As told by Kendrick Lamar
*Glamour March 2015*
When I first listened to Kendrick Lamars hit “swimming pools (drink)” last year, my first thought was “catchy”. My second thought was then “great-another influential artist spreading a bad message to America’s youth”. But the more i listen and learn about him and his music the more i believe he has a very positive message despite a less-than-ideal upbringing. He reminds me of Kid Cudi who i will forever love.
In his own words:
DO believe in your potential. “Anybody who has ever known, or is in the street today-they don’t want to be a part of that lifestyle. Some entertainers glorify it….but when you’re six years old and someone’s selling drugs outside your house It’s different; you know you shouldn’t be like them even if you want to be like them. The thing that made me unique from my homeboys growing up in the ‘hood is that I was a dreamer. I was influenced by people who had good hearts and said, ‘you have a little more potential than to do what we did.”
DON’T forget where home is. “When i started out, I was really trying to impress the homies, because if your own neighborhood don’t back you, how do you think New York is going to back you? How do you think overseas is going to back you? Their approval helped me out at the end of the day.”
DO avoid the drama. “When I’m recording, I’ve got to have the energy around. I’ve got to see people enjoying themselves and enjoying life. The energy is everything. You don’t want a negative person to walk into the room and feed their energy onto you.”
DON’T chase other people’s expectations. “One time, when I was shopping my demo to labels, they kept telling me to follow this or that trend on the radio. My mentor Top Dawg, who signed me when I was 16, And Punch (president of the top Dawg entertainment) said, ‘maybe it’s time to stop following what the labels want to do, because obviously it’s not working; were not signed yet.’ That moment kind of defined what music I wanted to make. To me, music is really about people-who they are, not what we see on the exterior.”