The Winter 2014 issue of XXL is a special one. Not because it's the first to drop under the new ownership of Townsquare Media, but because there's also the cover subject: Kendrick Lamar. This is the first time K.Dot has graced the front of XXL by himself after one appearance as part of the 2011 XXL Freshmen Class, another time with Dr. Dre in 2012, and most recently, with his Top Dawg Ent. crew in 2013.

Some might say this moment is long overdue, that Kendrick should've already had a XXL solo cover after the success of his critically acclaimed debut album, good kid, m.A.A.d city. But this actually is the perfect time as Dot has been busy penning his yet-to-be-titled second album and prepping for its release.

Still in writer mode, Kendrick crafted his own story for XXL titled Writer At War, where he explores his experience with his extraordinary fame, the impact he has had on his fans (and vice versa), the process in which he records, his overall mind state after two years on the road and so much more.

In addition to Kendrick's story, this issue of XXL features articles on several artists who did it big in 2014, including YG, French Montana, Big Sean and E-40. There's also a last minute holiday gift guide for struggling shoppers.

But the most important thing about this issue is that it exists. It's available on newsstands and it proves print ain't dead, at least when it comes to hip-hop on a higher level.

Directed by @travissatten

Photo Credit: Tom Medvedich
Photo Credit: Tom Medvedich
Photo Credit: Tom Medvedich

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