Kendrick Lamar
2.4.2016

Kendrick Lamar Covers Billboard; Talks Grammys, New Album, & Obama

Kendrick Lamar wants to make history. The Compton rapper is up for 11 Grammys at this month’s ceremony, just one shy of Michael Jackson’s record, but he isn’t shy about his goals.

“I want to win them all,” K-Dot told Billboard for their latest cover.

But those wins wouldn’t just be for himself, the Top Dawg MC said.

“It’s bigger than me,” Kendrick explained. “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.”

Kendrick is also set to perform at the 58th annual awards on Feb. 15 and just before that, he is scheduled to receive the key to the city from his hometown on Feb. 13.

Find out what he had to say about meeting President Obama, hip-hop’s new generation, and his next album.

Kendrick Lamar

On To Pimp a Butterfly: “The album just had a deeper impact than I expected, because it touched so many homes, and not just in my own community. I guess I’m just speaking words that need to be heard in these times.”

On his next album: “As far as content, what I want to get across, I have an idea. But even that’s still premature. Once I get back in that studio, things evolve into other things.”

On past Grammy losses: “[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. 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.”

On Drake and Kanye West’s Internet fluency: “That’s not my talent. Those guys, they’re gifted in that department. Hopefully, I’ll get them talents. But for now I’ma stay in my lane.”

On Joey Bada$$, Isaiah Rashad, & Chance the Rapper: “When everybody looks at our generation of kids, they always call us the misfits—you know, like we just don’t give a damn. But these individuals, they show that we do have some sense. Our generation just needs the proper people to tell us about our problems, about our wrongs and our rights.”

On Compton: “I’ve felt that pressure in Compton, looking at the responsibility I have over these kids. The world started turning into a place where—where so many were getting no justice. You got to step up to the plate. ‘Mortal Man’ is not me saying, ‘I can be your hero.’ ‘Mortal Man’ is questioning: ‘Do you really believe in me to do this?'”

On President Obama: “The way people look at me these days—that’s the same way I looked at President Obama before I met him. We tend to forget that people who’ve attained a certain position are human. When [the president] said to my face what his favorite record was—I understood that, no matter how high-ranking you get in this world, you’re human. No matter how high the pedestal you reach, we all still like a beat. Even the president has got to hear that snare drum.”