Kendrick Lamar has opened up about the influence of Kanye West on him, stating that West taught him to “never to downplay your ideas” and that, because of West, he “learned to always stay as creative as possible and never have any boundaries”.
The rising Compton star also went on to elaborate on the influence of the Atlanta rap legend’s boundary-breaking attitude, revealing the things that West had challenged: “Those things that people called ‘rants’ on-stage are real conversations that we had behind closed doors, about business and how when you get to a certain level people won’t want to see you break through because they only see you as a rapper,” he stated.
In the recent interview, originally featured on The Hollywood Reporter, Lamar then goes on to talk about the reaction to his now-infamous verse on Big Sean track ‘Control’. In the verse, Lamar name-checks the likes of Drake, A$AP Rocky and Pusha T, while also including the line “I got love for you all, but I’m tryna murder you”. Reacting to the high level of furor surrounding the track, however, Lamar seemed surprised yet unapologetic. “It wasn’t pre-meditated, it just came to me when I was writing that bar,” Lamar responded. “The crazy part is, I didn’t think it would ever go to where diss records were coming at me. I thought people would be like… he threw some challenges out there… that was dope.”
Meanwhile, Lamar is up for seven awards at this weekend’s Grammys, including Album of the Year for ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’, Best New Artist and Best Rap Performance for ‘Swimming Pools (Drank)’. The rapper is also set to perform alongside Imagine Dragons at the ceremony, which takes place this Sunday (January 26) at the Staples Centre in LA.
Daft Punk will also play their first televised performance since 2008, alongside Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams on the night.