Kendrick Lamar Calls Himself a Hypocrite
Kendrick Lamar continues to soar in 2015, conducting interviews in the lead up to next year's Grammy Awards and demonstrating a keen sense of perspective and understanding. Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly is nominated for 11 Grammy's and the rapper sat down with NPR recently to discuss the album and the emotions therein captured.
Most notably, Kendrick addressed a line on "The Blacker the Berry" in which he describes himself as a hypocrite for both mourning Trayvon Martin's death and contributing to the cycle of violence.
"The message I'm sending to myself -- I can't change the world until I change myself first," Lamar said. "For instance, when Chad [Keaton, a childhood friend,] was killed, I can't disregard the emotion of me relapsing and feeling the same anger that I felt when I was 16, 17 -- when I wanted the next family to hurt, because you made my family hurt. Them emotions were still running in me, thinking about him being slain like that. Whether I'm a rap star or not, if I still feel like that, then I'm part of the problem rather than the solution."
Kendrick also spoke on growing up with gang violence and the influence friends have on each other. He also talked about dealing with the discomfort following success, and the feelings that led him to scream, both in real life and on the album.
"What was the feeling? The feeling was missing home," he said. "The feeling was, I should be with my family right now when they're going through hardships, with the loss of my dear friends that's constantly passing while I'm out on this road. The feeling was, 'How am I influencing so many people on this stage rather than influencing the ones that I have back home?' That's the feeling: being inside the hotel room, and these thoughts I'm just pondering back and forth while I look at the ceiling all night."
In closing, Kendrick said that as long as he's making music, he will strive to make something of meaning and importance. "I think that the depth is needed," he said. "And there's a lot of other artists doing things outside of that depth that I enjoy -- that music that I can actually have fun to, and not be in depth and think about, then I appreciate that. But as long as I'm doing it right now, I'ma continue to say just a little bit more that pertains to what's going on."
Catch the full interview, complete with audio and text, over at NPR.
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