Kendrick Lamar on The Grammys: “I want to win them all”

The Compton rapper is up for 11 nominations

Kendrick Lamar has revealed how he is determined to win big at this year’s Grammy Awards, after being nominated and featured in 11 categories.

Lamar – who rose to prominence with his breakthrough album ‘Good Kid, M.A.A.D City’ in 2012 – released one of hip hop’s most enduring albums, the follow up ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ in March 2015.

In a recent cover feature in Billboard, Lamar speaks of his rise to fame, his gritty upbringing and his aim to win big at the 56th Awards ceremony, saying: “I want to win them all”.

NMERichard Johnson/NME

He goes on to talk about his previous loss at the 2014 Grammys, after being nominated for seven awards by not winning any of the categories. He lost out in some of the categories – including best rap album – to Ryan Macklemore, who took home four awards.

“The Grammy defeats would have been upsetting to me if I’d known that was my best work, if I had nothing new to offer,” he says. “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City is great work, but it’s not my best work. To Pimp a Butterfly is great. I’m talking about the connection the record made. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City made a connection. But To Pimp a Butterfly made a bigger connection.”

“It’s bigger than me” he continues on the impact of him winning Best Album on urban music at large. “When we think about the Grammys, only Lauryn Hill and Outkast have won album of the year. This would be big for hip-hop culture at large.”

The list of nominees for the 2016 awards was released in December 2015. Lamar is up, among others things, for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Album.

Lamar’s influence has spread far and wide. In January, President Barack Obama also backed Lamar to win a hypothetical rap battle with Drake.

Obama is on record as a Lamar fan, stating that ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ was his favourite album of 2015 and even invited him to The White House for a visit. Now, in a new interview with YouTube creators Destin Sandlin, Ingrid Nilsen and Adande Thorne, Obama was asked who he would back if Drake was to go up against Lamar in the same way he did so successfully against Meek Mill last year.

“You gotta go with Kendrick. I’m just saying,” Obama replied. “I think Drake is an outstanding entertainer, but Kendrick… his lyrics… His last album was outstanding. Best album I heard last year.” See the video of this moment below.

That same week, Lamar discussed meeting President Obama in a new PSA video for the Pay It Forward mentoring programme. The US President recently named Lamar’s ‘How Much A Dollar Cost?’, from latest album ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, his favourite track of 2015.

In addition to getting the backing of the President, Lamar was also handed the keys to Compton that same week by mayor Aja Brown.

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony takes place on February 15.