Kendrick Lamar Explains What Motivates & Inspires His Raps

K. Dot explains how DMX and 2Pac helped inspire him to pick up the pen in the first place.

Kendrick Lamar has recently established himself as one of the West Coast’s most promising young MCs, releasing his #Section80 album to critical acclaim. Speaking with Out Da Box TV, the Compton, California native explained that if it weren’t for 2Pac and DMX, he may not have been inspired to become a rapper.

“I was raised around music my whole life, from gangsta rap to oldies. My pops, my moms, they played it all, you dig that?” he said. “So it was inevitable, truthfully. I really was a big ‘Pac fan. When ‘Pac passed, there really was a void that was missing in Hip Hop. DMX came out, It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, that inspired me to start writing my own bars. I just love the technique, I love the art. I went back and studied all the legends and developed my craft, and it made Kendrick Lamar.”

As for what motivates him to continue rapping, he wants to be able to touch people by having listeners relate to his struggle through music.

“Just looking at the fact why everybody called these certain individual people legends,” he explains. “It wasn’t just the rhymes. They drew people in with their lifestyle and made people related to them. Made music people can relate to rather than rapping 100 bars on the track. That’s Hip Hop, that’s art, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to be able move people with your music, and that’s what they did. And that’s something that I started to do.”

Watch the rest of the interview below.

RELATED: Kendrick Lamar Recalls Having A Vision Of Tupac Shakur In His Sleep


  • Derrick Robinson

    Kendrick Lamar's music is just great to me, listening to him really inspired me to pick up my pen and wanna pursue a rap career just llike him. P.S thanks Kendrick your the greatest, your music inspires me, upcoming rapper majestic here, thanks again.

  • sam

    section 80 is weak. four good songs. rest of them are unlistenable. some are straight up corny. no makeup? gay. sounds like an album lupe would do , but i kno lupe would do it better. idk why i bought the cd but hopefully i can sell it for $$$ wen its long out of print. remember when you could go out and buy an album off the hype and it would be worth it? those days are long gone i'm afraid.

    • ILLMATIC77

      Wow son. No Makeup is a good track. From the perspective of a man and a woman. A woman who was abused. Track goes deep. At the end he says to be continued, track 11 (keishas song). Track 11 is about a prostitute. Kendrick Lamar goes deep. He's telling a story about reality and what really happens to people in life. You should really start listening to his lyrics. This very well may be a Classic Album. His word play is as good as I've ever heard. The content of this album is real life. Kendrick Lamar is spitting the truth. If you want phony bullshit rhymes then Kendrick Lamar isn't for you. He rips all your favorite rappers on Rigamortus.

    • Anonymous

      Album goes deep. Not a classic, but definitely not weak.


    Kendrick is talented and making good music. People can relate. His production is dope. But unfortunately the masses prefer the dancy, poppy, club nonsense. I hope people catch on and he blows up like Pac. Support the Real.

  • Mr Flamboyant

    Youngblood is nice. Keep making great music.

  • U KNOW

    is he drunk AF or am i trippin? #HiiiPOWER

  • i do it

    cant wait for the collaborative album wid cole n k dot which will be sick! Cole World Sep. 27 @noeworld7 follow me

  • Anonymous

    Kendrick is on fire right now

    • chitown

      Gotta agree, man this kid is making think there's hope for hip hop. I grew up on hip hop and this kid is trying to bring lyrics back to the game. At the end of the day it takes someone with lyrics and beats to match and he's got both so far.

  • punchlynez

    Definitely going to be one of the greats! come and improve your rap skills at Rapper Port

  • HeRBaN LyRiX

    Definitely one of the newer heads out that I`ve been checkin` for... STaY BLeSS`n...

  • yee

    Kendricks the truth!! Secion.80 is album of the year. hands down

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