “Swimming Pools (Drank)” to a throng of drunken models, Kendrick revealed that he was scheduled to go back in the booth sometime in January.
It’s hard to guess how scenes like this will change Kendrick and his music. Sometime in January, he will step into Top Dawg’s booth again, and he expects to be just as surprised as the rest of us by what comes out. “I don’t know,” he says. “It depends on where my emotion is. How angry I’ll be, or how happy I’ll be, or how confused I’ll be.”
You can read the full cover story by clicking the link below. This month’s issue of GQ is on newsstands now.