XXcLusive: Kendrick Lamar Speaks on XXL Rating

We’re not VH1, but if you ask us, Kendrick Lamar is having the Best Week Ever. The Compton rapper released his highly-anticipated debut LP, good kid, m.A.A.d city, and along with an outpouring of support from fans and his peers, K.Dot also managed to score an XXL rating for his album. The TDE lyricist joined a short list of artists to earn the accolade and became the first West Coast MC to score an XXL.

[Read XXL's good kid, m.A.A.d city review]

“Man, it just shows you that when you respect the art, it will come back to you full circle with people that you respect and that’s been doing it,” Lamar told XXLmag.com. “I respect the music that much more. I think that’s why people give me that recognition, because they see it the same way. Shout out to XXL, that’s a tremendous accomplishment in my eyes. Not only in my eyes but in the world’s eyes, for the West Coast in general.”

Despite joining the ranks of 50 Cent, Lauryn Hill, Jay-Z, Common, Nas, Clipse and Kanye West, the upstart was more proud to be a part of another set: the next generation of California rappers.

“That’s history already to be the only West Coast artist to ever receive it,” he explained. “It not only represents myself but it represents the cats that are doing it right now. Dom Kennedy, Nipsey Hussle, Casey Veggies, Problem, I can go on forever, Bad Lucc. I represent that; I represent this new feel of lyricism. The story telling, so it’s an accomplishment for all of us.” —Mando Villasenor (@MandoUN)

  • Ingle Woods

    wow XXL is shameless lol

  • joe

    you know they only gave it a xxl because the corporation that owns xxl is in bed with the corporation that owns lamar. i dont hate lamar just mad white america wants to trick us into believing the hype.

    • Jaeki

      I wish that was the case. Then I would’ve gotten a fat check. Unfortunately, I didn’t.

    • http://twitter.com/leX_ivO Alex Iverson

      tf? you should believe the hype, kendrick is and has been the best rapper alive for years. white america has dont nothing to make anyone believe anything, kdot did that himself.

  • No thy roots

    lol. good artist, with potential. good album. nothing close to a classic.

    • X

      you must be retarded

      • abookisnotahat

        get off your knees man

    • Gettndatgwap

      I bet you think meek album better huh. That’s classic to you right?

      • No thy roots

        haven’t heard meek’s album. I just know what my standards are for classics. sec. 80 is a superior album to maad city. The beats are better, better conceptually, guest appearances are better. a classic stands the test of time. classics from the 90s can still hold there own with albums out now. same with classics in the 2000s. ten years from now, knowone is going to be arguing was mad city better than blueprint, stillmatic, miseducation, doggystyle, 2001, etc.

        • Bernovem the Nsomyak

          i was Born & Raised in Cali… so it’s refreshing what K.Dot (& several others) is doing with our music. That he’s coming from the West only reiterates what’s far too often forgotten: Hip-Hop & Lyricism is not bound to the 5 boroughs…however, as a total packaged product, section.80 is a conceptual & lyrical masterpiece. But every opinion is just that – an opinion. It just feels good to have some of our left coast brothers reach a commercial level (read:accepted more across the nation) when their not sensationalizing the hells of the hood…

          BUY the new album; or go see him in concert – he deserves some appreciation & small compensation (if you kno the biz, then you kno an artist gets the least amount of financial reward for their creation).

  • thefourthhorse

    wow… this magazine really is bullshit! its an alright album with good beats and mid level lyrics, i would say its a l or maybe an xl. danny browns xxx was way more dope.

    • Jaeki

      Maybe. Can’t wait to read your review, buddy.

    • http://twitter.com/leX_ivO Alex Iverson

      lol… i earnestly would like to know who you think has “high level” lyrics if not him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/PhillyMu Muneer Smith

      Danny Brown’s XXX was way more dope??!!?? Dude, you’re just trolling, right? XXX was basically a mixtape, kinda all over the place with several skippable songs. This album is cohesive, creative and original, with all the elements you look for in a timeless hip-hop album. This album will sound just as fresh 10 years from now. your opinion is your opinion, but it’s wrong.

  • T.C.

    I think XXL is spot on with the rating. This album is a modern-day classic, XXL revered in Hip Hop for a reason.

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  • Lemar Raymond

    Kendrick’s album is, without a doubt, a classic. To really appreciate it, you have to understand the concept behind the album. This isn’t a cheap thrill that you can just pick up and put in and enjoy fully on one listen. I grew up in both listening to ice cube, rakim, public enemy, nas, 2pac, biggie, outkast; and trust me, i laughed at the idea of this being a classic (illmatic was my all time favorite). To me this album destroys anything in the last 10 years, conceptually and lyrically – even the first 5 songs alone. To appreciate Backseat Freestyle, you have to imagine yourself as a young hopeful/hopeless black youth, riding around aimlessly in the backseat of your friend’s car thinking/rapping about the impact you’re going to make once you get on. It’s like a movie, with superb lyricism, and a positive message. I didn’t appreciate Nas’s illmatic until a friend of mine left a tape in my car, and I didn’t have any other music to listen to, and i was forced to listen to the album in its entirety over and over. The imagery in illmatic is unparalleled, but the message isn’t nearly as powerful. One of the greatest albums of all time in my honest, humble opinion. Money Trees and Sing about me, I’m dying of thirst, and Black boy fly are my favorite songs…if I have to choose.